Russian School of Music Irvine

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Muisc Lessons | Music School Orange County | Piano Lessons

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First lesson-FREE! Come and check us out!
Trial lessons' length — 30 min.
Learn with the best teachers! winners of International competitions and concert artists!
Engaging Lessons
Tailored just
for you!
Our teachers — have a unique experience!
Our teachers are winners of International competitions, world renowned musicians and active concerts artists who share with students experience and knowledge that only a few possess.
Performing opportunities
We support and encourage our students to share their love for music playing at the student recitals, participating in competitions, auditions and home concerts!
Our program is tailored for you!
Individual curriculum is the most effective way openning up a student's potential. Our experienced faculty will collaborate with you to create an exciting program that works the best for you and will motivate your kids to learn and develop their skills.
WHY US?
Enroll Today!
First lesson-FREE! Come and check us out!

Trial lessons' length — 30 min.
Our private piano, violin, viola, guitar and cello classes designed for your children to encourage kids' interest in music from an early age and develop excellent technique which will affect their pace of learning and success in the future
Our adult classes are not very different from those for children because they are about you, the student, and our highly experienced faculty will work with you to achieve your goals whether you're doing it for self-enrichment, preparing for college or major International competitions
In response to COVID-19 we switched most of our music classes to online lessons and now teach piano, violin, viola, classical guitar and cello worldwide
Our Teachers
FELIKS VOLOZHANIN
Director of String Program
ANTON SMIRNOV
Piano Program
IRINA KULIKOVA
Director of Guitar Program
Feliks Volozhanin is a Director of String Program at Russian School of Music Irvine, cellist and cello teacher. He loves and truly enjoys teaching having over twenty years of experience both in Russia and in the US. His teaching philosophy is to share what he learned from a great Russian cello school: superb technique and expressive musical interpretation.

Feliks' students have the highest succsess rate of auditioning to Irvine Honor Orchestra: 1/3rd of 2017 Irvine Elementary Honor Orchestra cello section are his students. His teaching philosophy is to nurture and forster students' creativity, passion, and love for music sharing what he learned from a great Russian cello school: superb technique and expressive musical interpretation. Feliks' students successfully compete at various competitions and are members of different orchestras including Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra, All Southern California Elementary Honor and Irvine Honor Orchestras, and Orange County Youth Symphony.

Feliks began studying cello at the age of seven. At the age of twelve he became a laureate of Chelyabinsk State Youth Cello Competition and continued his studies at State Institute of Music in Moscow, Russia where he studied with esteemed cellists Kirill Rodin (Tchaikovsky Competition Gold Medalist and professor of Moscow State Conservatory). Since moving to the United States, Mr. Volozhanin has won first prizes in many contests including the Elizabeth Harper Vaughn, the Rapides Symphony and the SLU Concerto Competitions, studying at Southeastern Louisiana University with Karen Jung. Feliks was a teaching assistant of professor Bongshin Ko at Cal State Fullerton and also served as a principal cellist of Cal State Fullerton Symphony and Cal State Fullerton Cello Choir.

Mr. Volozhanin performs in a guitar/cello duo "Irina & Feliks" with Irina Kulikova. His recent engagements include concerts in Dallas, Austin, New York, Los Angeles, Miami and others. In 2020, Feliks recorded a world premiere of Three Night Ballads for guitar and cello and the piece will be featured on a new CD of Irina Kulikova, It's About a Touch.
Volozhanin's performances have been broadcast on television in the United States as well as in Russia.


A graduate of Yale University School of Music, Anton Smirnov began his piano studies at the age of seven in Novosibirsk, Russia. He has made more than 1,000 public performances world-wide at venues that include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Avery Fischer Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Upon his graduation from Novosibirsk Conservatory, he moved to the US and graduated from Oberlin Conservatory with an Artist Diploma in 2010.

Anton is a dedicated and gifted teacher: last year 3 of his students won auditions to the Carnegie Hall. Besides teaching piano, Mr. Smirnov enjoys teaching chamber groups and conducting string orchestras.

As a soloist, Anton is a prizewinner of several international piano competitions including the Moscow International Competition for Young Musicians, International Russian Music Piano Competition in San-Jose, CA, Oberlin Concerto Competition, Corpus Christi International Concerto Competition, Louisiana International Piano Competition, the NTD International Piano Competition in New York, and others. He has performed as a soloist with various orchestras including the Tomsk Philharmonic Orchestra, San Jose Symphony and the Oberlin Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Anton collaborated with the members of Quatuor Ebene; double bass players Edgar Meyer Eugene Levinson, violinists Simone Perter, Mark Kaplan and Grigory Sokolovsky, violist Barbara Westphal, and many others.

