Our People Afiliations

Our People

Mihai Preda, PhD

Mihai Preda, PhD, a native of Romania, studied Physics (Ph.D., University of Miami) and Music (B.M. in Piano and Organ Performance, Florida International University).

His unique background in science and music allows Dr. Preda to see the common elements of science, mathematics and music. Using this knowledge and his extensive teaching experience, he developed an integrated approach to learning music and math.

Together with Leidys Monscal (M.S. Music Education, FIU), he created the Brain-Based Piano Method, a music and piano learning approach that combines accepted best practices of music and piano teaching with insights from cognitive psychology in a learning system that is comprehensive, engaging and creative.

Dr. Preda is the founder of the Miami Piano Studio, a founding school member of the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program, and a recipient of the Steinway & Sons Top Studio Award (2012).

Leidys Monascal, M.S. in Music Education

Leidys Monascal, M.S. in Music Education, a native from Venezuela, grew up as a young member of the Venezuelan National System of Youth Orchestras (El Sistema) where she learned to play the clarinet and performed with various youth orchestras. She continued her musical studies while attending the highly competitive Central University of Venezuela (UCV) International Studies program.

She completed her musical studies in Miami at the New World School of the Arts (NWSA) and Florida International University (FIU) where she earned a Master of Science in Music Education.

As an accredited music teacher and co-creator of the Brain-Based Piano Method, she is using her music education training and more than 10 years teaching experience to perfect and expand the Brain-Based Piano Method, a comprehensive approach to studying  music and piano.

As the Outreach Coordinator of the Coral Gables Junior Music Club , a non-profit organization dedicated to providing scholarships and performance opportunities to young music students, Leidys helps to organize presentations and artistic events.

Nina Hlava, PhD, Mime Artist, Piano teacher

A native from Austria grew up in an artistic environment, learning to play theater, dance, piano and guitar. She has been a member of the Buhne Heidenreichstein theater group (Austria) since she was five years old.

Equally versed in pantomime, comedy theater, clown-playing, Vaudeville, Grotesque and Tap Dance, Nina holds a Ph.D. in non-verbal theater from the Academy of Performing Arts (HAMU) in Prague, Czech Republic.

As an actor, Nina’s goal is to keep pantomime and physical comedy alive and to pass on the art of solo performance in the tradition of her teachers. She appears regularly in solo performances in Europe and the U.S.

Nina believes in the power of musical and theatrical education and loves to work with children to develop their social skills, emotional intelligence and to help them find their own artistic expression.

At the Miami Piano Studio, Nina teaches piano to children and beginning adults.

Daniel Manoiu, D.M.A, Professor, Composer in Residence

Daniel Manoiu was born in Bucharest, Romania. He started his piano studies at the age of five. While a student at the “George Enescu” Music High school, he won several awards at prestigious competitions, including the AMSA World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, Ohio and the Rivere D’Oro Giovanni Talenti Competition in San Bartolomeo,

Italy (1st prize) and performed at important music venues such as Carnegie Recital Hall and the United Nations Auditorium in New York .Daniel completed his undergraduate studies with a double major in composition and piano performance.

Daniel came to Miami to enter the graduate program in Music Composition at FIU. There he studied with Dr. Orlando Garcia. While at FIU, he also worked with Dr. Paula Matthusen on electroacoustic music and completed additional piano studies with Kemal Gekic. In January 2009, he was commissioned by the New World Symphony Orchestra (NWSO) to write Trei for piano, flute and percussion.

More recently, he co-wrote the musical score for the full-length Romanian artistic movie “Love as a Puzzle” (the trailer can be seen here). In June 2013, Daniel completed his Doctoral Thesis in Theory and Composition at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, under the supervision of Dr. Dennis Kam, earning the title of Doctor of Musical Arts.

For more information please go to www.manoiumusic.com

Silvije Vidovic, D.M.A., Artist in Residence

Mr. Vidovic’s  was born into a family of musicians, and by the age of eight was giving local performances in his hometown of Karlovac, Croatia. His dedication to music won national recognition through top prizes for piano and accordion at the competitions of former Yugoslavia.

In 2003, Silvije received a full scholarship to study in the United States with Kemal Gekic. While there he won the first prize at Florida International University’s Concerto Competition in 2004, followed with a series of concerts organized by the Guild for International Piano Competition. Mr. Vidovic continued his musical development at Boston University studying with Dr. Jonathan Bass. While there, he won the Richmond Piano Competition. In August 2012 Silvije completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at the University of North Texas, where he studied with the renowned Russian pianist and pedagogue Vladimir Viardo.

Silvije‘s audio recordings have been released by Croatia Records, Art-Net Club, and Akadem Records. Furthermore, Mr. Vidovic has been featured in four documentary films produced by the Croatian National TV, which chronicle the lives and artistic careers of the three Vidovic siblings. Since 2011 Mr. Vidovic has been sponsored by the Concert Music Tour organization, which resulted with his performance in Vienna’s Musikverein Golden Hall. In 2013 Mr. Vidovic co-founded ‘Karlovac Piano Festival’, an inclusive music production which promotes artistic achievements in his birthplace Karlovac. For more information about the Karlovac Piano Festival please go to www.karlovacpianofestival.com

Silvije is currently on the faculty in the Music Department at the Florida International University. More information as well as videos of his performances and recordings can be found at www.silvijevidovic.com