New Offering: Baroque Music Programs

September 26th, 2017

Summer Guest Artist Concert

June 29th, 2017


February 24th, 2017

1.) Summer Camp 2017 Announced (click to get more information)

2.) Free Piano Concert Featuring Marianna Prjevalskaya (piano artist in residence) on Tuesday, April 18th (click here to get more information)

3.) Tickets To The Kimmel Center Concert of Young Classical Virtuosos of Tomorrow Competition in Memory of Nelly Berman Now on Sale! (click here to get tickets) (read more below).


Nelly Berman came to the United States from the Soviet Union, where serious study of music was free to talented and hard-working students. This study in regular music schools, not professional schools, consisted of two, one-hour lessons or more per week, as well as chamber music, music history, and other music subjects.  Additionally, students were required to compete 3 times a year in front of a jury for the opportunity to continue to receive free education. They had to play scales and arpeggios, as well as a piece from each of the following Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods. 

When Nelly came to the United States, she combined the best of the Russian tradition of music education with the American philosophy of education being more inclusive. Nelly’s philosophy was not specifically to train professional musicians unless they wanted it more than anything. She passionately wanted to help those children who love music to play on a professional level, regardless of their future professions. Nelly worked tirelessly to raise money for the Nelly Berman School of Music Classical Music Institute (NBSCMI), a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit, which continues to enrich the lives of so many children, even after her passing. The “Young Classical Virtuosos of Tomorrow” competition was her creation. The Nelly Berman School revived the competition this year in Nelly’s memory, and it is now hailed as “one of the top on the east coast” by the judges.
Support Nelly’s vision of musical excellence for our children by donating to the NBSCMI, which is sponsoring this competition. Become a philanthropic friend in memory of Nelly and celebrate her life dedicated to empowering all children through the beauty of music.
You can donate by check at:
Young Classical Virtuosos of Tomorrow
C/O Nelly Berman School of Music
461 W Lancaster Ave
Haverford, PA 19041

Tickets for all locations except Kimmel Center available by e-mailing or calling 610-896-5105

Tickets for the Kimmel Center available from April 1st, 2017 at


Concerts at West Chester University Madeline Adler Theater on March 19th at 10:00 AM, 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM

$15 general admission (tickets at the door)


Concert at Radnor Middle School in Wayne, PA on Sunday, March 26th at 3:00 PM

$15 suggested donation (donation at the door)


Concerts at St. Luke, Bryn Mawr on Saturday, April 22nd, and Saturday, April 29th at 6:00 PM

$15 general admission (tickets at the door)


Concerts at the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center on Sunday, June 18th at 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM

$25 general admission (tickets available at after April 1, 2017)

Below are some contestant videos of student winners who will perform at the Kimmel Center


Pictures From The First Round of Young Classical Virtuosos of Tomorrow

October 22nd, 2016

Auditions will be held on Sunday, January 22nd, and results will be e-mailed out shortly after.

Map, Directions, Local Restaurants and Parking Information| Audition Schedule

Preserve Nelly Berman’s legacy by making a tax deductible donation to the nonprofit NBS Classical Music Institute, which is presenting “The Young Classical Virtuosos of Tomorrow.”

Please direct all questions to

Over $12,000 in prizes and concerts at the Kimmel Center, West Chester University, and more!

Listen to us as advertised on “A Musical Life” with host, Hugh Sung who served on the faculty of The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia for 19 years as its Director of Student Recitals and Instrumental Accompaniment and has worked extensively with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony.

Our distinguished panel of judges will include (read more in depth by watching the YouTube video above):



Dr. Timothy Blair

Dr. Timothy Blair (piano)Founding Dean of the newly formed College of Arts and Humanities at West Chester where he is also a Professor of Piano.


Faina Lushtak

Faina Lushtak (piano) – Chair of the Piano Department at Tulane University and judge at many international competitions, including the Gina Bachauer and Cleveland International Piano Competitions


Marianna Prjevalskaya


Marianna Prjevalskaya (piano) – Gold medalist at over 20 international piano competitions, including the World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, OH, and judge at the New Orleans International Piano Competition

Dr. Irina Yurkovskaya– pianist, vocalist, and pedagogue with an international performing and teaching career. Owner of the Perfect Pitch Music Studio in Springfield, VA.

