Isabella Li has been a faculty member of the New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School since 1997. Many of her students have won awards and competitions throughout the years, including New England Piano Teachers’ Association (NEPTA) Middle and High School Piano Competition, the Young Artist Competition in New York City, International Paderewski Piano Competition in CT, Concerto Competition at New England Conservatory of Music, MTNA Piano Competition MA and Steinway Junior Piano Competition. Isabella started Musicale in 2020, an online Musicale community that is committed to bring top-rate, insightful, and practical learning resources to both teachers and students. Musicale created a platform that enables musical exchange through which individuals of all backgrounds and skill levels could learn and grow in their love for music together.
Born in China, Isabella appeared as a soloist at age 7. She performed as a soloist across China, including in Xian, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. She has also performed concertos by Bach, Kabalevsky, Mozart and Beethoven. Isabella graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
Isabella came to the US with a full scholarship to study Piano Performance and Pedagogue at Westminster Choir College under Jose Ramos Santana and Phyllis Lehrer. She performed as a soloist in Princeton, New Jersey, Carnegie Weill Recital Hall in New York City, Pollack Hall at McGill University in Montreal, and Victoria Concert Hall in Singapore. She has also performed chamber music and worked as a collaborative artist with many other musicians.
Isabella’s love and passion for teaching piano was nurtured from her very early years by her mother who is also a pianist. Isabella started teaching piano while in middle school and knew early on that she would devote her life to teaching. Isabella was trained at the New School for Music Study founded by Frances Clark in Princeton, New Jersey. She has extensive teaching experience with Frances Clark’s piano teaching method. Isabella has since developed her own methodology of teaching the young pianist with particular focus on establishing a solid foundation of reading, technique, musicality by using classical repertoire from the beginning of a pianist’s career.
B.M. (Shanghai Conservatory of Music), M.M. in piano performance and pedagogy (Westminster Choir College)
Born in Heraklion, Crete, Greece, Konstantinos Papadakis has been described by the press as “one of the greatest hopes of music” as well as a “spontaneous, honest artist.” The Boston Globe wrote: “Papadakis gave a stunning performance displaying great variety of attack, poetic lyricism, and wrists of carbon steel.”
Konstantinos has performed in recitals and collaborated with chamber ensembles and orchestras in the world’s major concert halls and famous artistic centers from Russia and Southern Europe to the United States and Canada. He has recorded several works especially written for him by contemporary composers, many of which have been broadcast on radio and television.
He has won several prizes and distinctions at international piano competitions, including the prestigious Yannis Vardinoyannis Award, given for the first time to a pianist, as well as the Esther & Albert Kahn Award. Other major appearances include Wigmore Hall, Jordan Hall, the Athens Concert Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall and St. Petersburg’s Grand Concert Hall, where he performed in world premieres of works by Greek and Russian contemporary composers.
Equally at home performing Bach’s English Suites or Ligeti’s Etudes for Piano, he possesses an unusually broad repertoire, including some 70 concertos, over 300 works for solo piano, and numerous chamber works. In 2008-2009 Konstantinos finished recording Theodore Antoniou’s complete piano works, and selected sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti. Commemorating the bicentennial year of Franz Liszt’s birth, in 2011 Konstantinos embarked on an ambitious cycle of recitals of some of Liszt’s shorter and less known works. In the spring of 2011, he recorded a new and unique CD of 16 miniature Liszt masterpieces entitled “The Short Liszt”.
Konstantinos studied at the Hellenic Conservatory of Crete with Vilma Antonakaki; a year later, having already won the first prize at the Panhellenic Competition (including a Special Distinction for his own composition), he debuted as soloist in many performances showing his special musical and pianistic skills. He subsequently received a fellowship at the Hellenic Conservatory of Athens, where he studied with Costis Gaetanos, and he graduated with a First Prize Golden Medal for excellence (a superior distinction awarded for the first time to a pianist). He continued his studies in London with Martino Tirimo and Vladimir Ashkenazy and Moscow with Nikolai Petrov.
An alumnus of Boston University’s School for the Arts, Konstantinos studied with Anthony di Bonaventura and received an Artist’s Diploma in Piano Performance. At his graduation in May of 2000, he was honored with the Esther & Albert Kahn Award and was invited to join Boston University’s piano faculty where he remained until 2019. From 2006 to May 2011 Konstantinos was the “Samuel Barber Artist-in-Residence” at West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania. In addition to repeated solo appearances with Boston’s Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, Konstantinos holds the prestigious Motoko and Gordon Deane Principal Chair as the Orchestra’s pianist. Currently he is on the piano faculties of the New England Conservatory’s Pre-College and Continuing Education Division and Belmont Piano Academy. He also directs the Summer Piano Academy in Archanes, Greece (www.archanesmusic.org).