Professor Of Piano At Azusa Pacific University

Professor Of Piano At Azusa Pacific University

5.0 (4)
1 hire on

About this pro

Former protegee of Leonard Bernstein, Juilliard and Curtis graduate, Steinway Artist, Fulbright Scholar, decades of teaching experience at high school and collegiate levels, internationally-sought performing and master class artist. Originally from Romania, Europe, hence brings international/ cosmopolitan perspective.  Has resided, performed and taught in 5 continents, including London, Paris, Budapest, and in major US centers such as  New York, Chicago, Phildelphia and Los Angeles.  Please see website below for further detail.

I love very much working with more advanced students, I love performing nationally and internationally, and I love working at Azusa Pacific University School of Music.  I find teaching very rewarding, as an "extension" to performing.  I also love working with students from diverse cultures and backgrounds, and with international students;  there is a big international student population at APU, like a microkosmos of Los Angeles.  I focus on both technique and musicianship, always depending on students' particular needs.  I have taught for over 30 years, including a teaching assistanship at Juilliard, as well as piano faculty positions in the Pittsburgh area, at University of Wisconsin, and now at Azusa Pacific Univ. School of Music.

Read more about this pro


Azusa, CA 91702
Email verified
Phone verified

4 Reviews


  • Sarah Schexnayder

    Dr. Eugene is not only a brilliant performer and gifted teacher; he genuinely cares about his students as well. His many strengths as a teacher include: • Big picture perspective • Emphasis on relaxed and efficient technique and body mechanics • Performance opportunities and strategies to practice performing • Friendliness, warmth, and a sense of humor • Ability to demonstrate effectively • Experience in and knowledge of all aspects of the piano world – repertoire, interpretations, auditions, instruments, challenges, collaboration, etc. • Dedication to personal growth and frequent performances of his own I took lessons from Dr. Eugene both privately and through the University of Wisconsin – Platteville. My skills grew hugely throughout that time, thanks to his expertise and guidance. I would highly recommend him as a teacher for dedicated and gifted students who are interested in really growing as pianists and musicians.

  • Ella Caswell

    Dr. Eugene Alcalay is an amazing performer and gifted piano teacher. He is encouraging and challenging. I took privately from Dr. Eugene for a year before I studied with him through the University of Wisconsin Platteville. Being a Steinway artist, Dr. Eugene is a frequent and accomplished performer, but he also has a real talent and love for teaching. He was a great help to my growing in my ability to express musical elements of a piece. He brings out the musician in each student he works with, but his skill in musicality in no way diminishes his technical expertise and knowledge of the mechanics needed for high level playing. He was wonderful in helping me work through tension and playing related stresses during high school, and he is an engaging and motivating teacher. He understands the stresses, challenges, and difficulties of performance and helped teach and prepare me for performances in my senior year of high school as well as throughout my college studies. Dr. Eugene helped me prepare physically and mentally for scholarship competitions, concerto competitions, and other performances which went very well! But perhaps most important, learning piano from Dr. Eugene was fun because he is so encouraging and motivating. He is not only a great teacher, but he is a wonderful person and role model. I recommend him highly for any serious student of the piano.

  • Rianna Caswell

    I first met Dr. Eugene at an international summer music festival in Indiana, and I was immediately impressed. I had been looking for a new teacher for a few months at that point, and so was interested to observe a number of professors at the festival that summer. There were several things that stood out to me at the festival about Dr. Eugene, even compared to the other highly qualified piano teachers, and my years studying with him confirmed my initial impressions. In short, Dr. Eugene is special because of his enthusiasm (for both the music and the student) and because of his expertise (both in performing and perceptively teaching). Dr. Eugene’s love for music is apparent and contagious. He is enthusiastic about performing, teaching and practicing such that it inspires me to be the same. I can remember some weeks where I came to my lesson disliking a piece or just bored with it. However, I invariably left the lesson enthused with the piece, with practicing, and with music in general. One of the things I really like about Dr. Eugene’s teaching is how he focuses on the big picture. He is very perceptive at finding and working on one or two overall concepts, and uses details as examples. My tendency is to get caught up in the little details, and miss the overall “point” to what and why I’m playing. Dr. Eugene helped me get past that and really focus on music-making. While always remaining true to the score indications and composer’s intent, he has bigger and better things to say than to be always just correcting notes, articulation, etc. I don’t need a teacher to tell me, “this note is staccato, make sure you play it that way”. I can do that myself. What I need is a teacher who thinks bigger, is more experienced, and can see and help me see the bigger picture. That’s what I’ve found in Dr. Eugene. We worked on characters, phrases, direction. He encouraged me to “go for it”, and has really helped me be more expressive, soloistic and outgoing. I also grew a lot in technical ability, since Dr. Eugene has excellent technique and can communicate how to do various things in a way that works for me (i.e. fast octaves, repeated notes, trills, sustaining a line when the notes decay, dynamic extremes, etc.). I also appreciate how he stretched me in repertoire choice. His knowledge of the repertoire is extensive, and he helped me play a variety of composers, styles, and time periods so I would be a better-rounded pianist. Even when it was a style I didn’t really like at first (I certainly wouldn’t have picked the piece), we still played it, so I would be exposed to a variety of pieces. He is that rare combination of excellent performer and excellent teacher and his enthusiasm and caring have made a difference in my life as a student.

  • Samir Kafaty

    Dr. Eugene Alcalay was my piano professor for four years. It is during this time that I truly grew and matured as a pianist and as a musician. His lessons were very exciting as he is a passionate, dedicated, and dynamic teacher. He sincerely cares for his students and he always knows how to address any issues one could have regarding musicality or technique. He always knew how to motivate and encourage his students. Besides being a wonderful teacher, he is also an incredible pianist and it was a privilege to be able to attend his recitals which were an additional lesson for all of us to watch him perform and play the most amazing repertoire. Even now, whenever I have any doubts and questions, I will send him an email or a recording of me playing and he will help me. I believe a very important quality Dr. Eugene possesses is that besides being an excellent musician, pianist, and teacher, he is also a ver kind and caring person which becomes a true friend and mentor for many students.


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

Audition the student.  Only accept advanced and high-intermediate students.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

Doctorate in Piano Performance from Juilliard, Steinway Artist and Fulbright Scholar. Please see

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

$100 per hour

How did you get started teaching?

As a teenager in Romania; playing for one another and in studio classes at Juilliard.

What types of students have you worked with?

Advanced high school and college

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Selected a Steinway 9-foot D for APU the other day at the Steinway Factory in New York City

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Have a trial lesson

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Their level of ability and years of experience

Lessons offered