Elena Tarasova (piano)
Elena Tarasova is a laureate of international piano competitions, assistant professor of Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, founder and artistic director of different festivals and concert series, member of the World Piano Teachers Association and the International Union of Musical Statesmen.
“Pianist Elena Tarasova is distinguished not only by her dedication in the profession, but also by such qualities as honesty and sincerity toward others and herself. It is especially noticeable when she plays: there is no vanity, no striving to please and be liked by the audience, and as a consequence, affectation and imitation of fashion are left fare behind, while human nobility combines harmoniously with nobility of performance. Years of performing work have enabled Elena Tarasova to create a vast repertory whose main feature is not only the closeness of each particular composition to the inner world of the Artist, but also its relevance and “common humanity”. Whether they are compositions of the baroque era or opuses of twentieth-century composers, they all give an indication of the excellent taste of the performer and her ability to separate the absolutely valuable from the subordinate and insignificant…”
Elena Tarasova was born on May 16, 1984, in Moscow. She started playing the piano when she was four years old. Her creative individuality was formed and developed over the course of eleven years in Olga E. Mechetina’s class in the Children’s Music School at the Academic Music College of Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and the Academic Music College of the Conservatory. Then Elena began her studies at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory under the guidance of professor Sergey L. Dorensky and professor Pavel T. Nersessian. After graduating from the Conservatory with honors, she started her postgraduate studies in the class of Sergey L. Dorensky and Pavel T. Nersessian. Upon graduating in 2010, she was invited to join the teaching staff of the Conservatory.
“We especially should mark the play manner of Elena Tarasova, that combines softness in itself, filigree technique and force, that let her greatly embody absolutely different music images”.
Elena has been touring Russia from the age of fifteen (the artist’s touring biography includes more than sixty cities). The high level of her performance was noted also in Italy, France, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands and Japan. Elena has played in the halls of Paris, Montpellier, Lille, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Salzburg, Amsterdam, Sarajevo, Novi Sad, Prague, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Sendai, Nagoya, Gifu, Saitama, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Matsuyama, Kagoshima, Fukushima, Naha (Okinawa) and many other cities.
Among international festivals and significant music projects Elena’s biography includes the following projects: «Sergey Dorensky invites», Kyoto International Music Students Festival (Kyoto), «Fridays At The Pushkin Museum», Sergey Rachmaninov International Music Festival (artistic director – N. Lugansky), Radio France Festival (Montpellier), Lille National orchestra festival (artistic director – J.-C. Casadesus), «Concordia» International Music Festival (artistic director – A. Sladkovsky), Russian Symphonic Forum (Ekaterinburg), festival «Radio ORFEY presents», etc.
“Significant impression was left by careful, elegant initial touch of Elena Tarasova. “Circularity” of phrasing, drill and conciseness of details, irreproachable petty technique – all of these are together with aspiration “to impart the character of composition”, but not “to make the character of soloist-virtuoso”. The quality is not often seen among modern pianists, who often tend to “physicality”…”.
“…Chopin, Liszt, Rakhmaninov – are Lena’s nature where she possesses all multicolor of piano’s tints. She has her own system of adaptation before going to the stage. The look is estranged, and with her inner hearing she replays the program in her head… Then celebration of the mass starts, and during this time nothing exists except the Music. It is the professionalism of the high standard”.
Elena’s repertoire includes various styles and directions, covering the period from the baroque era to the twenty-first century; she has also performed at the World and Russian premieres of a number of compositions. Elena pays special attention to the compilation of her repertoire list by forming the architectonics of each performance concept. One such experiment led to the creation of the “acoustic performance” genre, which was defined by the media as “an extension of the classic klavierabend framework by means of philosophical interpretation of the creation and perception of music, the core essence of which this time is the syncretism of determinative expressive means operating together with all the categories put together as a single whole” (Belcanto.ru). The first acoustic performance “Sound illusions. Collage” was released on CD in 2018 (“Neue Sterne” label, Germany) and it got the highest rating for interpretation and sound in the rating of the musical journal “Piano News” (Germany).
