Pianist and Harpsichordist
Founder, Director, CEO at Malta Piano Academy
Founder, Director, CEO at Malta International Piano Festival
Milica Lawrence completed her piano and harpsichord studies at the Faculty of Music Arts in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia. Here, Milica specialized in chamber music and received her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree (DMA) at the same Faculty. She attended piano and harpsichord masterclasses with many distinguished Serbian and international artists such as Sergei Dorensky, JegorChugaev, Pavel Nersessian, Huguette Dreyfus, Egon Mihajlovic, Olivera Djurdjevic, Yuri Kot, Maria Luisa Baldassari, etc. Milica has won numerous prizes for solo and ensemble performances at domestic and international competitions. She has also held a great number of solo recitals and chamber music concerts both in the country and abroad (Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, Montenegro, Macedonia, Libya, etc.). Notably, her recital at the Italian Cultural Centre in Tripoli is noted as the first concert by a Serbian pianist in Africa. She has participated in reviews of modern classical music as well as in festivals BEMUS, OKTOH, Cello Fest, Basomanija, and many more. Milica has taken part as an orchestra member in the Faculty of Music Arts Orchestra in Belgrade, and as a guest member in the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, Dusan Skovran String Orchestra, Schlesinger Orchestra, Mokranjac Chamber Orchestra, Zemun Chamber Orchestra. Throughout her career she has collaborated with many renowned artists - Sreten Krstic, Uros Lajovic, Dmitry and Alexander Sitkovetsky, Charles Zachary Bornstein, Milos Petrović. With the Chamber Orchestra Mokranjac, the FILUM Orchestra, and the Schlesinger Orchestra Milica performed as a soloist. She has also recorded for radio and TV. At the First International Competition Beogradski Pobednik in 2005, she was the only pianist who received recognition by the Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Serbia and Montenegro for special artistic participation - 'Ruski dom u Beogradu'. Milica has worked for fifteen years as an independent artistic collaborator at the String Department at the Faculty of Philology and Arts in Kragujevac, Serbia. ln 2019 she becomes resident of Malta and opens Malta Piano Academy in Mosta and Gozo while maintaining an actlve soloist career at the same time. From 2019 to 2022 she also worked at Mikiel Anton Vassalli College as a piano teacher and accompanist. ln August 2022. Milica organised the first ever Malta International Piano Festival held in Gozo. She is currently working on her very first digital and printed magazine "maltesepianist.mt".
Assistant Piano Professor
Kellyann Spiteri is a pianist and accompanist. She started playing the piano at age 9 and completed the performance grades within four years.
She then proceeded to read for the London College of Music's Diploma, Dip. LCM, with Distinction in 2021. At age 14, she read for the London College of Music Associate Diploma, ALCM, being awarded full marks. Kellyann attended the Malta Visual and Performing Arts school where her major was Music, while also attending the Malta School of Music. In 2023, she was supported by Arts Council Malta to study at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester, UK, as well as being selected by the Malta School of Music to go on an Erasmus exchange in Wales. Kellyann has performed locally and abroad in prestigious venues, including the Manoel Theatre and The Stoller Hall, and in various events, such as the Victoria International Arts Festival, the Malta Spring Festival, and the Toi Toi Youth Talent Gala, among others. She also won prizes in numerous competitions, including New Names Malta, the Malta International Piano Competition, Charles Camilleri National Music Competition, the Valletta International Piano Competition, the Malta International Music Competition, and the Maltese Islands Festival, to mention a few. Besides studying to further her career in musicianship and being the Malta Youth Orchestra's pianist, Kellyann also teaches at the Malta Piano Academy.
Assistant Piano Professor
Christine Muscat was born in Malta on the 28th of June 2006. She started her piano studies at the age of 10 and is currently being tutored by Ms. Irina Fedcenko Carbonaro (Masters in Piano Pedagogy and Art of Performance). At the age of 14, Christine obtained a high distinction in the Grade 8 practical examination of the Trinity College of Music London. During these years, Christine has participated in various piano concerts and competitions both in Malta and abroad. She was a second prize winner in the Charles Camilleri National Music Festival in 2018, first prize winner in the Maltese Islands Festival 2018 solo piano category, first prize winner in chamber music category of the Maltese Islands Festival 2019, first prize winner in the Gozo International Piano Competition 2022, second prize winner in the Citta’ di Minerbio Piano Competition 2022 in Italy, first prize winner in the 1st Tomas Juzeliūnas contemporary piano music competition 2023 in Lithuania, was invited to perform her own composition in the prestigious Vilnius Town Hall and was awarded a special prize for the best own composition which was then published in a book. She has also participated in various online international competitions during the pandemic, organised in Malta, Russia, Italy, England, Lithuania, and Ukraine, where she obtained very high ratings.
