Visiting Assistant Professor of Keyboard Studies
Since beginning his piano studies as a boy, Brooks Hafey has been dazzling audiences with his exceptional musicianship and refined technique. He has performed in many countries outside of the United States including France, Italy, and Norway. In 2003 he performed at Weill Recital Hall in New York City. In addition to performing solo, Mr. Hafey is an active chamber musician, collaborative artist, and conductor. In July of 2008, he made his opera conducting debut in Novafeltria, Italy, with Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. He has since continued his conducting work with small ensembles and a choir. In July 2013, he conducted Suor Angelica in Rimini, Italy. He has also served as Piano Coordinator and Production Manager at La Musica Lirica, a summer festival in the Apennine mountains of Italy. Mr. Hafey’s wide-ranging repertoire includes works of early masters such as Rameau and Couperin to those of today’s composers. An advocate of contemporary piano compositions, Mr. Hafey recently presented a lecture recital of Ghost Variations by contemporary American composer and Grawemeyer Award winner George Tsontakis
Mr. Hafey began his piano studies at an early age after finding on the piano songs he heard his cousin play. While a student in France, he studied at the Conservatoire Municipale de Mennecy under Juan Davila. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his Master’s Degree from Florida State University. He is a DM candidate at Florida State University under the guidance of Dr. Read Gainsford. He has taught at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, FL, and Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska. Mr. Hafey is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Keyboard Studies at Sam Houston State University.
Ilonka Rus-Edery, DMA
Director of Keyboard Studies
Transylvanian born pianist, Dr. Ilonka Rus-Edery distinguishes herself as an artist of unusual versatility. She began her piano studies with her mother at the age of five, in Romania. By the age of ten she gave her first public performance and won her first award at the International Piano Competition “Citta di Marsala” in Italy.
In the fall of 1994, Dr. Rus-Edery moved to America where she was awarded a scholarship to study under Dr. Tamas Ungar at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.
After studies at the Music Academy in Bucharest Romania, the Texas Christian University and Oberlin Conservatory Dr. Rus-Edery entered graduate school at the University of Houston where she was awarded a fullbright scholarship and received her Doctoral of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance with emphasis in Piano Collaborative and Chamber Music with a minor in Organ.
She appeared as a recitalist and concert artist with numerous orchestras and chamber music ensembles throughout Romania, Italy, Spain, Germany, Holland and the United States. She has also served as a collaborative pianist for the Forth Worth Ballet and for the Texas Christian University in Forth Worth.
In the summer of 2008, Dr. Rus-Edery gave her Carnegie Hall recital debut in New York and continues to perform and teach piano solo and chamber music master classes in Colombia and Mexico.
In 2007, along with Rodica Oancea Gonzalez and Mihaela Oancea Frusina, both violonists & members of the Houston Symphony, Dr. Rus-Edery formed a Trio and was invited back for another performance at Carnegie Hall, in New York in 2014.
Dr. Rus-Edery has recently returned from performing several concerts in Colombia. She also recorded a CD with colombian music and taught Master classes at the Bellas Artes University in Medellin.
Dr. Rus-Edery has now settled in Houston and is presently Assistant Professor of Piano and Director of Keyboard Studies at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.