«It is worthy to mention the high culture of touch of 34-year-old pianist who superbly manages to make the instrument sound according to the composer’s plan. She immerses the listener in a warm and deep sound of Tchaikovsky’s “Reverie du soir”, while Rachmaninov’s selected preludes sometimes have a rather powerful touch which constantly heighten the interest in the pianist’s playing. She is easily imbued of a variety of musical ideas […] The pianist always correctly selects agogics, and with the help of phrasing she manages to reveal the images that lurk in the music. A magnificent recording of a well-arranged program of a musician, the world should hear more about».
Just like her previous album, Elena’s new CD “La Folie” (2020) has received full marks for interpretation in the “Piano News” rating.
“The Russian pianist Elena Tarasova desires a certain drama in her solo performances, crafting a program concept that allows for emphatic displays of self-expression. She seeks “arcs, parallels, and hidden lines to unite her pieces under a single higher idea…” This description may have been used to characterize her 2018 album “Sound Illusions”, but it is no less applicable to her new album “La Folie”, in which she traces the theme of insanity through different epochs. The album invokes Couperin, Liszt, Rachmaninov, and Debussy, among others, for a voluminous sound that maintains its structural serenity, rigorous baroque linearity, and romantic gesture, filigree touch and powerful expression of will. She feels at home in the florid world of Couperin, with all its baroque inflections, and she masterfully commands the sharp contrasts of Liszt and Rachmaninov in dynamics, tempo, and musical pattern. Elena amazes audiences with her artful display of musical devilry, underscoring the “insane” energy of every piece with outstanding power. Her finesse and expertise are just as unmistakable in her expressions of the more quiet and intimate (Skryabin), as they are in her wonderous unraveling of melodic lines, be it bass or upper registers (Rachmaninov). She sculpts impressive emotional intensity with apparent ease, combining 200 years of musical history into a series of performances that truly showcase her versatile talents. Let’s hold our breath for what is yet to come!”.
Elena has recorded several CD with compositions of F. Couperin, J.S. Bach, F. Liszt, C. Debussy, C. Saint-Saëns, P. Tchaikovsky, S. Rachmaninov, A. Scriabin, M. Ravel, S. Prokofiev, I. Stravinsky, J. Françaix.
She is known for her collaboration with orchestras, chamber music groups and artists, such as Rusquartet, Symphonic orchestra of Moscow Conservatory, Vyatcheslav Valeev, Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra, Gaik Kazazyan, Roberto Forés Veses, Asya Sorshneva, Leonard Schreiber, Pavel Baransky, Kirill Rodin, Enkhe, Sergey Poltavsky, Andrey Yaroshinsky, Alexey Kurbatov, Elena Korzhenevich, Sergey Suvorov, Ilya Gaisin, Sergey Ferulyov, Rashit Nigamatullin, Mikhail Mosenkov, Dmitry Vasiliev, Sergey Eletsky, Vitaly Vatulya, Evgeniya Chepikova, Anton Pavlovsky, Oleg Bugaev, Alexey Kornil’ev, Mikhail Shevnin, Mikhail Turpanov, Victor Khotulev, and many others.
Elena gives master-classes in Moscow and other Russian cities, in Germany, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Japan.
She serves as a judge in various competitions and festivals. Since 2018, Elena is a judge at the annual WPTA International Piano Competition (Serbia).
Elena is the founder and artistic director of a number of festivals and concert series. The creation of concepts and the holding of such projects, full of fresh and original repertory discoveries, are an important trait of her creative work. The largest of Elena’s projects are the festival “The 110th anniversary of the birth of Francis Poulenc” (2008-2009), musical project “Russian Evenings” (2011-2015), and the “OPUS UNIVERSUM” international music project (since 2016). Elena is also the founder and artistic director of PIANOPOLIS Interpretation Laboratory (since 2020).