Assistant Piano Professor
Ilaria Debono was born on the 8th of March, 2008. She started attending piano lessons at the age of 6 and never stopped since then.
She completed her theory of music and performance grade exams and is currently reading for the ATCL Piano Diploma and tutored by Mr Francis Camilleri. Ilaria took part in various local piano concerts, including 2 Trinity College of London concerts. In 2022 she was also part of the Malta International Piano Festival competition, in which she was a second prize winner. She has also attended a masterclass led by Ms Corrina Simon in 2022. She is an active member of the Gozo Youth Orchestra as a pianist, and takes part in numerous concerts both in Gozo and Malta.
In September 2023 Ilaria was part of an Erasmus exchange with this orchestra and performed with the Gozo Youth Orchestra under the direction of Mro Joseph Grech and the Eurode Jugendorchester under the direction of Mro Martin Eibach. Ilaria is looking forward to this new venture as a Piano Teacher with the Malta Piano Academy to share her love and passion for music and piano with her students.
Dejana Denda was born in Belgrade in 1969. In the early childhood she discovered her passion for piano, music and ballet. She completed primary music education in the Music School ‘’Kosta Manojlović" in Zemun, (Serbia), in the class of Prof. Blagorodna Radak, and graduated secondary music school in the same school in 1987, in the class of Prof. Vojin Milanović. She had a lot of solo concerts and performances as a pianist. Since then she was working as a piano teacher. Also, she was the soprano of the best Serbian Choir “Ivo Lola RibarRibar’’ from Belgrade, Serbia, for 10 years.
Piano, and Solfeggio & Theory Professor
Slavica Stojanova Azzopardi was born in Republic of North Macedonia in 1990. She comes from a musically talented family. In the very early childhood she found herself in the world of music. Slavica started her primary music education at the music school “Stevan Mokranjac” in her hometown Kocani in the class of Mr. Marija Lazarova, learning piano. She later continued her studies at the Secondary music high school “Sergej Mihajlov” in the city of Shtip and graduated in singing and music theory in the class of Prof. Olga Panajotova. She continued her studies at the Academy of Music Arts, graduating in music theory and pedagogy. After that she studied jazz piano for two more years in the class of the famous Professor Vasil Hadzimanov. During her carier, she has participated in many piano, choir and singing competitions. She also collaborated with many professional soloists and had concerts troughout Macedonia. Before she left Macedonia and moved to Malta she was piano teacher at the primary music school where she started her studies. From August 2023 Slavica is regular piano professor at Malta Piano Academy.
Solfeggio & Theory Professor
Sandra Cupic was born in 1994. She graduated in 2017 with Honors from the Music Academy in Nis, Serbia. Her main studies included Music Pedagogy, Harmony with Harmonic analysis, Piano, Music theory, and Solfeggio. During her studies, she was privileged to be the Ambassador of Culture in Serbia. She has a gift and love for teaching, passing on her passion for music to her students and tailoring their lessons to meet their needs and goals. Her teaching approach is tailored to suit each student's individual needs. Sandra is regularly invited to adjudicate at numerous International Festivals in Finland, Italy, North Macedonia, Spain, Serbia, Germany, Japan, Sydney, Cyprus, etc. She is also one of the Rock School and Trinity College London certified Vocal instructor based in Malta. Her students are winners of many local and international competitions. Currently, she works from her own studio MusicLand mentoring several upcoming vocal artists.
