About Us

Allegro Music Center is a family owned, first class, full-service music center for professional musicians, music educators and students, serving the South Florida region and beyond, boasting customers on every single continent (although we’re not sure about Antarctica). Founded in 1961, Allegro was the recipient of the National Association of Music Merchants’ Milestone Award for 50 Years of Service in the Music Products Industry back in 2011, offering everything from music retail to instrument rentals to instrument repairs to music lessons under one roof.

Even without the leverage and marketing budgets of some of the big chain music stores, Allegro has been able to make substantial inroads in acquiring retail customers both near and far, as well as establishing itself as a major wholesaler outside the United States, thanks to word-of-mouth marketing, its reputation of high quality instruments at the most competitive price points, and a friendly, accommodating customer service experience second to none.

Home to the Emmanuel Berberian® brand, Allegro Music Center set itself apart first and foremost as a specialist in string instruments. Everything from antique string instruments dating back 300 years to new handmade instruments can be found at Allegro. With two highly qualified, expert luthiers on staff, Allegro is able to take care of all manner of instrument repair, maintenance and restoration. Allegro Music Center is proud to be the only independent distributor of YAMAHA instruments in Miami-Dade County, in addition to carrying hundreds of other favorite and renowned musical instrument brands.

With a staff that is fluent in Spanish, and an extensive selection of Latin American repertoire and Spanish method and theory books, we are well-equipped to service the Latin American community's music needs, both in the U.S. and abroad. We currently export to countries in the Caribbean and South America, and also have clients who come from Mexico and Central America.

If you can't find something you're looking for either in-store or on our site, please contact us toll free at 1-877-768-7287 or email us at sales@allegromusiccenter.com, as we can special order practically any music-related item you may need, and offer it to you at truly competitive prices.

Staff

Our Mission

Manuel's much-publicized quote, "If every child played a musical instrument, we would live in a better world", accurately sums up his philosophy and sets the tone for Allegro Music Center's mission. To that end, Manuel has done his utmost to provide the absolute best quality instruments for the best value, in an attempt to make music accessible to all, as well as ensure that newcomers to music make it past the critical early stages, where most beginners can get easily discouraged when playing on an inferior quality instrument.

With four kids of his own, all of whom play an instrument, it makes him a more credible spokesperson for music education, of which he has been a vocal proponent within the local community. He is passionate and relentless in his quest to educate parents and students alike, and raise awareness of the importance of music and music education in the social, mental and emotional development of a child.

Allegro Music Center is very active in its own music community, as far as undertaking or facilitating a number of different activities to help foster its mission. We have opened our doors to all teachers and musicians who require a venue, whether it is for a clinic, a recital or a concert. And several times throughout the year, Allegro hosts an instrument petting zoo at local schools and concert halls such as The Arsht Center and Gusman Hall, giving children of all ages the opportunity to see, touch and play various instruments. These are just a couple of examples of Allegro’s continuing efforts and involvement in advancing the cultural standards in our community.

Aside from equipping schools throughout Miami-Dade County with instruments for their music programs, Allegro has also been involved in supplying instruments for fledgling orchestra programs in Jamaica, Haiti and the Bahamas. Allegro also had the special honor of providing instruments for the Inter-American Culture and Development Foundation (ICDF) for the Organization of American States and its OAS Orchestra Program for Youth at Risk, benefitting low-income children and youths participating in orchestra training programs throughout the Caribbean.

Finally, there is one other basic precept that underlies all of our activities at Allegro Music Center - customer service. Ever since taking over the business in 2002, Manuel's desire to provide the highest level of customer service has become one of the cornerstones upon which our current success has been built.

Staff

Manuel Berberian - Owner/President

Fluent in three languages, a master in international business, a skilled engineer, and a violinist, this self-professed "resident of the world" has lived in more countries and held more jobs than he probably cares to remember. Manuel was born in Athens, Greece of Armenian heritage. His family would soon after move to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he would spend his formative years and graduate from college with an Engineering degree. Fifteen years later, his family would emigrate to Windsor, Canada; various jobs would subsequently lead him to Toronto, Puerto Rico, and finally Miami.

Manuel's career in corporate America, of twenty-five plus years, specializing in international business, would end in 2002 with his acquisition of Allegro Music and the pursuit of his first love - music. Given his first violin at the age of 5 by another violinist, Manuel, from an early age, exhibited a natural aptitude for music. Even without parental support to learn a musical instrument, he persevered by whatever means necessary to further his own musical development. His arrival in Canada would prove to be a very active and diverse musical period in his life, from playing as a violinist with the semi-professional Windsor Symphony Orchestra, to performing as a singer/bass player in Latin and jazz clubs, across the river in Detroit. Even after joining the corporate world, Manuel continued playing the violin recreationally in a trio including piano and French horn, and more recently used to play in the local Alhambra Orchestra.

Manuel's love for music is rivaled only by his love for musical instruments. He has been a collector of fine violins well before he could have ever anticipated running a music store. For this reason, even with his mile-long list of responsibilities and day-to-day duties of overseeing a retail operation, this long-time violin aficionado and handyman, who holds a certificate in violin construction and restoration, can't help but undertake luthier related activities, personally caring for the repair, adjustment and restoration of fine string instruments that come through the store.

Manuel is tireless in his efforts to promote music education and its importance in the development of children. His commitment to this is made even more apparent by his actions. In an effort to give back to his local community, Manuel wants to provide people with opportunities that were not necessarily afforded to him in his youth. To that end, he offers free classes to underprivileged violinists who exhibit talent and dedication.