Anton has participated in many international music festivals including "International Program New Names", Cassalmaggiore International Music Festival, Banff International Master Classes, and Sarasota International Music Festival. Anton is a member of the collaborative faculty at The Heifetz International Music Institute. He participates in the "Heifetz on Tour" music series, performing chamber music with finest young string players. He has also performed in the master classes of John Perry, Marc Durand, Robert Levin, Hung Kuan Chen, M. Boguslavsky, M. Delli Ponti, Boris Berman, Menahem Pressler and many others.
Irina Kulikova, Classical Guitar
Unanimously acclaimed for the rare beauty of her tone and her enchanting presence on stage, Irina Kulikova has established herself as one of today's world leading guitarists. She received over 30 awards for her artistry, including 1st prizes at the most prestigious international competitions, including Michele Pittaluga in Italy, Guitarra Alhambra in Spain, Forum Gitarre Wien in Austria and Iserlohn in Germany. Irina Kulikova graduated with distinction at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg (Austria), the Conservatoire of Maastricht (The Netherlands) and the Gnessin's Academy in Moscow (Russia).

She recorded four solo CD's, three of which are distributed worldwide by the Naxos label.
She tours far afield, with appearances at leading festivals in Europe, North America and Asia and in concert halls such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, the Palau de la Musica in Valencia, the Musashino Hall in Tokyo and the Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai.
Brian Cross first became acquainted with guitar during his childhood in rural Northern California. He grew up hearing his father play in an improvised blues style. It wasn't until his high school years that Cross began his own endeavor into this instrument under his father's guidance. He was a fast learner and soon found himself exploring a variety of different play styles.

Brian received his Bachelor degrees in both music and in psychology at CSU Chico and Master's degree in guitar performance at California State University Fullerton under the tutelage of Martha Masters. During this time he continued his interest in psychology working as a behavior therapist where he spent many hours working alongside children with special needs. During these 3 years in this job he learned how to visualize motivation and learning in an often misunderstood demographic, a trait which heavily impacted his music making. Now residing in Orange County, Cross spends his time teaching music, mastering his craft, and hiking the hills of the ever beautiful California outdoors with his wife Chelsea.
After receiving a Master's degree in Cello Performance from the Moscow State Conservatory in Russia, Georgy Gusev moved to Italy to study with Sicilian virtuoso Giovanni Sollima at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia where he earned the diploma "Master of Cello."

As soloist he has performed with orchestras and various ensembles in the best classical and modern halls of Russia, Italy, France, Austria, Switzerland, China, and the US. He has participated in various international festivals alongside many world-renowned classical musicians such as: Natalia Gutman, Giovanni Sollima, Enrico Dindo, Eliso Virsaladze, Rocco Filippini, Monika Leskovar, Sonig Tchakerian, Boris Andrianov and Alexander Bouzlov.

Gusev also works as a composer and among his recent projects, he released a series of compositions for cello solo called The Traveler's Diary (originally Breviario per Nomadi) that has been used as a background for various TV shows by the Italian national television RAI and several films. His first solo album Cello Drive, includes Gusev's innovative compositions as well as completely revised arrangements of national melodies and songs, which was sponsored by Thomastik-Infeld and was released by the UK label North2North in June 2016.

Gusev has taught for over two years as a docent at the Accademia Musicale Praeneste in Rome and has held master classes of modern approach to classical music in Zagarolo (2013-15), Rome (2014-15), and Moscow (2014-15). He also holds a private studio of both cello and piano. Besides performing and teaching, Gusev is actively involved in promoting cultural exchange between Russian and Italian musicians. As such, he frequently organizes Italo-Russian master classes in Rome and Moscow and in 2013 founded the International Music Festival "Masters of Music" held annually in Moscow.
Andrew Favorito is a graduate student at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music where he studies with Shawn Mouser of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Andrew currently performs with the USC Thornton Symphony, American Youth Symphony, and many Los Angeles metropolitan orchestras, such as the Peninsula Symphony, Santa Monica Symphony, and Culver City Symphony Orchestra.

Andrew was also a mentor for the Civic Ensembles of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 2013-2015; a position that involved both intensive teaching and performing. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Favorito maintained an active musical life in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. From 2012-2015, he was the second bassoonist of the Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra (OH), and performed regularly with the Dearborn Symphony, Adrian Symphony, and many others in the region.

Our Students

Music Lessons FAQ

WHAT INSTRUMENTS DO YOU TEACH?
We offer 30, 45, and 60 minute lessons in piano, guitar, violin, viola, cello, clarinet, bassoon and theory.
WHAT IS A SCHEDULE?
We offer only private lessons and, therefore, the schedule is based on teacher's and students' availablity. We do our best to accomodate schedule requests. We offer classes on the week days, as well as on weekends.
WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THE CLASSES?
When you learn music, you learn a combination of cognitive skills that will help to advance in math, writing and communication.
These fundamental skills will allow students to excel in any path that they'll choose in their lives.

Learning music rewires the brain and teaches us to find discreet connections, make quick decisions and solve complex problems.

Our primary goal is to nurture and foster students' creativity empowering them to love, enjoy, and appreciate playing music once they grow into adults.

HOW EARLY CAN WE START TAKING LESSONS?
Almost every child is ready to take music lessons at 5 years of age.
Some children show an interest in music even at a younger age. For these kids we recommend scheduling a consultation to decide whether it is a right time to start.

HOW OFTEN DO CHILDREN PERFORM?
We offer two student recitals per year. Besides playing at the recitals, we encourage and prepare our student to participate in various competitions, auditions, talent shows and home concerts.
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