Meet the Violin Garden Summer Academy Team!



The Heart of our Violin Garden Summer Academy Vienna is our Team!
Our Suzuki certified teachers provide wonderful group classes in the Palace, along with highly accomplished piano accompanists, playful outdoor activity teachers and a leadership development specialist for the parent workshops!

Our violin teachers have all had a life long journey with music and the violin and bring a multitude of different experiences and views into the world of music. Our love for music and trust in a bright future is what brings us together for your children!

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Anna Lea









Anna Lea Stefánsdóttir

Artistic Director and Violin Teacher

Anna Lea is the founder and Artistic Director of the Violin Garden Summer Academy Vienna. She believes that learning the art of violin playing is one of the best tools a child can get for neural, emotional, and personal development.

She believes that learning the language of music, the universal language of emotion, is something all children should have access to. Thus, teaching children and helping parents to facilitate the best environment for optimal growth is one of Anna Lea´s main focus points in life.

The violin has been the guiding light of Anna Lea´s personal development. Her desire to fulfil her potential as a violinist and teacher taught her life long lessons about approaching the violin holistically, and in the process she adopted a variety of cross-over activities as integral parts of her violin practice. Health and nutrition, different kinds of Yoga and Meditation all play a key role in her continuing development as a violinist, a teacher, mother and woman.

Three words that describe her: mindful, whole-hearted and present

Her group classes are: focused, demanding and playful

Anna Lea was born in Reykjavik, Iceland. At the age of six she moved to Sweden where she began taking violin lessons through the Suzuki method. Once back in Iceland, she continued her studies with Anna Podhajska, now a renowned Suzuki Teacher Trainer and pioneer in Poland. In 1997 her musical journey brought her to Vienna where she studied at the Vienna Conservatory of Music with Prof. Timon Hornig and Prof. Werner Hink (Concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic) and graduated in 2005 with a Solo Performance Degree and a Pedagogy Degree. Other teachers she has studied with include Szymon Kuran (former Concertmaster of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra), Prof. Arkadi Winokurow (Bruckner Conservatory in Linz) and the Altenberg Trio. She has been working as a free-lance violinist for over 20 years, playing with various orchestras and chamber groups in Vienna and abroad. She also co-founded the multi-media initiative “Talespin-musical tales for big and small” ( a production aimed for the entire family.
In 2018 she designed and organized a Suzuki camp in Schloss Laudon together with her colleague Gustav Krachler, the pilot project for the Violin Garden Summer Academy.
She is a ESA certified Suzuki teacher and has been teaching children and adults for nearly two decades and is a board member of the Austrian Suzuki Institute of Music ( She has two daughters with whom she is grateful to be able to share the practice of violin every day for the last six years.

Gustav Krachler

Violin Teacher and Coordinator

Gustav is the coordinator of the Violin Garden Summer Academy. Teaching is his passion and it is very important for him to convey the joy of music and art, so that the violin and the language of music become an integral part of the children’s life. He is particularly responsive to the personality of his students so that they enjoy learning important musical and technical contents playfully and with creativity.

