Born and raised in Honolulu, pianist Monika Haar is an advocate of new music and is an active piano teacher. Having spent nearly a decade in New York City, she regularly collaborated with living composers to premiere many works. She directed and performed in InnoVox, a chamber music sextet that focused on performing new pieces. Past events include the InnoVox Green Concert, which was held to promote environmental awareness through the arts. They selected the program from an international call for scores, and featured pieces that involved electronics and dance. InnoVox was featured nationally at the Chamber Music America Showcase Concert in Times Square, and was praised by many notable composers such as Grammy award winning Billy Childs. Monika is a part of a toy piano band called Le Petit Pépinot, and has performed with them since 2012. They are a multicultural band that has been featured in the International UnCaged Toy Piano Festival in NYC. Monika’s latest interest in improvisation has led her to collaborate with The Lovelies, a modern dance group based in New York City, and performed together at the Joffrey Ballet School.
Growing up in Hawaii, Monika was an active performer and competitor. From the age of nine, she was under the tutelage of the late Peter Coraggio at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her activities included winning the advanced division of the Mozart Competition two years in a row, a live appearance on the Hawaii Public Radio, and a performance of Mozart’s K.488 with the Honolulu Symphony at age sixteen. Monika attended various festivals, including the Kodály Institute of Music in Hungary, where she was the youngest participant at age fourteen, and was awarded 1st runner up for an international concerto competition a year later at the New Orleans Piano Institute.
Monika is devoted to teaching piano to students of all ages and maintains an active piano studio in Honolulu, Hawaii. She taught in NYC to people of all backgrounds, including college music majors. Monika spent several years receiving intensive physical training with Taubman specialist, Robert Durso. This allowed her to understand proper alignment and usage of the body to cure and avoid common repetitive stress injuries. Monika attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music under scholarship, and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, where she studied with Robert Shannon, Robert Durso, and Ursula Oppens.