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The bonds created in my life through music have resulted in deeply meaningful relationships. The musical knowledge and inspiration generated from these interactions, be they as a student, teacher, colleague, or friend, have created incalculable ripple effects throughout my life.


 The pursuit of musical knowledge requires time and resources which are sometimes in short supply. I have had the luck to receive official and unofficial help over the years for which I am forever grateful. In that spirit of paying it forward I am honored to be able to offer the following scholarships dedicated to the memory of some of those I met along this journey

Leonardo “Leo”
Itzak Bortiri

Leonardo “Leo” Itzak Bortiri, was my first student in Durham, North Carolina. For two years I had the privilege of helping this wonderful intelligent, energetic and fun young human learn to play the piano. Words cannot express the sorrow I experienced when I heard of his passing.  

Leo died on Thursday, December 19, 2013 while traveling with his parents in Argentina. Leo was a bright-eyed 7 year old in the second grade at George Watts Montessori Magnet in Durham. He was born in Berkeley, California, but loved his adopted state of North Carolina. Leo was in perpetual motion. He was an avid soccer player, playing many seasons with Hillandale Sports Association and later Triangle Futbol Club. He rode his bicycle all over his Trinity Park neighborhood, and relished summer camps at the Eno River and the Levin JCC. He would eat platefuls of homemade pasta, and had just learned to play the theme to Star Wars on the piano. A week before his death, Leo proudly hiked up Mt. Tronador in the Argentine Andes, and walked across the Alerce Glacier.

Scholarship Application Requirements:

1) The applicant is under 18 years of age.  

(In honor Leo's heritage, preference will be given to students of Hispanic Latino and/or Jewish heritage.)

2) The applicant writes a 500 word essay on their musical goals and aspirations.

Scholarship Award:

Cost of lessons.

More Coming Soon
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