Anyone who knows Manuel, knows that he is the lifeblood of Allegro Music. It is rare for a customer to come into Allegro and NOT ask to see Manuel. Patience, empathy, passion and generosity are just a few of the many traits that have made him such a beloved figure among his family, friends and customers. Few would argue that it would be hard to imagine a local music community without Manuel being a vibrant part of it.

Marina Berberian - Owner/Vice-President

Marina hails from what, in 1991, was Soviet Armenia -- the year she came to the United States. She is an honors graduate with a Bachelor of Music degree from the Romanos Melikyan Music College in Yerevan, Armenia. An additional five years at the Yerevan State Conservatory would further bestow upon her a Master’s degree in music pedagogy, solo performance, and chamber music accompaniment. Having come from the Soviet education system (one of the most rigorous in the world) she was well-equipped to tackle everything she has excelled in, since arriving to South Florida.

Over the last 25 years, she has become one of the most sought after piano teachers in Miami. Aside from raising three children and running her independent piano instruction studio, Marina has held various teaching posts as a music teacher in local public and private schools. She frequently receives calls to perform as an accompanist, in addition to performing at many special events. Over the last several years, Marina has also been invited to perform in various concert halls around the world.

Despite her already frenetic schedule, she surprisingly finds time to make a sizeable contribution to Allegro Music. Her extensive education and knowledge of classical music made her the obvious choice to oversee the extensive inventory of sheet music when she and Manuel originally bought the business. For this reason, she has become the resident expert on all sheet music related matters, with an intimate knowledge of our inventory that has become indispensable both to Allegro's employees as well as to our customers.

Kerop Berberian - Marketing and Business Development

Manuel's youngest son, Kerop, joined the team at Allegro in 2017. His music experience started at the age of 4, when he first started taking violin instruction. A talented violinist and consummate performer, he graduated from New World School of the Arts in Miami.

After a brief service and honorable discharge from the US Air Force, Kerop graduated as a Paramedic/Firefighter and worked in the field receiving high commendations from his superior officers in the firehouses where he worked.

Given that the store is part of his family’s legacy, and the fact that there is a collection of over a hundred antique, highly valuable, and highly flammable string instruments, he decided to bring his firefighting expertise, his love for music, and his desire to reinvent and eventually take over the business, to Allegro Music Center.

Just don’t ask him to play the violin anymore, please—the combination of his robust anterior deltoid and pectoralis minor has already crushed one too many violins, while attempting a Paganini caprice.

Alemnest Andino - Associate Manager

Ali is currently the employee who has held the longest tenure at Allegro. Since 2012, when she first joined the Allegro family, she has steadily demonstrated her willingness and ability to take on additional roles with increased responsibilities.

A highly accomplished flute player in her own right, she fit right in from day one, not only within the musical environment of Allegro, but now also within the department she now heads, which includes brass, woodwinds, and orchestral instruments.

Ali also oversees Allegro’s very important export business, specializing in the Latin American market consisting of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean, in addition to managing the bulk of school related sales and service.

Aside from her duties on the retail side of the store, she is also a veteran on the music lesson side of the business, handling a large part of the administration for Allegro School of Music, including but not limited to scheduling, billing, and hiring of instructors.

Don’t let her diminutive stature or girlish charm deceive you, though. Although she realizes that we live in a “customer is always right” world, she does not suffer fools gladly, and is able, in the most tactful and direct way possible, to point it out to those deserving.

Wilson Suazo - Marketing and Business Development

Wilson has lived in Miami almost his entire life. Arriving from Honduras at the age of 6, he attended local schools and studied Criminal Justice in college, graduating from FIU in 2016, after earning his Bachelor’s Degree. In 2013, while enrolled at FIU, he had accepted a position at Allegro, where he worked part-time, putting himself through school. After graduation, he decided to take a year off as a break from school life, whereupon he became further ensconced in the day-to-day operations of Allegro.

He is the only member of the Allegro Music Center family who does not play a musical instrument. Even without any prior knowledge of music, though, he has still managed to surpass all expectations and rise to each and every challenge, earning him the position he currently finds himself in, as a key member of the Allegro team.

Wilson has developed into somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades and is a library of knowledge as it pertains to almost every facet of the business— from customer service and sales, to instrument repair and maintenance, to discussing the finer points of the importance of music education. Although his position at Allegro is not within his chosen field of expertise, he has, nonetheless, become somewhat of an indispensable fixture to his colleagues.

He has reluctantly not applied himself to learn a musical instrument, although you’ll hear him say, that given the choice, he would learn the cello. For now, however, the extent of his involvement with music lessons is limited to the co-administration and oversight of all Allegro School of Music operations.

In the News

Youth Symphony’s Yosvani Rodriguez to attend prestigious music academy | PDF
by Lewis C. Matusow
Cutler Bay News - 06/02/2017

The Benefits of Music Lessons
by Jenny Staletovich
Miami Herald - 08/04/2013

NAMM Press Release – Allegro Music Center Receives Milestone Award for 50 Years in Business (PDF)
1/17/2011

Keeping Classical Music Alive (PDF)
by Jose Pagliery
Miami Herald - 06/03/2007

Driving Dirge of Development (PDF)
by Sebastian del Marmol
Gables Gazette - 05/4/2006-05/10/2006

Manuel Berberian Revives Allegro Music Center in the Gables (PDF)
by Larry Luxner
Gables Magazine - Winter 2004

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