Ukrainian pianist Anna Shelest at Juilliard


I recently had the pleasure of hearing pianist Anna Shelest at the Golden Key series at the Bechstein Piano Centre and was very impressed by her fantastic technique and musicianship. This month, Shelest will be performing a free solo recital at Paul Hall at the Juilliard School in New York.

Bach Prelude and Fugue No.8 from WTC, Book I
Chopin Sonata No.3 in B minor, Op.58
Rachmaninoff Nine Etudes Tableaux Op.39

Hailed by the critics as the “female reincarnation of Liszt” and a “piano lioness”, Anna Shelest is an international award-winning pianist who has thrilled the audiences throughout the world.

Born in Kharkiv, Ukraine Anna began her piano studies at the age of six. She attended the Kharkiv Special Music School for Gifted Children, where she was a student of Gary Gelfgat and later of Sergei Polusmiak. At the age of eleven she performed at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris as the youngest prize winner of the Milosz Magin International Piano Competition.

At the age of twelve Anna made her orchestral debut with the Kharkiv Symphony Orchestra, playing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Since then she has been a soloist with some of the world’s most renown orchestras such as Montreal Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, under Maestro Paavo Jarvi, and Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. Other appearances include Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, Lugansk Philharmonic, Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Russian Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Sinfonia and the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra.

Anna has performed on some of the world’s greatest stages such as Carnegie Hall in New York City, Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory and Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.

As an international recitalist, Anna has performed in Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine, South Africa and the United States. Her chamber music collaborations include performances with the Amernet String Quartet, Cincinnati ARC Ensemble, and musicians from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Anna’s repertoire ranges from the Baroque to today’s contemporary composers. Streaming from her special affinity toward Russian piano repertoire, she released her first solo CD of Rachmaninoff music entitled: Etudes-tableaux op. 39 and Moments Musicaux op. 16. (Classical Records. Moscow, 2007). She has also collaborated with Cristian Ganicenco, principal trombonist of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on the CD “Beyond Oblivion” featuring music for trombone and piano (2007).

With her sincere and compelling interpretations Anna has won prizes and awards in numerous international piano competitions including: First Prize in Bradshaw-Buono International Piano Competition, New York, (2009), First Prize in the Louisiana International Piano Competition, (2005); First Prize in the Kawai American Recording Contest (2005); First Prize in the Jefferson Symphony Young Artists Competition, Denver, Colorado (2005); Second Prize and a Special Symphony Orchestra Prize in the Third International Piano Competition for Young Musicians, Enschede, The Netherlands (2004); First Prize in the Corpus Christi International Competition for Piano and Strings (2004) and others.

Currently Anna resides in New York City, where she attends the Juilliard School pursuing a graduate degree in the class of Jerome Lowenthal. Her previous teachers included Sergei Polusmiak at Northern Kentucky University where Anna was a recipient of numerous scholarships and awards including a Corbett Scholarship, the Regents Award, and recognition as an Outstanding Senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as private studies with Eugene and Elizabeth Pridonoff of University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.