Our goal at the Da Vinci Academy is to provide a professional and disciplined, yet fun and supportive atmosphere where students of all levels can succeed. At the academy, the aim is not only to teach “how” but to cultivate the “why,” forming a deep appreciation for art.
The academy has attracted professional educators with years of experience, who love what they do and share a common goal—to nurture and inspire excellence in each and every student. Students enrolled at the Da Vinci Academy not only learn from teachers that have “studied the arts” but from mentors who have “lived the arts”.
ARMAND SIMON (Piano, Film, Visual Arts)
After winning a prize at the Petrof Piano Competition at the age of thirteen, Armand Simon went on to study at the Conservatory of Rotterdam and continued his studies at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht.
As a classical pianist, he has performed in The Netherlands, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Venezuela, Colombia, Germany, USA, France and Belgium.
In 2004, he returned to Aruba and devoted himself to the education and guidance of young promising talents on the island. He created the successful concept “2classic4u?” (2005), established the Crescendo foundation in 2006 and has brought some of world’s greatest classical musicians to Aruba with the Aruba Piano Festival (2006-2011). Armand founded Da Vinci Academy in 2010. In 2012 he introduced the Young Actors Club, a unique training program for young teenage actors.
He is also an avid filmmaker. His short films have won numerous international awards at festivals around the world.
NICOLE VAN EER – (Musical Theatre, Singing)
Nicole van Eer received her classical vocal education at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, where she was a member of the opera class. She was coached by Charles van Tassel and Kevin Smith. She sang parts in the operas “Le Nozze di Figaro”, “La Boheme”, “Xerxes”, and went on to play the part of Monica in Menotti’s “The Medium”.
After her studies she performed in “The Phantom of the Opera”. From 1996 to 1998 she played the part of Maria in the musical “West Side Story”, both Joop van den Ende productions. After this intensive theatre period, Nicole switched her attention to the combination of opera and musical in recital form. In August 2001 she was a soloist at the Opera Festival in Valverde in Sicily, Italy, with arias from Puccini, Verdi, Bellini and Donizetti.
In 2004, Nicole moved to Aruba, where she also performed for Her Majesty Queen Beatrix. She started teaching at Da Vinci Academy in 2010.
ANNA BURYAKOVA – (Dance)
Anna Buryakova has received her education in Russia where she graduated “with honors” from the College of Culture and Art in St.Petersburg on the subjects choreography and dance.
She has performed at various theaters in Russia and Italy. In 1998, she came to Aruba as part of a dance ensemble which was contracted by Allegro Resort. From that time, Anna has made Aruba her home and started teaching ballet.
Anna was a ballet teacher at Club di Movimiento and has been in charge of the dance department at Da Vinci Academy since 2010.
RUDYOMAR LEYSNER – (Drawing)
Ever since he was a young child, Rudyomar Leysner was fascinated by drawing. He used to draw on anything he could find. After his high school he went to Colombia and studied art at the Fundacion Universitaria de Bellas Artes. This is where he really developed his art, learning in depth about different mediums, techniques and philosophies.
During a short break from this studies he visited the Netherlands where he had the opportunity to see the works of great masters like Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Van Gogh. After this inspiring trip, he continued his education at the University of Cartagena.
Rudyomar has done several (solo) exhibitions, the first one being “VISIONS” (2011) at Ateliers ’89. That same year he was selected to be part of ‘Zona de encuentro’ at ‘Universidad de Caldas’ in Manizales, Colombia. He also participated in a contest held in Spain ‘primer concurso L.A.R.A de dibujo, pintura y escultura realista y hiperrealista’.
LOURDES HENRIQUEZ – (Administration)
Lourdes is responsible for the administration and makes sure everything runs smooth at the academy. She is usually the first person you see when you walk in. And she is always there with a smile.