Neoclassical Suite is a column that will present 7 recent, distinctive tracks of the neoclassical-modern classical-contemporary -and beyond!- music field. 

The Players

Cheryl B. Engelhardt

(neoclassical, avant-pop)

Cheryl is a composer and songwriter. She’s got 4 piano-pop albums released. Cheryl is also the composer and author of “Luminary” – music and affirmations for mindfulness, focus, and growth. The New Yorker received degrees in Biology and in Music from Cornell University, studied orchestration at Juilliard, then began her tenure as a composer for films, ads, theater, and choirs, as well as a touring pop recording artist. She is co-writing the Broadway music “Boiler Room Girls”, a Kennedy story from the ‘60s, as well as collaborating with social justice choirs across America to create pieces of impact.

Her successes as an independent musician make her a sought-after speaker on music business panels and podcasts. She began an online series of programs called In The Key Of Success to help other musicians find fulfillment in their creative careers through powerful communication and self-awareness.

Cheryl turned to creating music specifically for mindfulness after her decade-long struggle with panic attacks and attempts to find music that supported her in managing anxiety. “Luminary”, her fifth record, became her solution ( Listen and learn more at


(neoclassical, piano)

NJORD is a Swedish pianist living in Denmark. Growing up in the country side in Sweden his compositions has a calm and sweet thoughtfulness to it. All pieces are short instrumental songs with a beautiful Nordic tone and a lot of heart. Longing is his first of many releases to come.

Rick Gallagher Project

(neoclassical, jazz, piano)

Rick Gallagher Project is the cross-genre music platform of Pittsburgh based composer/pianist/producer Rick Gallagher. A career jazz pianist/educator, Gallagher brings his creative harmonic approach, melodic vision, improvisational spirit and delicate soulful touch to a blend of musical genres. His compositions have been synced to all forms of media ranging from major TV networks to film projects and many other commercial applications across the US and the globe. Gallagher’s musical markings relax, stimulate and inspire. More info at

Steven Vrancken

(neoclassical, contemporary, cinematic)

Imagine you told me 17 years ago that I would perform live (mass)relaxation concerts for audiences that lay down (see pictures), and produce & compose peaceful classical crossover music with a palpable sense of tranquility… I would have told you were crazy. Unlike many contemporary neoclassical musicians (Nils Frahm, Ólafur Arnalds, Joep Beving, Peter Broderick, Max Richter,… )

I never received any formal musical training. I’m a self-taught musician, my entry into music came as a complete surprise.

Seventeen years ago I was already 23 years old. I’d never played the piano. But everything changed during a cold winter in Montréal, while I was finishing my (for me) depressing university studies. Out of the purest boredom I ever experienced, I went over to the piano of my roommate, and touched, for the first time in my life, a piano key…Such a profoundly moving experience!

Woooww! It changed my life forever. It felt like a touch of Grace. It tasted like coming home, helping me to find silence within. And that’s also what my music is about. I was just experimenting and enjoying it. Every time I played the piano with some friends around, they almost instantly nestled themselves comfortably on the couch. Laying back, chilling, with their eyes closed. Drifting away. Welcoming a sense of inner peace as I do to while playing music.


(modern classical)

I’m a french-born and australian modern-classical and electric violinist, composer, music producer and original performer. My music aims at shining the light on organic instruments, in particular strings, by supporting them with modern sounds and arrangements.

Inspired to learn piano and violin at an early age by my mother who was a violinist and a science professor, I grew a taste for performing, and especially improvising music.

After a classical training, I became part of multiple French bands as a jazz and rock violinist (Hoy, Payou Rabalat, Liane Edwards, Trapettistes, Malbonheurs, CKoinC, Corcovado Trio). Since moving to Australia, I now produce and release my own music and also compose music for soundtracks.

Omar Raafat

(neoclassical, cinematic)

Omar Raafat is a Composer and multi-instrumentalist from Cairo, Egypt. Omar currently resides in Victoria, BC in Canada writing music for Film/TV while also working on his own solo work which mixes electronic elements with piano, strings and classical instrumentation.

Thomas Jackson

(neoclassical, soundtrack)

Thomas Jackson is a musician and filmmaker based in Stockholm, Sweden. His musical output has ranged from wall of sound-rock to electronic music in various constellations.

The album Den inre skogen (Inner Woods) is the soundtrack to his documentary film by the same name. His films have been shown around the world at festivals such as Berlin Film Festival, Toronto Hot Docs and CPH:DOX amongst others, and at art institutions such as MoMA Tokyo and Bonnier konsthall.

He currently also makes music as one half of electronica duo Random Notes.

The Music

Christos Doukakis