Founder | 18
Maximilian was born and raised in Miami and has always had a passion for music. His Venezuelan-Italian mother and Austrian father, as multicultural as his hometown, exposed him to music of all kinds – classical, jazz, Latin, opera and other performing arts. He was encouraged early on to learn different instruments, to pursue his artistic expression. Max is an award-winning classical pianist and has twice ...
been awarded the honor of being a Chopin Foundation of the United States Young Pianist. He has been accepted to the prestigious Cremona International Music Academy and performed in the Cremona Summer Music Festival in Cremona, Italy. He is a four-time Coral Gables Music Club Scholarship recipient for piano and was just elected to be the 2020-2021 President of the Coral Gables Jr. Music Club. In addition to classical piano, Max plays jazz alto saxophone, piano, and drums, and is a member of his school’s signature jazz combo, the Ransom Everglades RE Combo. Max was accepted to the University of Miami Frost School of Music Honors Jazz summer program and performed in the Honors Band during the music festival. Max and his RE Combo bandmates traveled to Philadelphia in February and won a second prize at the prestigious 2020 National Jazz Festival. They have also performed at many jazz venues in Miami such as the Olympia Theatre and the Hampton House, and for private events. Max credits his abilities as a musician and his love of music to the support of his parents and his music teachers. As he got older, he realized that not all kids have been given this lifetime gift. In 2018, when he was a sophomore, Max founded Rising Stars Miami (RSM) as a community outreach nonprofit with his sister, Esmeralda, as a way of giving the gift of music to young kids like themselves in their community. Since then, they have been combining their love of the performing arts with community service to support under-resourced kids who want to explore their talents as musicians, dancers, and actors. Under Max’s leadership, RSM has visited several South Florida community centers to perform, teach, and inspire kids to the arts. Max reached out to musicians, teachers, and arts organizations to help with sponsorships and RSM was able to award scholarships to individual students and grants to community centers for the study of the arts. In 2019, after hearing about their success with kids in the community, Breakthrough Miami invited RSM to teach the Arts & Culture class on weekends to their 6th. Grade scholars. Max and his sister and friends taught acting, dance, songwriting, and different instruments. RSM also sponsored a professional opera performance of The Magic Flute for the whole Breakthrough Miami student body. With the arrival of the pandemic in March 2020, RSM began to teach the Breakthrough kids virtually, which they continue to do for the Fall Semester. This summer in July, Max created an introductory History of Jazz course for the Breakthrough Miami Virtual Summer Institute and taught kids about jazz twice a week for 6 weeks. His aim was to create the same spark of interest and love for jazz that he had experienced himself. It was a rich learning experience for everyone and he loved teaching and the idea that he was introducing a new generation to this greatest American artform. Besides music, Max’s other passion is engineering. He has been exploring the “world of STEM” throughout high school through his extracurricular activities and summer academic programs. Now a senior, he has been a key member since freshman year of the RE Robotics team, which qualified this year for the State Championship and all the way up to the 2020 World Championship. Other STEM pursuits this past summer included the Inspirit AI machine learning and RE Data Science courses. He has since started an independent year-long research project with machine learning to study steel defects which he will present in a competition this winter. Max is also a great athlete and has been a member of the Jr. Varsity Soccer and Varsity Lacrosse teams throughout high school. Max has begun to apply to universities, choosing those with strong engineering and arts programs with an emphasis on interdisciplinary learning. He wants to follow his engineering passion while continuing to evolve as a musician. He can see himself joining student organizations and Jazz Clubs where he can connect with peers as passionate about jazz and music as he is. On the STEM side, he would love to continue designing and programming robots and will become active with student robotic clubs and organizations. Having founded Rising Stars Miami and seeing the positive results of connecting diverse communities through the arts, Max wants to continue doing community service in whatever community his university will be. He loves getting together with his RSM team and working with the kids they teach, which is rewarding for everyone involved, even if it is virtual. This year has taught Max and the RSM students that no matter what happens in life, one must continue to move forward and that the arts are an important and enriching part of life. He looks forward to awarding new scholarships this year and to continuing to grow the Rising Stars Miami family.