Three words that describe him: funny, very accurate, open-minded

His group classes are: Playful, collaborative, challenging

Gustav Krachler was born in Vienna. He came into contact with music at a very early stage through his grandfather who was a first violinist at the Wiener Symphoniker Orchestra. His grandfather then became his first violin teacher.
When he was 15 years old, he passed the entrance exam to the Conservatory of Vienna to study i.a. with Prof. Florian Zwiauer (principal concertmaster of the Wiener Symphoniker).
His fascination with the precision and stability of the famous Russian Violin
School, brought him to continue his studies with Prof. Arkadij Winokurow at the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz, where he completed his Master of Arts with unanimous distinction.
Following the family tradition, he played in various ensembles and orchestras such as the Ambassade Orchester Wien, the Brucknerorchester Linz, the
Tonkünstlerorchester Niederösterreich and the Niederbayerische Philharmonie.
During his studies, he was the concertmaster of the Orchestra of the Anton Bruckner Private University. Chamber music plays another important role in his life. He played concerts in various combinations („Godard Klaviertrio“, „Stratus Quartett“, Duo Cello-Violin i.a.) in Europe and Japan. With his quartet, he attended public workshops with Franz Welser-Möst und Johannes
Meissl (Artis Quartett).
As a ESA certified Suzuki teacher, the education and support of youth is of utmost importance to him. He has taught violin and chamber music at the Musikschule Spielstatt in Vienna and following the invitation of the musical director Tomoyuki Hayashi (first violinist NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo).
he was lecturer for violin and ensemble on the Spring String Seminar 2014 in Saitama, Japan.
In 2016/17, he taught violin at the Johannes Brahms Music School Mürzzuschlag and from 2015 to 2017, he was lecturer at the Chamber Music Festival Burg Feistritz

He was member of the jury of the „2nd Feurich International Competition Vienna 2017“ and teacher at the “Suzuki Festival Mürzzuschlag 2017”.
In 2018/19, he established two Suzuki-violin-groups at the “Amadeus international School Vienna”
Since 2016, Gustav has been teaching at the Music School in Wiener Neudorf, Lower Austria, and since 2018, he has been cooperating with Monika Witzany on her “Suzuki Violin Project” in the J.S. Bach Music School in Vienna.
Together with Anna Lea Stefansdottir, he organized the Suzuki Camp 2018 at Schloss Laudon, Vienna and their cooperation continues with the Violin Garden Summer Academy Vienna.

Monika Witzany

Violin Teacher

„To teach music, is to touch somebody’s life.“ (Tove Tetriköy) These words are one of the leading sentences in my classes.

My intention is, that the pupils catch fire with the tremendous world of music, that they are motivated to play violin, because they realize how wonderful it is to produce beautiful sounds and melodies on the string, that they discover how to search for colors and characters, how great it is, to be part of an ensemble swinging together and that they enjoy the possibility of expression through their instrument.
I focus on good technical basics, efficient and free use of the body along with a positive mindset and love to go through different genres and projects with the students.

Three keywords that describe her: sensitive, expressive, humorous

Her group classes are: lively, thorough, spontaneous


CV, Mag. art. Monika Witzany

Monika Witzany grew up in a musical family and started taking recorder lessons at the age of five. At the age of seven she began learning the violin and at ten she added piano classes. She studied at the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz and at fifteen she was accepted into the Music University Salzburg, Mozarteum. From there she continued her education at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and at Eastman School of Music in Rochester N.Y., USA.
M.W. graduated her studies as violin teacher and wrote her dissertation about „Background and discussions to Suzuki´s Mother-Tongue-Method“. She has been a ESA certified violin teacher since 2005.

In connection with music her interests count also for the big and constantly developing body – mind field.
2008 – 2010 she attended Teacher Training Courses in the Franklin Method – „Movement starts in head“ and Qi Gong/Taiji trainings.
2018/19 M.W. passed the postgradual course of Musikphysiology at the University of Music in Vienna.
Since 2017 she has been a part of the Feldenkrais Training Vienna 8.

Performing Experiences with orchestras and ensembles:
Ensemble Aktuell (Franz Welser-Möst), Haydn Akademie, Wiener Symphonie Orchester, Altomonte Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra Innstrumenti, Ensemble Sonare Linz, Johann Strauss Ensemble and others. She was one of the founding members of the Österreichische Salonisten and toured around the world (Europe, Japan, Korea, China, Australia and the USA) with her folk and cross over group, the Florianer Tanzlgeiga.

Teaching Experiences:
2000-2002: Vienna Conservatory
2002-2010: Johannes Brahms Musikschule Mürzzuschlag, first Suzuki School in Austria,
Founder of the annual „Suzuki Festival Mürzzuschlag“ in 2004, which she directed 2008 – 2010.
2007: establishment of the Suzuki Violin Project at the Johann Sebastian Bach Musikschule, Vienna
M.W. performs with the Coolstrings, her Suzuki ensemble in variable size.
Instructor at various youth music summer courses and seminars for violin teachers.
In 2013 she co-founded the Austrian Suzuki Institute of Music ( and is an active member of the board as vice president of the organization.

