Dear Friends,

We did it.  The premiere of the “Chopin: A Letter through the Parisian Years” took place on April 1, 2016 at the Foundation of the United States in Paris, France.  And nothing would have happened without your tremendous support.  We had a full-house in a completely overbooked venue with a live wait-list, nearly 200 occupied seats.  People arrived especially for this event from the United States, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Ukraine, and many places in France.


You know, I feel truly lucky and blessed in my life because of the people I am surrounded with.  It is a real happiness when those around are so responsive, kind-hearted, and understanding.  I am grateful from the bottom of my heart to all of you, listed below.  It would not be possible to create this project without such wonderful people involved.


The financial report is available for the donors only, upon request.  The prints for the donors will be mailed out this weekend.  The DVD will be created over the next few months and I will announce more information on it later on.


We are now open to invitations for the future performances of this project.  Feel free to throw in ideas!





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Thank you! [Post-Chopin Premiere]

Thank you everyone, Merci à tous for your support and help before and during our Chopin Project premiere on April 1 in Paris!!!

I am more than happy to share with you a reflection written by Frédéric Sausse of the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris: [original link here] thank you, Frédéric!

Chopin et Chopin
Elina Akselrud, Nathanaël Bez

Tous le monde connaît Frédéric Chopin, le grand compositeur du piano romantique. Son le père était bien sûr français, mais il est né en Pologne en 1810 où il a reçu son éducation. Il est arrivé à Paris en 1831, une période où les romantiques étaient présents dans tous les domaines. Il y rencontrera George Sand, qui sera sa compagne pendant neuf ans. Son dernier concert, le 16 février 1848, à Paris eu un immense succès, et ce fut son chant du Cygne puisqu’il s’y est éteint 17 octobre 1849.

Afin de nous rappeler qui était Chopin, Vendredi dernier le 1er du mois, dans le grand salon de la Fondation des Etats-Unis, Elina Akselrud une pianiste classique américano-ukrainienne et photographe (formée à Kiev, New York et Boston) et le comédien-scénariste-metteur en scène Nathanaël Bez nous ont présenté un spectacle multimedia étonnant associant, le piano, le chant, la photo et un ensemble de lectures scéniques, basé sur les années parisiennes du compositeur et intitulé CHOPIN : A LETTER THROUGH THE PARISIAN YEARS.

Ils présentent leur spectacle comme une réflexion sur le besoin absolu de créer pour donner du sens à la vie, que Chopin incarne de façon si manifeste. Et de l’invariable destin de l’œuvre qui est de se séparer de son créateur pour pénétrer l’âme d’autrui. La personnalité complexe de Chopin -trop peu souvent illustrée- se révélera également à travers la lecture de sa correspondance, sensible et passionnée comme sa musique.
Cet événement dépasse la structure d’un concert classique, et fait appel à trois genres artistiques : au piano de déférentes œuvres de Chopin, de lectures (en anglais et en français) de la correspondance de Chopin, et de poèmes de ses contemporains polonais. Et des photographies (projetées sur écran au-dessus de la scène) avec des extraits vidéos de la vie parisienne de Chopin ; ses pianos, ses manuscrits, ses objets familiers, etc.

Le résultat est tout à fait extraordinaire, captivé par le jeu de l’acteur qui s’applique à s’inscrire dans la vie quotidienne, on ne sait plus par moment si on est face au personnage de Chopin lui-même, ou, comme l’explique Nathanaël Bez à son esprit incarné qui nous communique les pensées et les sentiments du musicien par la lecture de ses lettres. En même temps que notre attention est par moment happée par telle ou telle photo et que nous nous laissons bercer par le jeu de la pianiste qui nous a interprété une quinzaine d’oeuvres, parmi les plus connues, avec l’incontournable Waltz in C Sharp Minor Op. 64. Et pour compléter ce spectacle déjà si riche, une soprano est venue nous charmer en chantant en polonais.
Frédéric Sausse

Salut final

The Chopin Project Update!

Dear Friends,

I hope all is well with you and you are quite ready for the coming spring!  First of all, today is Chopin’s Birthday (he was born on March 1, 1810) and I would like to remind you that the premiere of “CHOPIN: A LETTER THROUGH THE PARISIAN YEARS” is taking place at the Grand Salon of the Foundation of the United States in Paris, France, on April 1, 2016 at 8:00 pm!  The admission is FREE (reservations are recommended through Weezevent).

