Based in Geneva Switzerland, Violonissimo is a school of violin with an unique philosophy and pedagogy. The school provides violin lessons of all levels, from beginner to pre-professionnal levels, from age 4 and up. based on an inovative pedagogy which emphasizes on the thriving for artistic excellence.
Since its founding in the year 2000, Violonissimo school boasts many success stories, among our brilliant alumni are Camille Berthollet and Julie Berthollet. Every year, many of our students are awarded with prizes in youth music competitions in Switzerland, France and the United States (see Awards)
Violin learning is a passionate quest of artistic excellence.
Our objectif is to fuse the love of music, the love of the instrument with the love for learning, and nurture the innate potential of each individual in an inspiring environment .
From the earliest stages of learning, we aim to develop technique mastery, while cultivating musical intelligence and foster artistic expression of each child. The individuality of each student and his or her aspiration stand in the core of our teaching. We offer a personalized curriculum where students are given the structure they need to excel and the freedom to develop their creativity.
Adhering to the motto "learn to play and play to learn", we provide to our students many performing opportunities throughout the season.
Our unique pedagogical approach integrates principles of the Suzuki Paul Rolland’s methods within a method developed by Hong Anh Shapiro.
HONG ANH SHAPIRO - Artistic director and violin professor
Recognized for her innovative and inspirational pedagogical approach, Hong Anh has taught violin to many young violinists. Her students concertize frequently, many of them have been winners of competitions for young musicians in Europe and the United States. Among the success stories of his former students, count those of Camille and Julie Berthollet.
Hong Anh was a pupil of Mimi Zweig and the famous Italian violinist Franco Gulli. She is a graduate of Indiana University (USA). In this prestigious school, she participated in masterclasses of legendary musicians such as Joseph Gingold, Janos Starker, Menahem Pressler, Rostislav Dubinski. The influence of these great masters profoundly marked his artistic vision and his passion for teaching.
Currently, Hong Anh also serves as professor of violin didactic methodology at the Geneva Haute École de Musique and gives masterclasses as well as pedagogy seminar around the world.
MISHA SHAPIRO - Violin, viola and Chamber music instructor
A passionate musician and dedicated music teacher, Misha is one of the second generation instructors at Violonissimo who successfully trains young violinists. Misha began her violin study at the age of three with Hong Anh Shapiro and continued her viola studies in the United States at Indiana University where she obtained her Bachelor and Master degree, under the direction of Mimi Zweig and Atar Arad.
Misha’s teaching career started when she was still pursuing her study in Indiana University at the age of 20. She has taught the violin to young students in the strings program of Jacob School of Music, and Rudgers University.
Since 2012, Misha serves as violin and viola instructor as well as music arranger and conductor of Violonissimo’s ensemble.
In addition to her chamber music engagements in the United States and Germany, Misha performs regularly with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva.
Every summer since 2013, she directs the Bougy Music Camp in Bougy, Switzerland. Passionate about group pedagogy, Misha is involved in music education projects for underprivileged children in Latin America.
VINCENT FORESTIER - Concert pianist, piano instructor
A graduate of the Aix-en-Provence and Marseille conservatory, Vincent Forestier began the piano with professors Jacques Raynaut and Michel Bourdoncle. At the age of fifteen, he won the first prize at the International Competition for Piano Nights in Aix-en-Provence.
He continues his study with the Argentine pianist Nelson Goerner in the High School of Music of Geneva and obtains his Master's degree in 2015. As a soloist, he has performed with the Moldovan Philharmonic Orchestra in Chisinau and with the Baden-Baden Orchestra in Aix-en-Provence. Passionate about chamber music and accompaniment, jazz and improvisation, Vincent Forestier is an eclectic musician. He plays duet with mezzo-soprano Elsa Barthas and wins several awards in international competitions. He thus obtains the Bolshoi Prize for accompaniment, which will allow him to perform in recital on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.
In addition, Vincent Forestier performs regularly with Camille and Julie Berthollet, former students of Hong Anh Shapiro, in concert or on radio and television
NATHANIEL SHAPIRO - violinist , visiting professor
Born in Geneva, Nathaniel Shapiro began learning violin at the age of 4 with Hong Anh Shapiro. He was then student of Fabrizio Von Arx and Sergei Ostrovksy.
Prize winers of the Swiss Music Competition for Youth, Nathaniel performs in Switzerland, the United States and China. Currently, Nathaniel is pursuing a Ph.D. in "violin performance" under the direction of Professor Kevork Mardirossian at Jacobs School of Music, USA, where he holds the position of assistant instructor.
Three months a year, Nathaniel serves as visiting professor in Violonissimo and gives chamber music lessons at Bougy Music Camp in Bougy, Switzerland.