About: Dina Pruzhansky
Instrument you teach: Piano
Do you play any other instrument in your spare time? Organ, sometimes. And I compose music for all instruments.
Postgraduate Professional Studies, Mannes School of Music
MA in piano performance, summa cum laude, Tel-Aviv University
BA in Music and Art History, Tel-Aviv University
Where are you from? Born in the former Soviet Union, raised in Israel.
Favorite age group to teach: All age groups
Favorite style of music to teach: All styles of music are fun to teach, but classical is my main focus.
Favorite song: “My Funny Valentine”
Favorite piece of music: My favorite piece of music is always the one I’m practicing at that moment.
Favorite food: Chocolate
Favorite color: Turquoise
What’s your favorite musical memory? My very first piano recital – when I was six. I still remember what I played – ‘Allegro’ by Mozart, and my own ‘Lullaby.’
Do you have any pets? (Describe them!) Bonnie the cat. He is very musical too! He would come up when I practice and try to “sing.”
What do you like best about teaching music? Music is a key to a world of endless imagination and creativity. I love helping my students discover and develop abilities they were never aware of or didn’t know how to apply. Whether it is an advanced student seeking further mastery of the instrument, or a beginner who just learned how to play a favorite tune, or a timid person who found out that he or she can go onstage and give a great performance – my students can be very different, but seeing their love for music and their accomplishments makes me happy.
What is your favorite composer or musician? Just too many to list!
What is the first piece of music you ever learned? A little Russian folk song.
How many hours a day do you practice? Four to five hours.
Accomplishments: Russian-Israeli composer and pianist Dina Pruzhansky moved to New York in 2006 from her native Azerbaijan, after growing up and studying in Israel as a scholarship winner in music and art history.
As a pianist, she has appeared in solo and chamber music recitals throughout the United States, Russia, Israel, Belgium, and Germany, and has shared the stage with many leading artists, including the soloists of the Metropolitan Opera and the Israel Philharmonic. In New York alone, she has performed works of modern and classical composers, including her own compositions, at Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Scandinavia House, The Ukrainian Institute, the Russian Permanent Mission to the U.N. Merkin Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, and the Bechstein and Yamaha recital halls.
Ms. Pruzhansky is a member of the TONY – honored BMI musical theater workshop and was selected as a finalist for the 2009 Fred Ebb Musical Theater Award, with her lyricist / collaborator Matt Schatz.
Her art songs were featured during the Russian Cultural Heritage Festival in New York and have been broadcast in several countries across the world. Her works for reed organ, commissioned by Artis Wodehouse, were premiered at the Yamaha Salon Series, NYC. She is a recipient of the 2012 Blueprint Fellowship. Her latest work, “Song of Songs,” commissioned by Bachanalia, had its premiere at Bargemusic hall, and is being developed into an opera.
Ms. Pruzhansky holds a Masters Degree summa cum laude in piano performance from Tel-Aviv Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, and a postgraduate Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes College for Music. In addition, she earned a baccalaureate in Art History from the University of Tel Aviv.