Naturally, I would love to thank all the donors who have supported the Chopin in Paris crowdfunding project campaign!
Nathanaël Bez and I have a few updates about our work that we would love to share with you!  We have been rehearsing now for a while, and things are unfolding beautifully.  I have completed my visual shooting in locations such as Parisian addresses of Chopin (9 Sq d’Orléans, 12 Place Vendôme, the Père Lachaise cemetery), streets of Cité Bergère along with some interior views, a number of others places in Paris and went to Poland (Warsaw and Żelazowa Wola) in order to shoot places of Chopin’s birth and childhood/youth.

We are very grateful to the following organizations for collaborating with us:  The Foundation of the United States in ParisAssociation Chopin à Nohant, The Polish Library in Paris, and Friends of Chopin Australia.  Without assistance from these institutions it would be impossible to have things done.

We have a list of good news: first of all the Foundation of the United States is lending us their projector for the visuals completely free of charge, in addition to letting us use the venue for free!
The next great news is that Eduard Akselrud is now our projection technician and video manager, who will be flying over to Paris from New York City at the end of March to join us for the DVD filming, and all the projection work! We also gained a visual effects assistant Shahin Alirkan, who is working on the compositing of the entire visual part, as well as helping with additional film shooting! He is also based in New York and works with us long-distance.
However, this is not all: Iryna Kyshliaruk, a very prominent Ukrainian soprano currently based in Paris and Leipzig, will be performing one of Chopin’s songs with us on stage!
And our newest team member is the Parisian lighting director Lionel Harkas, Sono Concept, who will create magic with colors, lights, and shadows!

It is incredibly exciting to be working together with such unique and talented artists.  It feels very uplifting and inspiring and we CANNOT WAIT to share our work with you!  We are also accepting invitations for future performances of this project – if you happen to have ideas or know someone possibly interested in organizing such an event (perhaps as part of a festival), please be in touch!Once more, we are very grateful to ALL the donors who are helping us.  Every donation means a world to us, really.  However, we are still quite far from our goal and the time is going by very quickly… So we do need YOUR support.  You can donate to our project at our GoFundMe campaign page and we will make sure to thank you.

Chopin: A Letter through the Parisian Years



Dear Friends,

My warmest greetings with the New Year of 2016! May life bring only joy, inspiration, and prosperity to you and your families!

I would like to make a big announcement about the World Premiere of a very special project, which I am currently working on with the wonderful actor Nathanaël Bez( 

This is a research/performance piece about the Paris years of Frédéric Chopin.  This unique event combines at least three art genres: the solo piano performance of Chopin’s music, theatrical readings of his letters and poems by Polish poets of his time, and photographs or short video clips of his Parisian life including his pianos, manuscripts, personal belongings, portraits, routes, and more.  However, your help is very much needed for bringing this performance to life!  Please check out the links below!

17 октября.

Осенне-зябким ранним утром,
Вдыхая ливня предвкушенье,
Рассыпать звуки-перламутры
И, будто в полусновиденьи,

Сквозь зыбкий хроматизм гармоний,
Едва стелящийся в эфире;
Сквозь тихий вздох больных агоний
Эвтерпии с осколком лиры

На старом кладбище Парижа,
Найти мелодию Шопена…
Забыть о лоске и престиже,
О том, что дёшево и тленно;

Пройдя по узким тротуарам,
Вдруг осознать – коснётся время
Всея и всех; но с редким даром
Веками будет жить лишь гений.

New School Alumni Photo Contest Winner!

I want to THANK ALL OF YOU for your HUGE SUPPORT!!!
This shot was created as a result of the collaboration of Elizaveta Muravieva (model, MUAH), Ann Balk (MUAH, costume design), Serezha Levitan (composition, assistance), and I pressed the button on the camera and added a few photoshop strokes at the end 😉
Folks, you are amazing. THANK YOU!!!!

We’re pleased to announce that Elina Akselrud, Performance – Piano ’12, is this year’s “New School Choice” winner for…

Posted by New School Alumni on Thursday, September 24, 2015

New School Alumni Photo Contest Finals!

I am happy to announce that my photo of Elizaveta Muravieva was chosen as a finalist of the New School Alumni Photo Contest! Please vote for this work by OPENING THE LINKS PROVIDED BELOW and PRESSING ‘LIKE’ on Facebook or Instagram (the little heart)

Please note: this post is just the preview! Voting is ONLY counted in the New School Alumni PHOTO ALBUM on Facebook or Instagram after you click on the links below and press ‘like’ there!!!
Thank you so much for your support!!!!