Jack Moore – Conductor, Ambler Symphony and WRTI Classical Radio Host.

Yelena Masotti – Former president of the New Jersey Music Teacher’s National Association.

Dr. Irina Yurkovskaya

Dr. Irina Yurkovskaya







Jack Moore


David Geber (strings/chamber)– Dean of Instrumental Performance at Manhattan School of Music.  Renowned Cello Soloist, Chamber Music and Pedagogue.

Eduard Schmieder (strings/chamber) – Head of the Violin Department at Temple University — Conductor of iPalpiti Festival Orchestra in Los Angeles

Paul Arnold (strings/chamber) – Violinist with Philadelphia Orchestra

Ovidiu Marinescu (strings/chamber) – International cello soloist/chamber musician and faculty at West Chester University

Sylvia Ahramjian (strings) – International violinist/chamber musician and retired West Chester University Faculty.


Ovidiu Marinescu

Ovidiu Marinescu

Sylvia Ahramjian

Sylvia Ahramjian


Eduard Schmeider

David Geber

David Geber


Paul Arnold

Paul Arnold




Julian Milkis

Julian Milkis

Julian Milkis (winds) – International clarinet soloist recently featured by UNESCO, and the only student of Benny Goodman.

Ethan Bensdorf, photographed by Chris Lee, 6/17/08.

Ethan Bensdorf, photographed by Chris Lee, 6/17/08.

Ethan Bensdorf (brass) — 2nd Trumpet at the New York Philharmonic and trumpet faculty at the Manhattan School of Music.

David Blumberg

David Blumberg

David Blumberg (winds) — International clarinetist and pedagogue.

Dr. Daniel Cherry

Dr. Daniel Cherry

Dr. Daniel Cherry (brass) ­– Orchestral, solo and chamber Trombonist. Faculty at West Chester University.




Jen Creed

Jen Creed

Jen Creed (voice)– board of directors for the Vocal Institute.

Maria Russo (voice) – Winner of the ARD Competition in 1984.  International Operatic Soprano.

Maria Russo

Maria Russo





Mission: The NBS Classical Music Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to promote serious classical music concerts and competitions in the Philadelphia area, will be presenting “Young Classical Virtuosos of Tomorrow,” a national competition as a memorial to its founder, Nelly Berman.  It will draw students from across the nation, and winners at various levels will be performing in concerts at Radnor Middle School, West Chester University, and the Kimmel Center; over $10,000 in prizes will be awarded.  The jury will be members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and New York Philharmonic, international performing artists, and faculty from West Chester, Manhattan School of Music,  Temple, Tulane, Long Island Universities, and the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University.

We need young classical music performers now more than ever. Just like when the 23 year old American pianist Van Cliburn went to Moscow in the ’60’s to win first prize at the monumental Tchaikovsky piano competition and with his passionate playing helped thaw the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the US — young musicians of the tumultuous and pivotal years 2016-2017 can help shape international debate with high ideals for future generations through their likewise memorable performance.

The Nelly Berman Memorial “Classical Music Young Virtuosos of Tomorrow” competition, established in 2010, sees its important national place as a cultural emissary for the transformative power of classical music.  It provides a platform for young musicians to reach the hearts of old and young alike with their playing and, through classical music, illuminate the highest human virtues.

Nelly Berman’s whole life exemplified her belief in the transformative power of classical music and her visionary ideas of music education. As an emigrant from Odessa, USSR in 1976 Nelly came to the US with only $17 to her name and two children.  She struggled with congenital heart disease since the age of 3 but went on to bring the Russian method of teaching to thousands of children in the US, where she founded the Nelly Berman School of Music. In 1995, Nelly wanted to further classical music in the US, and she founded the nonprofit NBS Classical Music Institute, with a mission to provide merit based scholarships to students as well as to bring high level classical music concerts to the community. In 2010, she wanted to reach even more children around the nation, and she founded the “Young Classical Virtuosos of Tomorrow,” which brought over 300 students from across the United States to the greater Philadelphia area.

