A Russian-born American pianist, Dr. Elena Nezhdanova, enjoys multifaceted teaching and active performing careers. She made a debut with an orchestra at the age of eight in her native hometown in Russia. In October 2015, Elena performed Peter Tchaikovsky’s 1st piano concerto with Sichuan Philharmonic Orchestra in Chengdu, China. She was a guest artist at the Civic Morning Musicals concert series in Syracuse, NY. She was invited three times to perform as part of the Lives of the Piano concert series at Manhattan School of Music in NYC, in concerts dedicated to MSM Centennial, Claude Debussy Centennial celebrations, and will return in February 2022 to perform selected works from “Petites Esquisses d’oiseaux” by Olivier Messiaen. In March 2019, Elena performed alongside Albanian-born American pianist and professor of piano at Syracuse University, Ida Tili-Trebicka, Bach’s double keyboard concerto in C major, as part of the NC Bach Festival. Pre Covid-19, Dr. Nezhdanova was invited to be one of Professor Daniele Petralia’s International Master Class participants and give a solo piano and duo recitals in Sicily, Italy Summer 2020 postponed (Summer 2022).
Elena is a co-founding member of the Nezhdanova-Placzek Duo (cello/piano) as an avid chamber musician. Their professional engagements include the American East Coast, London U.K., Dresden and Chemnitz’s performances in Germany, and four prominent Czech cities, including Prague, where they performed Brahms’s Piano Trio, op. 114 with renowned Czech violist Vladimir Bukac. Pre Covid-19, the Duo was in the process of establishing Summer Cello Academy with the cooperation of Janacek Conservatory in Ostrava, CZ Republic.
Many years of interest in and research of physiology of piano playing brought Dr. Nezhdanova the opportunity to write a review of Irina Gorin’s piano method “Tales of a Musical Journey” based on the Russian School of piano playing published by the Clavier Companion Magazine (The Piano Magazine) in November 2017. In the Spring of 2021, she presented an online lecture on the Russian School of Piano Playing and “Tales of a Musical Journey” books for the Winston-Salem Piano Teachers Association. In addition, Elena presented at North Carolina’s Teacher’s Association chapters and North Carolina State’s conference. In Spring 2021, she was invited to be one of the workshop presenters for NCMTA for which she will record teaching demonstration videos on Junior A and Junior B repertoire for the 2021-2023 Piano Performance Festival.
In June 2019, Dr. Nezhdanova was invited to give a three-hour lecture on new American piano methods for professional piano teachers in Olomouc, Czech Republic. During the same trip, she gave a master class to piano four-hands student ensembles from North London Collegiate School in the U.K. In May 2020, Elena was invited to appear as a guest speaker, gave master classes through YouTube live stream for The Piano League, and taught virtual guest master classes for East Tennessee State University and Opus Ithaca School of Music.
Dr. Nezhdanova’s students received Highest Honors at various local North Carolina Young Artist competitions, participated and won awards at the North Carolina Bach Festival, and were invited to participate in the Live “Piano Star Showcase” for Young Pianists through The Piano League featuring talented students from the US and Canada. Additionally, Dr. Nezhdanova’s students won top prizes at Carmel Klavier International Competition for Young Artists and Rocky Mountain International Competition and Festival (Canada). Dr. Nezhdanova holds BM from Syracuse University, MM from Ithaca College, DMA from UNC Greensboro.