I play and teach all kinds of classical music - from Baroque to Contemporary. I think it is very important to understand how unique and complete each individual style is - therefore, I don't really have a favorite one, since they are all incredible. I am an open-minded and easy going person, always willing to collaborate with my students' needs and ideas when it gets to piano playing. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions about lessons - I will be more than happy to reply! Looking forward to hearing from you soon and please check out my full bio below:
Born in Ukraine, Elina Akselrud made her first appearance with an orchestra at the age of eight, studying at Kiev Special Music School with Prof. Irina Lipatova and Irina Barinova. Elina is a prize winner of international piano competitions, such as “Konzerteum’99” (Greece), In Memory of Vladimir Horowitz’00 (Ukraine), Chopin Competition for Youth (Poland), “III Citta di Ostra’03” (Italy), “5 Towns’10”, Midwest’14 (USA), Chopin Canberra’14 (Australia), Jean Françaix’15 (France). She has performed in Ukraine, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Georgia, Slovenia, Australia, Portugal, and the United States. She played concertos with several orchestras, including the Ukrainian National Orchestra, the Kaufman Center Orchestra, NEC Symphony, and Lucerne Symphony. In 2009 Elina performed the two Chopin Piano Concertos with a string quintet at Mannes Concert Hall. In 2010 she took part in the “Chopin 200” Marathon at the World Financial Center in New York City. She is the winner of the “Chopin on Thousand 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 2012 Elina received her Bachelor of Music Degree with honors from Mannes College, The New School for Music, where she was a student of Irina Morozova. In 2014 she obtained a Master of Music Degree with honors under the tutelage of Alexander Korsantia.
In 2016 Elina Akselrud premiered her first crossover 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 Franco-Swiss actor Nathanaël Bez at the Grand Salon of the Foundation of the United States in Paris, France. It was also performed in Switzerland and Germany the following year, which marked the founding of Intertwining Arts: Elina’s organization, which unites her interdisciplinary projects created in collaboration with artists from other genres.
In 2017 Elina Akselrud was on the selection panel of the III Australian International Chopin Piano Competition Preliminary Round. In 2018 Mrs. Akselrud has toured Switzerland with the Swiss soprano Judith Duerr, performing a special Swiss-themed chamber program “Künstlerliebe”. During the same year Elina finished her postgraduate training at Scuola di Musica di Fiesole in Italy with Eliso Virsaladze and at Hochschule Luzern – Musik in Switzerland, acquiring a Master of Music ‘Major Solo Performance’ Degree, studio of Konstantin Lifschitz.
In the spring of 2018 Elina and her Intertwining Arts Team have released the cinematic version of the Chopin Project at the Hôtel Chopin Grand-Boulevards Paris and immediately premiered “Scriabin Sonatas Reimagined, Part 1” by presenting it in Switzerland four times. In the latter project Elina is performing the first five Piano Sonatas by Scriabin, along with simultaneously projected artistic videocollages made by a Polish-Dutch artist Arletta Elst on the subject of the Planet Earth (the beauty of nature VS the terrifying impact made by humanity). The project’s film version is planned to be released in 2019.
I teach using the "Slavic school" style of piano playing. I myself was taught by professors in Kiev, New York City, Boston, and Florence, who were students of the leading pedagogues of the Kiev, St. Petersburg, Tbilisi, and Moscow conservatories. My own teaching style is based on this system since I find it very effective and extremely productive.
I have been teaching throughout my bachelor's and master's studies, and I have experience with students of different ages. I am always looking for an individual approach that would work best for the student, based on his/her background, experience, interest, and availability to practice between lessons. I would say that I am a patient, but at the same time demanding teacher. My goal is to inspire the student to enjoy the process (even when it gets tough) and to always reach for the result.
I received my Bachelor of Music Degree at Mannes College, The New School for Music in NYC, Master of Music Degree at New England Conservatory in Boston, Master of Music Major Solo Performance Degree at Hochschule Luzern - Musik, Lucerne, Switzerland and a Post-Graduate Certificate, at Scuola di Musica di Fiesole in Florence, Italy.