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From LMC Camper to Brooklyn Composer


Nathaniel Heyder (LMC ‘12 - '14) is a talented composer currently residing in Brooklyn, NYC. Having recently graduated from the Juilliard School under the guidance of Andrew Norman, Nate previously attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he completed his undergraduate studies as a student of Keith Fitch. His connection to Luzerne Music Center dates back to over a decade ago when he attended the camp as a violinist. Nate fondly recalls spending three memorable summers at Luzerne, one during the junior session and two during the senior session.

Nate's musical journey began at the young age of 4 when he stumbled upon his great-grandfather's violin case. Reflecting on those early days, he remarked, “Next thing I know, I’m taking private Suzuki lessons and practicing everyday.” However, it wasn’t until the age of 13 and watching the film ‘Amadeus’ with his family that Nate’s love for music developed. “It quite literally changed my life and made me appreciate my violin training up until that point. It also made me want to become a composer.”

LMC became a pivotal chapter in Nate's musical growth and his sprouting love and appreciation for classical music made his camp experience even more impactful. When asked about his favorite memories, Nate said, “I cherish the chamber music memories the most,” specifically recalling playing Mozart's Piano Quartet in G minor and Beethoven’s Piano Trio in E-flat Major. Nate also reminisced about the faculty recitals and hearing the Finale of Brahms’ Horn Trio for the first time. “How could I forget?” he asked.

At camp, Nate received his first composition lessons, leading to faculty members playing back his first ever attempt at composing a string quartet. “I can still remember the melody from the intro,” Nate said. The exposure to chamber music at LMC significantly helped Nate with developing his compositional language. “Even though I went to Luzerne as a violinist, I feel like even back then I knew that I was a composer at heart.”

Looking ahead, Nate's head is full of creative ideas waiting to be brought to life and his only aspiration is to keep going. Just beginning to work on a big string quartet project, he hopes to write a requiem one day. When asked about his musical dreams, Nate replied, “Maestro Yannick Nezet-Seguin of The Philadelphia Orchestra is my dream collaborator, he just doesn’t know me yet!”

Reflecting on his journey, Nate shares advice to young musicians. “You can really do whatever you want with music so long as you’re truly doing it for yourself and for your love of music,” he emphasizes. Acknowledging the norm of predetermined paths, Nate advocates for embracing individual passion and instincts. “Young musicians need to know that it’s okay to switch lanes and go down a different musical or life path, and that in today’s world, it’s actually very normal. Keep listening to your teachers, keep practicing, and continue to pursue the kind of music that YOU want to.”

For those intrigued by Nate's story, his compositions can be explored at

From Camper to Counselor


In the presence of Tekla Fekete (LMC '17, '19), one can't help but be captivated by her love for music and the extraordinary journey that brought her to Luzerne Music Center. Originally from Cluj-Napoca, Romania, she is a LMC alumna and counselor (2023), but most importantly is an exceptionally talented violinist who is actively pursuing her dreams in classical violin performance at the University of Szeged in Hungary.

But what was it about the violin that drew her in? Tekla revealed her early introduction to music, saying, "When I was in kindergarten, we found out that I had a nice singing voice, so my parents decided to send me to music school. I could pick between two instruments, which were the piano and the violin, and while I initially chose the piano, my mom advised me to go with the violin, so I did."

Little did she know that this choice would shape her life in the most beautiful way. "I am glad that I listened to her because I fell in love with the instrument, and I had so many amazing experiences because of it! I love playing together with other people; that's what truly fuels my passion for music and the violin – that feeling of creating something together."

As her skills flourished, Tekla encountered a very special opportunity which resulted in her connection to Luzerne Music Center. "In 8th grade, I had the opportunity to participate in an amazing masterclass with Elizabeth Pitcairn (LMC’s CEO and Artistic Director), where she invited me to LMC!" Tekla vividly recalls her excitement when she first heard about the camp, a place where she could immerse herself in music like never before. “I was extremely excited to participate. It was always my dream to visit the US.”

Tekla's time as a camper at LMC is something she recalls very fondly. “I had such an amazing time there as a camper, getting to play my instrument all day long, while having a lot of fun!” The connections she made with her chamber group members were especially influential to her. “We all became really good friends. They made me understand the difference between just playing together and actually creating music as a group.”


Transitioning from a camper to a counselor was a natural progression in Tekla's journey, one that she had always envisioned. "It was always my plan to return as a counselor; I just had to wait to become old enough to do it. This decision was influenced by the amazing counselors I had at LMC, who all did their best to give us the best camp experience."


As Tekla embraced her new role, she found herself overseeing a vibrant group of young talents who became her source of joy and inspiration. "I got to have 16 amazing girls in my cabin during the course of three sessions. They were energetic, funny and inspiring, and I had the best time hanging out with them." Tekla's role extended beyond the cabin; she also became a teaching assistant for string players, working closely with numerous campers. It was an opportunity that allowed her to give back and share her love for music with the next generation.

Now, as a young musician pursuing her dreams, Tekla is already making a mark on the world of music. "Occasionally, I get invited to play in different orchestras, which is really helpful, as that's what I want to do in the future! I also enjoy teaching, and even if I choose to go into education, I would like to remain an active performer." She shared her aspirations, saying, "I am set to graduate next summer with a Bachelor's Degree in violin performance, and I plan on continuing my studies, either in Hungary or abroad." Her unwavering commitment to music is reflected in her hopes of getting an additional undergraduate degree in viola performance.


Tekla's story is an inspiration for those considering joining LMC and her experiences are a testament to the transformative power of the camp. She said, "My first time at LMC was so inspirational that it made me decide to become a professional musician." In her journey, we find the spirit of LMC—a place where dreams are nurtured, and lifelong connections are forged.


For those contemplating the idea of joining LMC, whether as campers or potential counselors, Tekla offers her personal insights. "I will always recommend LMC to young musicians because it is a truly magical place. I had the opportunity to work with amazing faculty and staff members, campers and I got to make new friends, which is always my favorite part! I can recommend LMC for anyone who wants to spend an unforgettable summer in an amazing community."



From Luzerne Music Center to San Francisco Symphony


Counselor Story

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LMC starts lifelong journey

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Alumna shares love of music with family


A retreat in the beautiful woods

Finding a Life's Love at LMC


LMC alumnus awarded Avery Fisher grant


A home in music


Life-changing lessons

Notable Alumni

The Ahn Piano Trio

Zlatomir Fung, The Juilliard School under
    the tutelage of Richard Aaron and
    Timothy Eddy

Beth Graham, horn, Baltimore Symphony,
    Warsaw Philharmonic

Jennifer Haas, first violin,
    The Philadelphia Orchestra

Glen Inanga, pianist,

    Cayman Arts Festival co-founder

Sylvia Kim, principal second,
    Chicago Symphony

Christopher Pell, principal clarinet, 
    Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Elizabeth Pitcairn, violin soloist

Jonathan Vinocour, principal viola,

    San Francisco Symphony

Gareth Zehngut, viola, Minnesota Orchestra

In the News

Sep. 26, 2022
17-year-old Guido Felipe Sant'Anna e Silva was awarded 1st Prize at the 2022 Fritz Kreisler International Violin Competition


Sep. 24, 2022
13-year-old pianist Olivia Ajero performs Frédéric Chopin’s Étude in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 10, No. 4 also known as the “Torrent Étude”.

Feb. 2022
Meet the February 2022 WMHT-FM Classical Student Musician of the Month: Charlie Beauregard (bassoon).

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In the News Archive


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