Chizu Miyamoto

Piano Accompanist

Chizu is a very dedicated and accomplished accompanist. She has performed with various international soloists such as Maxim Vengerov and received the award for the best piano accompanist of the David Oistrakh competition in Moscow in 2010. Her aim is to support her students musically and thus help them reach their highest potential.

Three words that describe her: Neat, passionate, confident

Her accompaniment is: Attentive, patient, supportive

Chizu Miyamoto was born in Nagano, Japan. She started to play the piano at the age of four with her mother, then continued to study at the Toho Gakuen High School of Music and the Toho Gakuen Tokyo with Prof. Kazuko Ariga, where she completed her artist degree and music education degree.

She has been living in Vienna since 2001, and studied instrumental accompaniment and chamber music at the Conservatory of Music in Vienna with Dr. Johannes Kropfitsch and the Altenberg trio Wien. In 2005 she graduated with full honors.
Chizu Miyamoto has performed in various chamber music formations in a number of reputable music festivals such as Rachlin and friends in Dubrovnik, the Cello Biennale Amsterdam, the Sion Festival, the Estate Musicale Portogruaro in Italy, the Eilat Music Festival in Israel, the Nagano Aspen Music Festival in Japan, the Harriet and Friends Festival in Austria, the Bruckner Festival in Linz, the Richard Strauss Festival in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria and the Kronberg Cello Akademie.
In 2013, she played a very successful concert together with the violinist Maxim Vengerov and singer Ania Vergy during the Sion festival.
Together with the young Dutch cellist Harriet Krijgh they played together in Germany and the Netherlands in festivals such as the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the Cello Viennale in Amsterdam.
She regularly plays solo recitals in her home country Japan, where she also won the silver medal at the Kawai Music Competition.
Since 2005, Chizu Miyamoto works at the Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität der Stadt Wien and is the accompanist in the class of Prof. Pavel Vernikov (Violin) and Lilia Schulz-Bayrova (Cello).
Her specialty is working with violinists. She was the official accompanist of various international violin competitions like the Fritz Kreisler competition in Vienna, the Tibor Varga competition in Switzerland and the Johannes Brahms competition in Austria, and has accompanied violinists in many music masterclasses in Europe and Japan.
In 2010, she received the special award for the best piano accompanist of the David Oistrakh competition in Moscow.

Ruei-Ran Wu (Algy)

Piano Accompanist

A piano accompanist from Taiwan and a renowned composer who also plays the bandoneón in Tango music.

Three words that describe him: sympathetic, passionate, rational
His accompaniment is: Musicality and technique in a structured and fostering environment

Born in Zamboanga City, Philippines, Ruei-Ran Wu is a graduate of composition at the Vienna National University of Music and Performing Arts, Austria; a student of bandoneón under maestro Juan Jose Mosalini in Paris, and a major in psychology at the National Chengchi University, Taiwan; He is an active composer, bandoneónist, conductor, and is a piano accompanist for the Vienna Tanzquartier.

His works were twice nominated for the Golden Horse Film Award (Taiwan) as the best original film score. The music ensembles and festivals he has participated as performer, composer or producer include the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Austrian Jeunesse, Ju Percussion Group, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan Artists Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan Indigenous Dancer, Vienna Taiwan Choir, Taiwan independent band “We Save Strawberry”, “Smoking Ring”, Linz Art Festival, Crimean Festival, International Taipei Tango Festival, to name a few. In 2015, he initiated the Quartet “Twango” (, an ensemble group performing Taiwanese music in the Argentinean tango style. Their first album “The Other End of the World” was released in 2018. He founded the “ViTa MusicA” (Vienna Tango Music Academy) in 2017 with the goal of performing, composing and promoting the Argentinean tango music.

