About Us

Mission Statement

The International Master Institute of Music "Leopold Godowsky", Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 2011 in the state of Virginia by renowned Bulgarian born American pianist and professor, Tzvetan Konstantinov and his assistant and disciple, Chinese-American pianist and economist, Nina Yeh. The institute is dedicated to and named after the great Maestro Leopold Godowsky. Maestro Godowsky had plans for a "World Synod of Music and Musicians" and an "International Master Institute of Music" but due to life's unfortunate circumstances, his vision did not come to fruition. Our mission is to bring forth Maestro Godowsky's vision by providing education and research in the principle of weight release (frei Gewichtkeit, Gewichtsspiel und vollstandige Freiheit), rather than muscular impetus, as the most efficient method of piano playing. This method passed on by Maestro Godowsky to one of his pupils, a renowned Bulgarian pianist, Velichka Savova (Wella Sawowa), was fully absorbed by her favorite pupil and assistant, Tzvetan Konstantinov. The International Master Institute of Music "Leopold Godowsky", Inc., centered in the national and international crossroads of Washington, DC., commits itself to excellence in the proliferation, dissemination and application of knowledge in Godowsky's piano-playing tradition. The Institute values a dynamic student community stimulated by a cultural and intellectual diversity and built upon a foundation of truth, beauty, and goodness in the pursuit of excellence in piano performance. The Institute acts as a catalyst for preservation and promotion of Godowsky's teachings, as well as, those whose teachings are directly related to the principle of weight release in piano playing. The International Master Institute of Music "Leopold Godowsky", Inc. admits applicants of any race, color national and ethical origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students and associates at the Institute. It does not discriminate on the bases of race, color, national and ethic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies and other Institute-administrated programs.

Tzvetan Konstantinov

July 10, 1946 - March 17, 2016

The musical gifts of internationally acclaimed piano virtuoso Tzvetan Konstantinov showed themselves early. He began his piano studies at the age of five, when he was found to be endowed with absolute pitch and gave his first recital at the age of nine. At the age of eighteen he performed publicly the complete Bach's Well Tempered Clavier from memory at the Palace of the Musician in Sofia. Not being allowed to travel abroad and visit the West for ten years, he nevertheless won two of the most prestigious competitions in Bulgaria and toured extensively throughout his native country. Mr. Konstantinov mastered his piano playing under one of the most beloved and valued concert pianists and pedagogues in Bulgaria, VELICHKA SAVOVA (WELLA SAWOWA). SAVOVA as with the case of HEINRICH NEUHAUS (the teacher of SVIATOSLAV RICHTER) was taught by the legendary LEOPOLD GODOWSKY the principle of weight release (frei Gewichtkeit, Gewichtsspiel und vollstandige Freiheit), rather than muscular impetus, as the most efficient method of playing. (Ms. SAVOVA was also a student and assistant of FERUCCIO BUSONI, GOTTFRIED GALSTON and LEONID KREUTZER at The Academy of Music in Berlin, Germany). Following his graduation Summa Cum Laude (Master Degree) from The National Academy of Music "Pancho Vladigerov" in Sofia, Bulgaria Mr. Konstantinov was selected for an exclusive two-year post-graduate program "Meister Klass" at The National Academy of Music "Pancho Vladigerov", followed by his specialization in "Viennese Classics, Romantics and Moderns" at The University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria. Among his many mentors and teachers he had and studied with were some of the greatest pianists of all times: SVIATOSLAV RICHTER, ARTURO BENEDETTI MICHELANGELI, SHURA CHERKASSKY and ALEXIS WEISSENBERG. For more information, visit www.konstantinov.com and www.youtube.com/AAssett

Nina Yeh

Nina Yeh began her piano studies at age nine in her hometown, Brooklyn, NY. At the age of fourteen, she took a long hiatus from her piano studies to focus on her academic studies and pursue a B.A. degree in Economics and Mathematics and a M.A. degree in Economics at New York University. Ms. Yeh is a Senior Economist for the Postal Regulatory Commission, a Certified Pricing Professional and Professor Tzvetan Konstantinov's assistant and disciple. In 2010, Ms. Yeh performed on the piano in a benefit concert to raise funds for the "Food for the Poor" program for Haiti. In 2011, she had the honor to perform for the Japanese Ambassador in a benefit concert to raise earthquake relief funds for Japan. Ms. Yeh is a gold medal winner in the 2009 Edward G. Picken Pro-Am Ice Dancing Competition. Already fluent in her native tongue, Mandarin Chinese and English, Ms. Yeh also speaks Cantonese and French. For more information, visit www.youtube.com/aninhey.