Meet our Teachers!

Here at D Z Strad we believe in developing creativity through music education.  Each teacher has been carefully selected for their energetic, passionate, and careful approach to teaching.  Our teachers are highly skilled at their respective instruments and have received top training from the most prestigious institutions across the world. Not only are our teachers skilled and trained educators but they also maintain busy performing schedules, performing in some of the most respected venues in New York.  The teachers at D Z Strad have experience in teaching all ages from children to adults, and host the skills to adapt to your goals and needs as a music lover


Lisa Pappas - Violin/Viola
I began my musical training at an early age on the violin, with my father, a music teacher, conductor and performer.  At the age of 12, I began my studies with Harold Coletta, a professional violist and professor at Yale University.  When I was 20, I began studying viola.  I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts at SUNY Purchase, with my principal teachers, in addition to Mr. Coletta; Yuval Waldman, Burton Kaplan and Sally Ricketts. My Master Classes were taken with Burton Kaplan, Glen Dicterow, Yuval Waldman and Sally Ricketts. 
I have taught violin/viola privately and in group settings for over 30 years to students of all levels from ages 5 through adult.  I especially enjoy teaching beginning adult students.  Presently, I hold teaching positions at music schools and music conservatories throughout New York and New Jersey.  I have also taught general music education classes as well as private lessons within the public-school system of North Rockland.
Recently, I have enjoyed performing with the Hudson Lyric Opera Company and the Yonkers Philharmonic.
Lauren Jenkins- Violin
Lauren Jenkins is an accomplished and passionate performer and educator including 8 years of violin teaching experience of all styles and ages. Her musical journey started with violin studies at the age of three, leading to her own private studio when she was 18. Lauren had her solo debut at the age of 16 performing Vivaldi's A minor violin concerto in the Schönbrunn` Palace in Vienna, Austria. She was a full scholarship young artist at the Manchester Music Festival for two summers and has also toured with the MMF Chamber Orchestra. Lauren has performed with several professional orchestras including the Erie Philharmonic.
Lauren received her Masters of Music from Carnegie Mellon University in May of 2017, where she studied under Christopher Wu of the Pittsburgh Symphony. In 2015, she earned her Bachelor’s of Music and Performer’s Certificate from the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, SUNY while studying with Calvin Wiersma of the Manhattan String Quartet. Lauren grew up fiddling alongside her classical training and enjoys performing and teaching numerous genres. Chamber music is Lauren’s greatest passion and is a founding member of the Chinquapin String Quartet. The quartet holds a residency at the Twin Heroes Arts Festival in southern Oregon and performs around NY.
Ben Larsen- Cello

Cellist Benjamin Larsen made his solo debut in 1999 at the Merryall Center for the Arts, where critic Frank Merkling called him “remarkably gifted”, with “a charming, warm tone”.  He has performed solo and chamber performances around the U.S., in Europe and Asia and currently plays with chamber ensembles in the New York City area. As free-lance cellist, he has performed with many diverse ensembles, accompanying the musical, “Time Between Us” in the New York Musical Theater Festival and appearing with the band, The Left Banke.  He is on the faculty of the Florentine School, the Music School of Westchester, D Z Strad Violin Shop, and holds a private studio.  He is also the founder and Artistic Director of the chamber music series, Concerts on the Slope.

Mr. Larsen has performed at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Quartet Program, Music@Menlo and Pacific Music Festival. His coaches include members of the Emerson, Tokyo, American and Orion string quartets, as well as Robert Mann, Nicholas Mann, Peter Frankl, Andre Michel Schub, Daniel Epstein, Sylvia Rosenberg and others.  His primary teachers were Eric Dahlin, David Finckel, Julia Lichten and Clive Greensm
ith. As an orchestral musician, he has performed with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, Ensemble 212, the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra and the Union City Philharmonic.  Mr. Larsen holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Manhattan School of Music, where he was the recipient of the Hans and Klara Bauer Scholarship and the 2011 Pablo Casals Award. 
Marius Dicpetris- Piano
Marius Dicpetris spent the first few years of his life in Harvey, Louisiana where he absorbed the vibrant sounds of New Orleans jazz. It was that exposure that led him to his current passion, performing New Orleans style jazz as a vocalist, trombonist, and percussionist. He is also a vibrant composer of contemporary piano music and is set to release his first album in 2018. He currently lives in Manhattan and is the leader of the New Orleans Renaissance Orchestra.
Marius has performed with the following artists:
Chick Corea, Dave Brubeck, Tito Puente, The Manhattan Transfer, The Jive Aces, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Lounge Cat, The Shiny Shoes Band, The Dan Mcmillion Orchestra, Ta Bueno, Danny Aiello, Slide Hampton, Tito Puente Jr.,
In 2016, Marius earned a doctorate in jazz performance from the University of Miami.
Takeshi Asai- Piano

Takeshi Asai a native of Japan, where discipline is the core of education. Mr. Asai was an award-winning manager at IBM, a company where intelligence is the life blood. As an alumni, honor student from Berklee College of Music, Takeshi Asai has gone on to become one of the most prominent jazz pianists in New York City. Frequently he tours Europe and Asia, earning a strong reputation in the international jazz communities.

Takeshi as an educator, hasn't spared his knowledge and experience of being an active performing pianist with his students. As a result, he's yielded many students that are scholarship winners and career oriented, professional musicians. His method is progressively unique, but it's also been time tested throughout his career, that spans more than twelve years in New York. His piano pedagogy has been developed and sustained not only by jazz talents, but also by world-class concert pianists in Boston, New York and Paris. Takeshi is the "great grandson" in Franz Liszt's pupil linage!

In addition to his amazing career as a performer, he is an active composer and producer. His works are used by many singer/songwriters and Broadway theater companies in New York. Also an avid audio engineer, he owns DTC Music Productions, where he's been engaged in numerous music productions. Takeshi Asai is eager to share advanced production/engineering skills and techniques with his students.


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