Emerging Artists 2019

Below are the artists for the 2019 Port City Music Festival Emerging Artists Program.


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Luís Barragán

Luís Barragán is a teacher and accomplished musician.  Luís enjoys playing the works of Beethoven, Debussy, Ginastera, and Granados. He also plays ensemble works by Brahms, Debussy, Elgar, and Mozart. Luis teaches out of his downtown Wilmington music studio, and at UNCW's Community Music Academy where he enjoys working with budding talent. As a performer, he recently collaborated with the production, "Always...Patsy Cline," at historic Thalian Hall in Wilmington. In his spare time, Luís likes to engage in simple activism by taking “beautifying walks” around town to pick up trash.

Luis started his musical journey with educator (and grandmother), Asuncion Higuera, who ran a well-known piano studio in the Canary Islands. By the time he was 6 he joined the music conservatory and went on to complete ten years of music in Madrid. In the United States he has found great piano mentors Julie Jordan of New York City, Dora Jibitskaya in San Francisco, and Barry Salwen in Wilmington. Luis is a lover of all genres. While in San Francisco he performed with Nate Harris of Americana band, The Human Condition, and vocalist Zoe Presnick of Tone of Arc, at popular SF venue, Doc’s Lab. Luís has also played with Righteous Babe Records artist Animal Prufrock. Luis is passionate about gospel music and has been filling in as music director at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Wilmington. No matter the type of music, Luís enjoys the company of his best friend, the piano. Sometimes they are meditative and still.  Other times they dance together.


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Karina Beebe

Karina Beebe is a young violinist, hailing from Centerville, Ohio, she has been playing and performing since she was young. Karina started her orchestral career at age seven performing with New England Youth Ensemble, Dayton Youth Strings, Dayton Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, Middletown Youth Orchestra, Kettering Praise Orchestra, and Kettering Strings, as well as performing and touring to South Africa, Puerto Rico, Australia, Italy, and throughout the United States. Her teachers have included, Dr. Preston Hawes, Dr. Brian Liu, James Braid, Maretta Alden, and Donna Taft. She has also participated in masterclasses with, Charles Castleman, Ken Aiso, Won-Bin Yim, Edward Kreitman, David Levine, Deborah Price, and Christina Gant. Karina enjoys reading, baking, hiking, bicycling, and traveling.


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Giulia Bratosin

Giulia Bratosin, soprano and cellist, was born in Ploiesti, Romania to a family steeped in musical tradition. She learned the love of music from her relatives, and at age seven, she began taking piano lessons. Years after she moved to Yorktown, Virginia with her parents, she took on the cello as a second instrument and quickly fell in love. Giulia studied under Susan Hines of the Virginia Symphony, and went on to play in the Peninsula Youth Orchestra and the Tidewater Cello Ensemble. Upon being accepted as a music major at Washington Adventist University, she made the decision to settle on voice as her primary instrument. Letting go off the cello, however, proved impossible. Giulia now enjoys the best of both worlds. She studies voice under Kyle Engler, and performs with the Columbia Collegiate Chorale and Pro Musica choirs, and takes on various roles in the university’s Opera Workshops. She also actively participates as a cellist in the Baroque Consort of WAU as well as in various chamber groups. Her favorite things in life include spending time with her family and friends, bodyboarding, reading, and most of all, eating chocolate! 


