Cristina Buciu“Petia is a truly special person, amazing violinist and exceptional teacher. Her rock solid violin technique and innate musicality, combined with her teaching talent and nurturing personality make her a sought after teacher wherever she goes. I had the privilege to work with Petia for over 10 years and she is one of the most professional and dedicated musicians I have known.”

Cristina Buciu, Freelance Violinist in Chicago IL


Andrew Zaplatynsky“Petia is an artist of the highest order. What makes her special….she is a great human being.”

Andrew Zaplatynsky, Violin Professor at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse NY, Hamilton College in Clinton NY, and Hobart & William Smith College in Geneva NY; Concertmaster Emeritus of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra.



Alexandra Dotcheva“Petia Radneva-Manolova is an outstanding musician, teacher and colleague. Her ample orchestral expertise and grasp on the symphonic and chamber repertoire, combined with her amazing humility and spontaneity create a unique, unforgettable experience for those who have had the honor and pleasure to play next to her on stage. “

Alexandra Dotcheva, Former Violinist with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Violin Teacher, RN


Griffin Walsh“Petia did not simply teach me to play the violin; she opened my eyes to a world where music became an international language, where repetitive practices evolved into something amazing, and taught me to truly love and appreciate music.”

Griffin Walsh, Syracuse NY



Nina Merulla“I am truly grateful to Petia Radneva-Manolova for her guidance during my formative years as a violinist! I would not be a performing musician and a successful music teacher in both the public school and the private setting had it not been for our years of lessons together. Petia truly believes in all of her students, and expects them to perform at their highest possible capabilities. She constantly pushes students to explore the musicality beyond just the notes, and exposes her students to a wide variety of repertoire and artists with many different interpretations. Petia sets an excellent example for her students through her dedication to her craft and her extremely high level of professionalism, and students of all ages and all levels thrive under her instruction. Years later, I am still using so many of the concepts that Petia taught me, and I am passing them down to my own students in lessons and rehearsal settings. Petia molds her students to be dedicated young professionals who are committed to creating beautiful music, and making the world a better place as a result. The musical and life concepts discussed in and outside of lessons helped me blossom as both a musician and a young woman in today’s society. Petia will always be an inspiration to her students, both in her passion for music and her generosity, and I so dearly cherished our lessons together!”

Nina Merulla, Music Teacher at Big Cross Street Elementary School in Glens Falls, NY.


Sullivan Walsh and Julia Walsh“Petia has instructed me through many phases of music theory that I never would have been exposed to or made it through without her instruction, help, and patience. She took me from a beginner violinist to a 4-year member of the Syracuse Symphony Youth Strings Orchestra to the Concertmaster of my high school orchestra. I wish she still lived in Syracuse!”

Sullivan Walsh,  Syracuse NY



Julia Walsh“From the first violin lesson that I took from Petia, to the last recital that she organized, I have always admired her. She guided me through long hours of practice before performing a solo, learning new scales as my playing progressed, and falling in love with every aspect of music. I can’t thank Petia enough for helping me to grow both as a musician and as a person, and to this day she is one of my biggest role models.”

Julia Walsh, Syracuse NY


Daniel Hege“When I was the music director of SSO, I worked closely with Petia for more than 10 years. Petia is an expert musician capable of incredible musical expression and she is a team player in the best sense of the word. She plays and leads with rich musicality and nuanced musical color.”

Daniel Hege, Music Director of Wichita Symphony Orchestra



Li Li“I have known Petia and worked with her for nearly 10 years now. We played together in the Syracuse Symphony String Quartet and gave various performances through all these years. She is one of the best violinists I’ve ever worked with. Her tone so lush and deep, her technique is flawless, and her playing is always expressive! Petia plays with her soul and her music touches people’s hearts. It’s been my honor to have played with a wonderful musician like her.”

Li Li, Viola Faculty at Anderson University, Indiana


“Petia is a wonderful teacher.  She pushes her students to be the best that they can, in a way that encourages them and makes them want to go as far as they can. As Petia’s student, you can expect a teacher who will give you her absolute best. She emphasizes scales and arpeggios so that her students have the technical skills necessary for playing concertos and orchestral music.  When it comes to playing the concertos, she takes the time to give her students the best fingerings and bowings.  She works with her students to help them perform each piece to the best of their abilities. If a student does not understand why she’s asking them to do something a certain way, she takes the time to explain it so that they can understand it. As a violinist, she is wonderful.  She can make any piece beautiful, even an etude.  As her student, it was always a pleasure to hear her play.  I would recommend her to anyone.”