Solfeggio & Theory Professor
Manoel Pirotta DNESM (Lyon) [M.A.] Dip CNR (Lyon) [B.A. (Hons.)] Hon VCM LFIBA CT, FVCM (Hons.) FTCL FLCM FNCM LTCL
LMusLCM LMusTCL (Comp.) Ċert. (Qarrej tal-Provi) [Melit.] graduated in pedagogy and composition from the CNSMD(Lyon, 1994). Senior lecturer (University of Maltea ‘Ġ.F. Abela’ Junior College). Nominated International Musician of the Year for his outstanding musical achievements (IBC Cambridge, 2003). Awarded the Grand Prix des Arts for music composition and conducting (8 th Malta International Art Biennale, 2007). Conducted the Catholic Institute Youth Orchestra (1987-9), Maltese Youth Orchestra (1994-6), and The Euro Academy Youth Orchestra (2002-8). Musical director of the College Orchestra since 1998. Works played in Belgium, Dubai (during the first round of the second edition of the Classic Piano International competition organized by the EUFSC in collaboration with the Dubai SAMIT Event Group), England, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Serbia and Spain; included in piano anthologies: Kinder Garden; A Musical Tribute to Mozart from Malta;
Contemporary Piano (VCM, London); Piano Music from Malta [Murray MacLachlan] (CD). A regular adjudicator on inter/national music competitions. As a certified proof reader, he is also the author of a large number of articles/studies in the Maltese language: (OAR@UoM
( https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar/ )
Solfeggio & Theory Professor
Michael Pirotta started his musical career during his teenage years at the Peace Band Club of Naxxar. He joined the band back in 1985 and furthered his clarinet studies privately with the renowned Maltese virtuoso Freddie Mizzi. Under Mizzi’s tuition he obtained various diplomas,
including a Fellow from the London College and a Licentiate from the Trinity College. During the same time Michael Pirotta won “Musician of the Year” award twice in 1996 and 1998 in a local competition organised by the Society of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce. This enabled him to further his studies abroad at the London College of Music with Linda Merrick and David Campbell. Back in Malta, Pirotta started to teach clarinet at the “Johann Strauss” School of Music in Valletta and joined on various occasions the Malta National Orchestra. He had the opportunity to play with the Orchestra as a soloist and also joined a newly founded clarinet quartet under the supervision of the late Ronnie De Battista. “The Valette” clarinet quartet was very active locally and travelled to Germany back in 2000 to deliver numerous concerts. Michael participated regularly as a soloist in the “Malta Cultural Institute” and other established venues promoting works penned by Maltese composers like Carmelo Pace, Charles Camilleri, and Joseph Vella. Pirotta’s clarinet career spans over three decades in which he met various international figures and till today he is active in chamber music and teaches woodwind at the Leone Philharmonic Band in Victoria, Gozo. Pirotta is also establishing himself as a budding composer under the supervision of the prolific Maltese composer Ray Sciberras, under whose guidance he obtained an A Mus TCL in 2021 and an LLCM in composition in 2023. Recently, Michael also studied at the University of Malta under the guidance of numerous professors, namely Professor Michael Laus. Professor Laus’ enthusiasm for the piano influenced Pirotta to give birth to‘Constellations’. Michael Pirotta is weaving his clarinet career with that of composition and up to this date he is the author of various other chamber works, including an elaborate clarinet quartet and various other pieces for wind band. This year, Michael’s solo trumpet work and wind band under the name of ‘Due Amici’ is much in vogue. Occasionally Michael has consultation lessons with Geoffrey Thomas and in the coming months he will be having a new experience as a Maestro di Capella in a modest chapel.
Violinist, Guest Professor
In 2017 Eric Bugeja graduated with a B.A (Hons) in violin performance from the University of Malta under the direction of Ms. Natalia Filipenko, Mr. Mario Bisazza, and Prof. Michael Laus. Following the degree he have studied privately under the direction of Prof. Remus Azoitei (Royal Academy of Music), Mr. Carmine Lauri (Co-Leader @ London Symphony Orchestra) and Ms. Agnieska Kuzma. Throughout the past years he have participated in violin masterclasses conducted by: Prof. Pierre Amoyal, Prof. Gottfried Schneider, Prof. Adrian Butterfield, Mr. Yuri Zhislin, Prof. David Watkin. Eric Bugeja participated with the Bisyoc Intercultural Youth Orchestra in 2016, this summer course was held in Ludlow, Moor Park, and am currently leading the St Paul Metropolitan Orchestra in Malta. Other ensembles and orchestras which he performed with include the Malta Youth Orchestra and Collegium Musicum Orchestra Malta. During the past two years he has been appointed as a violin tutor in the following musical institutions: Malta School of Music, Malta Visual and Performing Arts School, Gozo Visual and Performing Arts School, Malta Society of arts, Malta Piano Academy and he is also a visiting tutor at the Limerick School of Music and Galway Youth Orchestra.