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André Darvasan-Stanciu

André Darvasan-Stanciu, is a multi-talented graduate of Washington Adventist University (Takoma Park, MD).  Andre graduated in 2017 with a degree in Piano Performance in addition to studying cello. Currently he is working as the administrative assistant for the music department of WAU while completing a second degree in Vocal Performance. As an instrumentalist, Andre played cello with the New England Symphonic Ensemble and was part of the Carnegie Scholars Program. While on a 2015 tour of Australia with the Ensemble, he was featured as their piano soloist. Along with the instrumental ensembles at WAU, Andre was also a member of the Columbia Collegiate Chorale and Pro Musica. As a vocalist, Andre sings regularly with the choirs of the Spencerville Seventh-Day Adventist and Georgetown Presbyterian Churches. In December of 2018, Andre was a soloist with the New Dominion Chorale of Northern Virginia as part of their 2018/2019 season. In addition to his supporting role in the Music Department, Andre is an active participant with the various performing groups on campus. This spring, Andre conducted the WAU Performance Workshop production of Dido & Aneas as well as the Baroque Consort in their spring concert. After completing his degree in voice, Andre will be actively pursuing a degree in Choral Conducting.


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Abner Márquez

Abner Márquez was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1998. He began studying music in "El Sistema de Orquestas de Venezuela" at age 5. From the beginning, he was part of several orchestras  and emsembles in Venezuela and performed with renowned musicians, such as Ullises Ascanio, Gregory Carreño and others, playing mudic by Beethoven, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Ginastera, Dvorak, Evencio Castellanos and others great composers. He attended the "Academia Latinoamericana de la trompeta" and the "Conservatorio de música Simón Bolivar" and took classes with: Ricardo Osorio, Luis Melo and Alexander Barrios (first trumpet of Simon Bolivar Orchestra "A"). He also took master classes with renowned trumpet players, such as Luis Gonzalez, Max Sommerhalder, Pacho Florez, Allen Vizzutti, Gabor Tarköevi (first trumpet of Berlin Philarmonic) and other great masters. In 2016 his family moved to Peru and performed with the youth orchestra of "Sinfonía por el Perú" and participated with the academy orchestra of "Sinfonía por el Perú" playing in the opera festival "Granda", playing music by Puccini, Verdi, Wagner and other composers. In 2018 he moved to the US, and is now part of the New England Youth Emnsemble.


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Dhara Márquez

Dhara Marquez is a Venezuelan violinist who was born in 2000. She began studying music in El Sistemaat age 4. Throughout her childhood and early teenage years, she has been part of several orchestras. In 2012, she began studying in theMusic Conservatory Simón Bolívarwith Engel Suárez. In parallel with her studies at the Conservatory she attended to the Mozarteum School of Musicwith Manuela Pagliuca in Caracas, Venezuela. In 2016, she moved to Peru in where she continued her music studies in Sinfonia por el Peru. She performed as a concertmaster in the Youth Orchestra of Sinfonia por el Peru where she played several repertoires such as Mahler Symphony No. 1 The Titan, Romeo and Juliet by Tchaikovsky, Dvorak New World Symphony, among others. Dhara has also played in the Academic Orchestra of Sinfonia por el Peruand performed in the Teatro Municipal de Limaand Teatro NacionalShe has performed in the Teatro Realde Madridwith students from La Escuela de Música Reina Sofíaunder the conduction of Hugo Carrio which is conductor of the Youth Orchestra of Sinfonia por el Peru. She has played chamber music in La Seine MusicaleParis, France. Dhara, has played  as concertmaster in MCPS All County Senior Orchestrathis year. She currently plays in the New England Youth Ensemble as a first violin. She will continue studying music in Washington Adventist University. 


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Luigi Mazzocchi

Luigi P. Mazzocchi was born in Philadelphia where he started violin studies with his parents. He joined the violin section in his school, Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School, where he played for three years. He switched to violoncello, which he studied with Anthony Pirollo. He became the principal cello of the orchestra of his String Theory High School. Mr. Mazzocchi played in the cello section of the Philadelphia Young Artist Orchestra for one year. He currently studies cello with Vivian Barton and Chamber Music with Rahel Inniger at the Settlement Music School of West Philadelphia.