Julia Stearns, Fiddle Violinist


Lindsay Groves“I have spent many happy seasons sitting directly to the right of Petia Radneva’s violin, while playing a huge amount of the major symphony literature. I have enjoyed it more than I can express. She is a committed, serious musician, has a great instrument, and reacts with precision, taste, and intensity to what is going on around her. Since I sat close to her, I heard conductor after conductor quietly compliment her great sound and chamber music sense. We also played together in the Syracuse Symphony Quartet for many years. As the most active of the Symphony’s ensembles, we usually performed more than 20 times per year on regional recital series and in schools, in addition to our full time orchestra schedule. She relates to young musicians with humor and enthusiasm; our audiences loved her, as a player and as an explainer. As a graduate of the Bulgarian National Music Academy and later, as a graduate student at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, she is ideally equipped to perform and teach effectively. I wish her well in all of her future endeavors!”

Lindsay Groves, Founding  Director of the Skaneateles Music Festival, Acting Principal Cellist at Symphoria in Syracuse  NY, Former Cellist with North Carolina Symphony and the Kennedy Arts Center Orchestra


“Had such a special moment today. Historical moment in a human life. Chris found his own music today. Some of you might remember the post I made a while ago about the shock we had that after 2 years of violin lessons, we learned he didn’t actually know how to ‘read’ music…that he was, instead, listening to the music he hears and playing it back. Well, in these last few months, he has worked so hard learning to read music which has made a world of difference…but, it’s been challenging, not particularly ‘fun’ and tedious. His teacher is in the NC Symphony and has traveled all over the world playing…very talented, amazing human being but also takes her craft very seriously and expects her students to adhere to the same calibur…stand this way, hold the bow that way, hold your violin this way, etc. This has also been an added challenge, having to basically re-learn ‘everything’. But this last week, I heard something different coming from his playing I had not heard before…a confidence, strength and a joy. TODAY when we went for his lesson, I was quite excited for Petia to hear this ‘new’ side of Chris coming out. She has often looked him in the eyes and said, “Chris, I believe in you…you can do this…I see it in you.” He walks in and Petia is very serious…asks him what he is going to play for her today. He chooses a piece and begins to play and Petia joins him in what I can only describe as perfect harmony. BEAUTIFUL! The piece is over and Petia got teary-eyed…”I have waited my whole career for this kind of moment…I am blown away…you went from beginner violinist to THIS….You just jumped to a whole new level.” Chris’ face was beaming. They continued on a few more songs and then Petia dropped out of the song to allow him to basically ‘fly’ with his own heart. I don’t know how she knew this, but somehow she did. He suddenly stood taller, held his instrument like he owned it and played with so much intensity and grace that I couldn’t believe this was my child standing there. Actually, he wasn’t my child in that moment…I was looking at ‘Chris’ this very strong and impressive presence…a glimpse of something I have no words for…perhaps the man he will grow into one day. Suddenly, I saw his eyes squinting and blinking thought, “Oh maybe I need to have his eyes checked.” haha! and before I could finish that thought, his face started to get red splotches and I realized that he was ‘feeling’ the music and he was moving his own soul. He finished the piece and looked at me real quick and giggled…he had to take a deep breath and I said, “Chris I think you just experienced your own music and you were moved by it.” He couldn’t talk…he just gave a long “yes”, deep breath and the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. We all had to wipe our eyes a few times. Petia told him how special this day was and that she was going to write the date down in her journal..”this is a historical day” then she told him, “Until this day we’ve had lessons…today…we played music together.” 🙂 Whoa…To me this is what life is about..these very special moments when we are moved from within…when we are aware of who we are on the deepest level of this human life. For Chris it was music, to others it may be art, writing, etc…or something as simple as witnessing human kindness. Or like me, a mom…witnessing my child connect with music and blossom right before my eyes. I am so very grateful that I was conscious enough to see this. What a gift!”

Annette, Mother of Chris Lewin