This year’s revival of the “Young Classical Virtuosos of Tomorrow” as the Nelly Berman Memorial Competition will honor and institutionalize her visionary work in music education.  It will also provide a philanthropic means of recognizing her lifelong struggle with heart disease.  The competition will draw hundreds of students from across the United States and provide several concerts by extraordinary young musicians to the Greater Philadelphia Community while giving a direct opportunity for young musicians to make a difference in the lives of others. The top 15 students in the Platinum division will be chosen to play at a large fundraising event for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where their playing can make a difference to the lives of many sick children with heart disease.

Here is a video of the competition in 2010, then called “Young Classical Music Idol.”  The name and the structure have since changed but we have the same goals.

Nelly Berman, illustrious and charismatic founder of the Nelly Berman School of Music, passed away on August 31, 2015

September 2nd, 2015


Nelly Point.JPG

Her funeral will take place at Goldsteins, Rosenberg, Raphael Sacks, 6410 N. Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19126 on Friday, September 4 at 10:30 AM.  Family viewing at 9:30 AM.  For directions visit Goldstein’s website for the Philadelphia Funeral Home location.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Nelly’s foundation, her legacy to past and future generations of young musicians:

NBS Classical Music Institute

461 W. Lancaster Ave.

Haverford, PA 19041

Click here to make your donation directly to the NBS Classical Music .


Nelly Berman, a Russian-Jewish pianist from Odessa, Soviet Union, created a premier classical music school in Haverford on the Main Line, which has trained some of Philadelphia’s top young musicians and provided scholarships for their serious studies, died Monday night. She was 77 years old.

During the 35 years her school existed she touched the lives of many generations of young people through music, inspired them to reach beyond and above their comfort level and to seek beauty, depth of emotions and perfection in music performance.

Despite suffering a stroke in 2011, she continued teaching and molding young talented students, passing to them her immeasurable technical performance skills and profound love of classical music.  Four days before her death, she applauded her students at a concert at the Nelly Berman School of Music and taught her last student the day before her death following serious heart surgery.  She said to her daughter “If I get better after this surgery, I am planning to start teaching more talented children who are serious about music.” As she was driving to the hospital for the surgery, she was discussing the pieces her students will learn during the interim of her recuperation.

The story of her emigration from the former Soviet Union and subsequent integration into the American society reads almost like a fairy tale. Being an immigrant, her life was full of hardship. It was extraordinary that she was able to overcome the staggering pitfalls in her path, as well as to become a trailblazer for many who came to her for help. She became a great mentor, friend and supporter to the students and the teachers at the school. Their lives were forever enriched by this talented, intuitive, fiery, optimistic, generous, and inspiring woman.

The values she had sought in all of the Nelly Berman School students were great beauty of sound, tenderness, passion, and in her ability to touch all hearts through music. She sought and persevered with all of her being to realize her vision for the creation of a non profit corporation, the NBS Classical Music Institute, which awards talented students scholarships to realize their potential in music performance.

Nelly Berman has been a passionately devoted mother, wife and a friend. She is survived by her husband, David Lefkovitz, children, her daughter Elena Berman-Gantard, and her son Dmitry Berman.  She is beloved and mourned by her grandchildren Emma, Armand and Jacob, her niece Faina Lushtak, her cousins Emma and Mara and their spouses, her Russian childhood friends Rachel, Bella, Vladik, Luda, Mila, and her American friends Andrea, Elaine and Marina, and many more dear relatives, friends, students and colleagues. The family thanks all their friends and relatives for their support and love.

Our alumna, Anna Claire Lynn-Palevsky, has expressed these thoughts for us all.

I can’t imagine my life without the Nelly Berman School of Music, and I can’t imagine a world without Nelly in it. She had the most incredible gift for turning children into musicians through her passion for teaching, the joy she found and shared in music, and most of all, her constant faith in every single student who walked through her doors. The things I learned in her music school have shaped every aspect of my life. Thank you for all the love and trust you always showed me, Nelly. It’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given.

For more information please contact Nelly’s daughter, Elena, at