Alexandra KREPPEL

Outdoor Activity Teacher

I want to encourage the kids to actively play together as a group during their outdoor time and to have fun, be creative as well as adventurous without excluding anyone. For me it is important to create an environment where the children can reenergize, learn from each other and grow together.

Myself in three keywords: empathic, authentic, loving

The outdoor activity times with her are: flexible, fun, creative

Sandra received her degree in “Freizeitspädagogik” (after school activity teacher) from the Pädagogische Hochschule Wien in 2018.  She is currently furthering her studies in this field with BiM (Bildung im Mittelpunkt), and institution of the city of Vienna that creates after school activities within the school system and camps during the summer holidays.  Her experience with children and adolescents is broad, ranging from working in kindergarden, elementary schools and with adolescents in high school and with children of all ages in summer camps.

Tim Tercero

Outdoor Activity Teacher

I like to cultivate an inclusive and interactive atmosphere where the kids feel comfortable either playing an active game or taking time to relax and enjoy the outdoors. I try to be attentive to the general atmosphere of the group so that every activity session can be as fun as possible for everyone.

Three words that describe him: playful, creative, and calm
The outdoor activity time with him are: active, spontaneous, and inclusive

My name is Timothy Tercero, and I am 28 years old. I was born and raised on a medium sized island in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. I moved to Vienna in 2015, and have felt at home in this city ever since. I have been teaching in kindergartens around the city since early 2016, and am happy to now be able to participate in this years Violin camp! I have an associates in Music Theory and a bachelors in Communication and International Business. I am also a singer and songwriter and have a few band projects here in Vienna.

Natalia Ali

Outdoor Activity Teacher

My main focus is providing the kids with a safe and fun environment where they are able to grow, open up and make new friends. It is important for me to bond with the kids and have a direct and personal connection with them, be it in a group or on an individual level.

Three words that describe her: Open, spontaneous, empathetic
The outdoor activity time with her are: Fun, loud, creative

Natalia Ali was was born in England, raised in Jordan and currently lives in Austria. She finished her Master´s Degree in English from the university of Southampton, England in 2010, and then moved to Austria in 2014 to join her husband. She has many years of experience teaching English and working with kids; she worked as an English-Speaking Assistant in a private Kindergarten in Vienna between 2014 and 2018 where she taught kids English through playing and daily communication. She also worked in Summer camps and taught English to groups of kids aged 10 to 14. She currently works as an English Teacher in WIFI in St. Pölten and enjoys it a lot.

Michael Gutiérrez

Parent Coach

Michael believes in the power of music to facilitate personal development and he is passionate about sharing the transformative power of music with children.

He is particularly excited to share his learning and development experience and insights with the parents of Violin Garden Summer Academy Students. His “train the trainer” approach is designed to help parents become the best musical and life “coaches” for their children that they can be.

Three words that describe him: intuitive, analytical, warm
His workshops are: engaging, illuminating, fun

Michael is an entrepreneur, violinist, trainer, and speaker. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Arts from the University of California at Irvine, a High Diploma in Violin Performance “with honors” from the Vienna Conservatory of Music, and over 20 years of experience as a professional musician. In 2007, following 3 years as a violinist with the Vienna Radio Symphony (RSO), Michael re-invented himself and founded Executive Relocations Austria. E.R.A. currently provides corporate relocation services for companies such as Apple, Coca Cola Hellenic, The World Bank, and many other high profile companies throughout Austria. In 2012 Michael established “Podium – Innovative Talent Development” to provide comprehensive whole-brain leadership development for domestic and international organizations. Michael is certified in the use of the full suite of Neethling Brain Instruments (NBI, a neuroscience/psychometrics-based tool for personal and professional development) as well as in the EQ-i 2.0, and EQ 360 (a psychometrics-based tool for emotional intelligence development).

Shinichi Suzuki
“Perhaps it is music that will save the world”