Guest Choreographers, Instructors, and Musical Arrangers Bio's
Guest Artist Biographies
Dr. Juraj Adamik, Choreography
A native of Bratislava, Slovakia, Dr. Adamik represented the Slovak Republic in several world championships for dance and won the gold medal in folk and tap dancing arts. He is currently a postdoctoral associate at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.
Adriena Adamikova, Dance Instruction, Costume Creation
Ms. Adamikova danced professionally with Slovak ensemble SL'UK for 25 years, as well as in Austria for 10 years with the Vienna Ballet Theatre's operetta projects. She is also a costume designer for professional theaters throughout Slovakia.
Srbislav Cvetković, Choreography
Born in Belgrade, Serbia, Srbislav became a prominent dancer in the professional dance ensemble "Frula." He danced with numerous companies and continues to teach and choreograph traditional folk dances throughout the United States.
Verica Cvetković, Vocal Instruction
Over the course of her still burgeoning career Verica has amassed significant credits both internationally and in the US, performing in venues such as Belgrade Opera House, Brooklyn Music Hall, Kresge Music Hall and others. After earning her Master's degree in Vocal Performance at Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, Verica moved to Pittsburgh where she continues to give vocal instruction in both classical and ethno singing.
Dr. Warren Davidson, Music Instruction
Active as a violin soloist, orchestra concertmaster, and conductor, Dr. Davidson is also a teacher. Following undergraduate study at Duquesne University, he ultimately earned the Doctor of Musical Arts at West Virginia University. He serves on the faculty at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.
Željko Jergan, Choreography
A native of Varaždin, Croatia, Mr. Jergan was a leading performer with the Croatian National Folk Ensemble LADO as well as the Zagreb National Ballet. For the past 26 years, he has made significant contributions to the American and Canadian Croatian folklore communities as an artistic consultant and choreographer, and promotes Croatian folk dance and culture through workshops in the U.S and abroad. In support of his artistic work, he has received two full fellowship grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
Julia Knihnicky, Choreography
Ms. Knihnicky attended Duquesne University as a four-year Tamburitzans performer and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Master of Science in Secondary Education. She began her dancing and teaching career with the School of Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and became a member of its performing ensemble. Julia has choreographed and taught dance in Pittsburgh during the past five years, including youth folk ensembles as the Junior Tamburitzans of Duquesne and Golden Triangle Junior Tamburitzans.
Kalman Magyar, Choreography, Music Arrangement
Mr. Magyar is widely regarded as one of the foremost experts in Hungarian and Transylvanian folk music and dance in North America. A 1995 graduate of the Tamburitzans and classically trained at the Manhattan School of Music, he continues to perform and teach throughout the continent while residing with his wife and three children in Toronto, Canada.
Vladimir Riazantsev, Choreography
Mr. Riazantsev is the recipient of one of his country's most prestigious awards, Honored Artist of the Russian Federation. He trained in traditional music at Lipitzk College and in dance with the Moiseyev Dance Company, touring as a soloist. Mr. Riazantsev is presently a principal artist and guest choreographer with Ballet Russe of San Francisco and the national tour of The Russian Collection.
Mark Spisić, Music Arrangement
Mr. Spisić received a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Duquesne University and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario. He is currently a music teacher at St. Aloysius Gonzaga High School in Mississauga, Ontario where he directs concert bands, choirs and guitar ensembles. Mr. Spisić also works as a freelance musician, musical arranger and clinician.
Beth Stafura, Choreography
An accomplished dancer, Ms. Stafura has extensive training in folk and classical dance and now promotes dance to a new generation of students. Beth has worked closely with symphony conductor, Dr. Charles Evans, merging classical music with folk dance in three performances titled "World of Dance." Beth is currently a tap instructor/choreographer at Steel City Academy of Dance, as well as dance instructor for several folk ensembles.
Mark Stafura, Music Arrangement
Mr. Stafura has arranged musical and dance selections for the Tamburitzans since 2003. He graduated from the ensemble in 2005 and became a featured, solo accordionist at Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan. Mr. Stafura was awarded the 2012 Lou Cavic Founder's Award by the Tamburitza Association of America, presented each year to a young person devoted to the preservation of tamburitza music and the Slavic culture. He currently performs with numerous groups throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Paul G. Stafura, Jr., Music Arrangement
Mr. Stafura has studied folk and classical music since age 6 and was awarded a prestigious position with the Duquesne University Tamburitzans in 1995 as a featured musician, orchestra leader and composer/arranger. His unique and "second-nature" ability to play the accordion was instilled by his study with masters Mario Mosti, Aleksandar “Saša Slavković, Vuk Kandić and Vladeta "Bata Kanda" Kandić - all synonymous with professionalism.
Susan M. Stafura, Music Arrangement
Ms. Stafura has arranged and taught for the Tamburitzans since 1983. She received both bachelor's and master's degrees in music from Duquesne University, and post-graduate credits in voice. Ms. Stafura extends her folklore knowledge and education by researching and managing the Tamburitzans' costume resources.
Bilyana Stoyanova, Choreography
Graduate of the National School of Dance Art in Bulgaria, with diploma qualification Actor Dancer-Pedagogue, Ms. Stoyanova was awarded the prestigious "Kiril Haralampiev" scholarship for excellent academics and high achievements in mastering the art of dance. She also attended the Academy of Musical and Dance Art in Plovdiv. Bilyana has prepared choreographies, staged works, translations and costumes for the Tamburitzans since 2004. She is currently an active member of Folk Factory and is the Artistic Director for the Bulgarian folkdance ensemble "Otets Paisii" in Pittsburgh.
Nikola Vranesevic, Music Arrangement
Mr. Vranesevic graduated from Duquesne University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education. While in the Tamburitzans, he was primarily a musician playing a variety instruments. Mr. Vranesevic is the music director of the Junior Tamburitzans of Duquesne and performs with TS Ponoć and Orkestar Pobeda.
Alexander Cartwright, Music Arrangement
Eho apopse randevou/Aseme prota na xehaso (Greece); Polisjki Tantsi (Ukraine)
Vase Mitev, Mitko Nikolov, Boban Petrović, Dance
Shopska Petorka (Macedonia)
Benjamin Wagner, Music