Faculty and Staff

Dr. Margarita Denenburg

Director, Piano Project

Dr. Margarita Denenburg, NCTM is Associate Professor of Practice in Piano Pedagogy at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Denenburg is a passionate musician and pedagogue who was recognized for her teaching effectiveness through the “Innovative Teaching Award” and the “Excellence in Education Award” for the state of Ohio 

Dr. Denenburg has multiple articles with American Music Teacher journal, Clavier Companion magazine, Piano Pedagogy Forum. She presented at Music Teachers National Association – Nation Conference, College Music Society – National Conference, National Group Piano/Piano Pedagogy Forum, Ohio Music Teacher Association as well as several College Music Society regional conferences.  

Dr. Denenburg enjoys playing as much as teaching and writing. Most recently performing several solo recitals in Ohio and currently preparing for concert series with her duo partner Gerald Evans, working on the complete cycle of Planets by Gustav Holst. Past performance projects include music by the Holocaust composers, the sentential research and performance of the Rite of Spring, and the music by Robert Schumann  

Dr. Denenburg held several leadership positions on the board of the Ohio Federation Music Clubs, Ohio Music Teachers Association, and College Music Society.  Recent positions on OhioMTA board included: President Elect, Vice President for Student Activities, and a chair for the Commissioned Composer Award.  

Dr. Margarita Denenburg holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in piano performance from Arizona State University, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the University of Southern California.  


Picture of Martin KesumaMartin Kesuma

Coordinator, Piano Project

Born in Indonesia, pianist Martin Kesuma is a graduate of Texas State University and the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree with Professor Anton Nel at the University of Texas, where he holds the positions of Piano Project Coordinator and Class Piano Teaching Assistant.

Martin’s recent highlights include first prize at the PianoHouse International Piano Competition, the Ben Gomez Award at the Texas State International Piano Festival, Honorable Mention at the San Jose International Piano Competition, Special Recognition Award at the Weatherford College International Piano Competition, and performance of Stravinsky Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments with the Density512 Orchestra. As the recipient of the Ben Gomez Award at the TSIPF, Martin is scheduled to perform the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Central Texas Philharmonic in Spring 2021. Additionally, his first album “Detours” is currently in the process of publishing under the Centaur Records.

Aside from piano, Martin enjoys playing the Balinese Gamelan and still performs occasionally with the Texas State Gamelan Lipi Awan. As a newfound hobby, Martin likes to write fictions and wishes to publish them one day.



Picture of Prof. Sophia Gilmson

Sophia Gilmson

Associate Professor of Piano

Founder, Piano Project


Sophia Gilmson, Russian-born pianist, graduated cum laude from the Leningrad (St. Petersburg ) Conservatory, where she studied with Professor Vitaly Margulis. She is a recipient of numerous awards, among which are the First Prize in the Young Artists Competition in New York City, followed by a recital in Carnegie Hall, and the Piano International Recording Competition. Radio Leningrad, Radio Vatican, WQXR and WNYC in New York City, among others, have broadcast her performances.

She has concertized extensively in her native Russia, Italy, and the United States to a high critical acclaim. Carl Cunningham of The Houston Post described Ms. Gilmson’s playing as a “…brilliant, driving performance.” Michael Huebner, of the Austin American-Statesman, referred to her performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations as “one of the most refreshing and thought-provoking performances this season.” In 2001, she was awarded the prestigious Mount Everest Award by the Austin Critics Table for this performance, in which she played the Goldberg Variations on harpsichord and piano in the same evening. Michael Barnes, chief arts critic of the Austin American-Statesman, ranked this as one of the top ten arts events of 2001, calling it “unforgettable”. In the celebration of its 20th anniversary, Austin’s Performing Arts Center included this concert in the list of twenty most memorable programs of its history, one per year.

Sophia Gilmson is active as a teacher as well as a performer. Her students have won major prizes on state, national, and international levels. Her unique pedagogical skills are universally recognized at both pre-college and collegiate levels. She has received an array of excellence in teaching awards, including 2001 Collegiate Teaching Achievement Award of Texas.

Dedicated educator, Sophia Gilmson is the co-founder of both Houston and Austin Young Artists Concerts, the programs designed for musically gifted children. Sophia has been an artistic director for both programs for twenty years, since its inception in 1987 to 2007. These programs were hailed as “outstanding,” “fabulous,” “unique,” and “cultural treasures” by musicians from all over the country.

She presented papers, master-classes and lectures at the World Piano Pedagogy Conferences, Music Teachers National Association Conventions as well as various state conventions and international music festivals.

She has been published in Keyboard Companion, official journal of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy.

Presently Sophia Gilmson holds the position of Associate Professor of Music at the University of Texas Butler School of Music.

For more information, visit www.sophia-gilmson.com.