Carlos Gardels, Master Class Chair is pleased to announce the dates and master teachers for two exciting piano master classes, both of which will take place at Steinway Piano Gallery in Pasadena. Carlos thanks Dr. Janet Colburn for her assistance in securing these outstanding master teachers.

• Sunday, October 15, 2023 at 2.00 PM – Dr. Sarkis Baltaian from Pasadena Conservatory of Music
• Sunday March 10, 2024 at 2:00PM – Mr. Fabio Bidini from the Colburn School (Cancelled)


This event will be free to observe, and $70 to participate. Should you have a student wishing to be considered, please e-mail to Carlos Gardels, with the following information:
1.) Name and age of student 
2.) Repertoire they want to perform
3.) YouTube link (or other video) of them playing (This does not need to be the same piece they will play in the class).
We will have 3 performers. Students will be selected on their performance level, and if there are equal performance levels – on a first come first serve basis. Age, repertoire, and level may also be taken into consideration when selecting the performers, since we want to have enough variety for a successful and engaging class.


Carlos Gardels, Chair


Past Events

Master Class with Sarkis Baltaian

On Sunday, October 15, 2023 acclaimed pianist and teacher Sarkis Baltaian, in coordination with Branch Master Class Chair Carlos Gardels, presented a three-hour Master Class at Steinway Pasadena featuring four outstanding young artists whose teachers are members of our Branch. The audience was captivated by the excellent performances of piano masterworks including Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata, Mozart’s Sonata K. 332, Chopin’s “Raindrop” Prelude, and the complex, virtuoso “Variations Serieuses” by Mendelssohn. Performers included Alvin Wong, age 17 (Beethoven), student of Michelle Jo Santoso; Brendan Chew, age 13 (Chopin), student of Carlos Gardels; Cole Thomerson, age 17 (Mozart), student of Kevin Fitz-Gerald; and Ennie Harlan, age 17 (Mendelssohn), student of Bernadine Blaha.

Dr. Baltaian’s insightful and detailed examinations of each piece and performance was trulymasterful, with impressive keyboard demonstrations of phrases and passages, detailed remarks on rhythm, phrasing, dynamics, tonal colors and pedaling, and interesting overviews putting the solos in the context of each composer’s output and stylistic characteristics. The performers and the audience all gained valuable insights and useful suggestions for study, practice and performance.

Dr. Janet Colburn