Abdiel Vazquez, Founder and Chief EXECUTIVE OFFICER
A seasoned concert pianist and orchestral conductor, Abdiel is a Steinway & Sons Educational Partner, President of the World Piano Teachers Association, chapter Mexico, and his recordings with the British label Piano Classics can be heard on all online platforms. He has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Chicago Cultural Center, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Teatro Teresa Carreño in Caracas, Gran Teatro Nacional in Lima, Guildhall in London, the Shanghai Conservatory, among many other venues.
Abdiel's upbringing in the industrial city of Monterrey, Mexico was anything but unusual until he decided to leave his career as an Engineer and focus full time on his instrument, a decision that brought him First Prizes in his country's major piano competitions and a National Youth Award from hands of the President. He then went on to tour the whole world, having won prizes and performed throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia.
Balancing an active concert career with overseeing the daily operations for Little Chopins - including personally vetting and interviewing all mentors - Abdiel still has some spare time to read anything from Shakespeare to Bloomberg Businessweek, and to watch his favorite movies at New York's IFC Center. You can read more about him and watch his performances on his official website.
Elena Smirnova, Founder and ChAIRMAN
Born in Moscow and raised in Boulder, Elena's talent and ambition at the piano carried her on an adventure that included an orchestral debut at 17 years old, summa cum laude and magna cum laude degrees from the University of Colorado and the Manhattan School of Music, a coveted residency in Madrid with legendary pianist and former Juilliard Faculty Oxana Yablonskaya, three performances at Carnegie Hall, and a delightful array of outstanding students in New York City.
But her gifts didn't end at the piano - she danced classical ballet for 16 years, having appeared on stage in productions like The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, and she won a State Championship in Tennis while still in High School.
Today, she is a very successful real estate agent on the number one real estate team in Manhattan - the Eklund|Gomes team at Douglas Elliman - and is a member of the Forbes Real Estate Council. In her free time she enjoys reading, painting, exploring New York's restaurants, and playing with her cats. You can visit her website here.
Little Chopins was founded in 2012 on the principle that all children are born with a potential for artistic expression that needs to be nurtured and brought out from an early age in order to flourish. We have a strong conviction that every family needs to have their kids grow up in a culturally nourishing environment with lessons that are fun and speak to them in a language that is easily understandable in order to capture their attention and give them the confidence to develop their own imagination.
The vision of Little Chopins is to give every child the essential tools and confidence to find their own means of self-expression through music and the arts, improve their memory, language, and reasoning skills, make their minds bursting with creativity, and instill a love for the arts that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
We have also expanded our reach to offer drama lessons, group music classes, group drama classes, and music or drama lessons to adults – all in the comfort of your own home, or a mentor’s studio.
We look forward to having you and your child become part of our program!