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Michael Paterson

Michael Patterson recently graduated from the Bard College Conservatory of Music with a Master’s in Music, emphasis in Orchestral Conducting. There, he studied conducting with James Bagwell, Leon Botstein and Edward Carroll, as well as the late Harold Farberman, renowned conductor, composer, and pedagogue. In addition to conducting, Michael studied composition with Joan Tower.
At Bard, Michael served as assistant conductor of the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra, Bard College Community Orchestra, and the Bard Conservatory Brass Ensemble, with whom he conducted a program featuring the music of Paul Hindemith. Heavily involved in the new music program, Michael worked with various student composers to premiere their works, including composer and friend, Daniel Castillanos, on his work Odi Et Amo: Eight Songs of Catullus featuring tenor Rufus Muller. Michael also conducted the Vocal Arts Program (Dawn Upshaw, director) on a work by Irish composer Siobhan Cleary entitled Theophilus Thistle and the Myth of Miss Muffett. The piece was performed in National Sawdust, New York City.
As a pianist, Michael served as pianist and celesta player in The Orchestra Now, graduate orchestra program at Bard College, where he performed in spaces such as Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and The Fisher Center at Bard College.  Additionally, he played in the Bard Conservatory chamber music program, and served as the repetiteur for the opera program.
Before Bard, Michael served as Assistant Conductor of the Dana Point Symphony and the Loma Linda University Church Orchestra, as well as Assistant Director of Instrumental Ensembles at La Sierra University, where he regularly rehearsed the orchestra, wind ensemble, and big band.
As an Opera/Theater conductor, Michael has performed Englebert Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel and Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance with the La Sierra University Opera Program, as well as Jerry Bock’s Fiddler on the Roof and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific as music director at Spencerville Academy.
As a composer, Michael has had works premiered internationally by orchestras, wind ensembles, choirs, and chamber groups. Michael has written over 30 compositions, including an award winning film score.
Michael holds a Bachelor’s in Music degree with an emphasis in piano performance from Washington Adventist University, where he studied piano with Dr. Daniel Lau. Michael also holds degrees and certificates in orchestral and choral conducting.


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Sofya-Albina Puyul

Sofya-Albina Puyul is a violinist from Stavropol, Russia. She has finished Music School No.2 in Russia and now studies at Washington Adventist University pursuing Music Major degree with a Pre-medical emphasis. She is a violinist for WAU’s orchestral groups — New England Youth Ensemble, Baroque Consort, and the New England Symphonic Ensemble. The orchestras have traveled world wide, playing for prestigious institutions and halls including Carnegie Hall.


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Beatrice Serban

Beatrice Serban, age 23, was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia. She began her music studies at age three, starting with violin and switching to piano at age eight. she was accepted into the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 8th grade, finishing her high school education there. This spring she graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Washington Adventist University. Beatrice is an active chamber musician, and has been part of the Winston-Salem Youth Symphony and the New England Youth Ensemble, where she has performed on both the harpsichord and piano. She attended Port City Music Festival in 2018, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in 2012 and 2017, and Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival in 2013. She has also participated in master classes for pianists such as Ann Schein, Rebecca Penneys, Anne Epperson, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Dmitri Shteinberg, Eric Larsen, Allison Gagnon, Awadagin Pratt, and Richard Goode, and in 2018, she won second place in the E R Davis Piano Competition. Her past teachers have included Lorena Niacsu, Dr. Young Im Lee, Clifton Matthews, Dr. Dmitri Shteinberg, Irena Orlov, Dr. Artur Aksenov, and Dr. Mark DiPinto.


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Aleksandra Velgosha

Aleksandra Velgosha was born in Moscow, Russia. She started taking piano lessons at the age of 5. At the age of 13, she debuted with Tula Region Orchestra. Aleksandra has won many international and national competitions. In 2015 she performed in winners concert at Carnegie Hall, NY. Aleksandra is a senior piano performance major at Washington Adventist University, studying under Dr. Mark Di Pinto and Dr. Larissa Dedova (University of Maryland).  After getting her BM, Aleksandra plans to pursue her studies in piano performance and orchestral conducting.