Bio

by Marc Serhan

A Ukrainian-American pianist Elina Akselrud began receiving her professional music education at Kiev Lysenko Special Music School with Irina Lipatova and Irina Barinova. At the age of eight she had her orchestra debut with Sumy Chamber orchestra “Renaissance”. During the years of 1998-2003 Elina received prizes at International Competitions for Young Pianists, such as Alemdar Karamanov in Ukraine; “Konzerteum” in Greece; Anatoly Zatin in Ukraine; Chopin for Children and Youth in Poland; In memory of Vladimir Horowitz in Ukraine, and “Citta di Ostra” in Italy, as well as performed with the National Academic Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine at the Lysenko National Philharmonic Hall in Kiev. In 2000 Elina also appeared as a solo and chamber musician during tours in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria.

After moving to the United States in 2005 Elina continued her studies with Irina Morozova at Special Music School at Kaufman Center in New York City. During her high school years (2005-2008), she became a prize-winner at the following Piano Competitions: Ithaca College, NY (1st prize); The Empire State Piano Competition in Saratoga Springs, NY (1st Prize); Leschetizky Association Piano Concerto Competition in New York City (2nd Prize); Woodmere Young Artists in Hewlett, NY (1st Prize) and Special Music School at Kaufman Center Concerto Competition (The Top Prize). She was also featured at the “Young Artists’ Showcase” on WQXR, hosted by Robert Sherman. Her U.S. orchestra appearances include Ithaca College Symphony and Kaufman Center Orchestra.

In 2012 Elina Akselrud received her Bachelor of Music Degree with honors and the Wahl Performance Award from Mannes College, The New School for Music in New York City, studio of Irina Morozova. During her BM studies Elina was supported by The Francis E. and Esther B. Elliott Scholarship Fund. In 2009 she performed the Two Chopin Piano Concerti in an exclusive chamber arrangement for piano and a string quintet. In 2010 Elina gave a series of solo recitals with an all-Chopin program at the “Chopin 200 Marathon” – a festival dedicated to Frédéric Chopin’s 200th Anniversary at the World Financial Center in New York City. In the course of her college years she was awarded prizes at the 5 Towns Music and Art Foundation Young Musician Competition in Hewlett, NY (2nd Prize, 2010); The VIII Chopin on 1000 Islands International Piano Competition in Cape Vincent, NY (1st Prize, 2010); and The III Chopin International Piano Competition in Hartford, CT (1st Prize, 2012).

In 2014 Elina earned her Master of Music degree at New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., where she studied with Alexander Korsantia. During her MM studies Elina was supported by the Mabel Louise Riley Foundation Scholarship via NEC and by a private scholarship from Paula Kremer. In 2013 she won the New England Conservatory Concerto Competition and appeared with Chopin Piano Concerto No.1 in Jordan Hall in Boston with NEC Symphony under the baton of David Loebel.  In 2014-15 Elina was a winner of the 2nd Prize at I Midwest International Piano Competition in Cedar Falls, IA, USA, 3rd Prize at II Chopin International Piano Competition in Canberra, Australia, and 3rd Prize at the 18th International Music Competition Jean Françaix in Vanves, France.

Ms. Akselrud’s artistic activity includes appearances in such well-known venues as the Lysenko National Philharmonic Hall of Ukraine and The “Ukraine” Palace in Kiev, Wiener Saal at Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Verbrugghen Hall at Sydney Conservatorium, Mannes Concert Hall, Merkin Hall, Steinway Hall, Tenri Cultural Institute, Ukrainian Institute of America in New York City, Jordan Hall in Boston, and a number other venues in Ukraine, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Georgia, Slovenia, Australia, Portugal, and the United States. She participated in master classes with Ann Schein, Richard Goode, Glenn Dicterow, Marian Hahn, Alexander Braginsky, Baruch Meir, and Boris Slutskiy.

In 2016 she finished the preparation work of a multi-faceted project “Chopin: A Letter through the Parisian Years” – a unique combination of piano works by Chopin; Elina’s photography of Chopin’s artefacts, manuscripts, corresponding places in Paris and Poland; and theatrical readings of Chopin’s letters and poetry by the Polish poets of his time, in collaboration with a Parisian actor Nathanaël Bez, a New York-based multimedia developer Ed Akselrud, and an Australian scientific philosopher Dilectiss Liu.  It was premiered at the Grand Salon of the Foundation of the United States in Paris, France in 2016 and also performed in Switzerland and Germany.  Currently the Elina and her team are working on the release of the film version of the Chopin Project.

Recently Elina Akselrud performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.3 with the conductor Karel Deseure and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra at KKL Luzern.