AGE: RISING 7TH GRADERS AND OLDER
Returning in 2021
The Piano Program is an intensive, two-week course that offers young pianists an opportunity to work with highly accomplished teachers, perform on a world-class stage, and attend inspiring concerts by guest performers. Through one-on-one lessons, group masterclasses, and lectures, students will refine their technique, expand their musical repertoire, and discuss common questions facing young pianists who want to take their craft to the next level: the best repertoire for an audition or competition, healthy practice routines, and building a portfolio for colleges and conservatories.
A vibrant concert series is the culminating experience of Hotchkiss Piano Portals. Guest artists concerts are performed by the world-class faculty, while students perform in several Young Artists Concerts, held at the stunning Katherine Elfers Hall, or outdoors at the gorgeous Fairfield Farm.
In addition to the performance opportunities on campus, the Hotchkiss Piano Program will bring a group of young pianists for a New York debut recital. Students will be selected through an audition process held during the first week of the program.
Piano Program applicants are required to submit their application in two parts:
1. Submit a file (audio or video) using SlideRoom. Submit the required information here.
2. Fill out the application form for the Hotchkiss Piano Portals Program. Follow this link apply.hotchkiss.org/apply to submit the required information.
- Fabio Witkowski
- Gisele Nacif Witkowski
- Yuri Bogdanov
- Lan Chen
- Leonel Morales
- Leones Morales-Herrero
- John Perry
- Mina Perry
- Oxana Yablonskaya
Piano Program Director
Fabio Witkowski is the program director of the Piano Portal. As both Chair of The Hotchkiss School Music Department and an accomplished professional pianist, Fabio’s commitment to developing musical students of all levels while simultaneously challenging exceptional musicians to continue to grow as artists and performers has made Hotchkiss a leader in attracting exceptional musicians and teachers. Fabio will coach piano ensemble, teach private lessons, and play a formal four-hands concert along with his partner and wife, Gisele.
A native of Brazil, Witkowski began his piano career at the age of six. Since then, he has been performing extensively throughout the world. Mr. Witkowski has given solo recitals in the Czech Republic, Brazil, Italy, China, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Boston, Hartford, Chicago, New York and Washington, DC. He has also appeared as a soloist with the Santo Andre Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra L’Estro Armonico, the Hartt Symphony Orchestra, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the São Bernardo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Paulista Symphony Orchestra. In Brazil, he received the first prize at the renowned Villa-Lobos Piano Competition, as well as the Lorenzo Fernandez Piano Competition. He has been awarded the first prize at the Connecticut State Music Teachers Association’s Young Artist Piano Concerto Competition, and received third prize, as well as an award for the best Stravinsky performance, in the Ibla Grand Prize International Piano Competition, in Italy.
He has performed at the Tanglewood Institute, the Liszt and Wagner International Festival, in Italy, the Prague International Piano Festival, Festival de Musica de Girona, in Spain, and the Liszt Festival, in Rio de Janeiro. For the past four years he has been a guest artist and piano faculty at the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy, having shared the stage with renowned pianists such as Bobby Roux, Ian Robson, Luiz de Moura Castro and Paul Badura-Skoda. He appeared in chamber recitals with the Grammy-Award winning Emerson String Quartet, the Fine Arts Quartet, the Adaskin Trio, and with Mr. Robert deMaine, principal cellist of the Detroit Symphony.
Mr. Witkowski holds a cum laude BM and MM from the Hartt School of Music, where he studied under the guidance of Luiz de Moura Castro. He is currently the Chairman of the Hotchkiss School Music Department, where his teaching efforts have included him for three years in the “Who is Who Among America’s Teachers” publication.
Some of his past engagements include concerts at Bryant Park and Union Square Park, in New York City, both sponsored by the New York Times’s Young Performers Series. Mr. Witkowski also performs regularly with his wife, pianist Gisele Nacif Witkowski. They have appeared together in prestigious settings such as the Gardens of Villa Rufolo, in Ravello, Italy, at the Kennedy Center, in Washington, D.C. and at Carnegie Hall, in New York City. According to the New York Concert Review, the duo “shows marvelous rubato and tremendously clean playing, with a lovely sense of tone.”
Mr. Witkowski has been acclaimed by the critics as “One of Brazil’s most promising talents,” who “never fails to impress the audience,” and whose playing “is able to conjure up the devilish colors of an inferno as well as portray an ethereal paradise...” According to the Hartford Courant, “Mr. Witkowski revealed himself as an accomplished pianist, providing many passages of bravura, sensitivity, and pearly agility.”
Piano Program Director
Critically acclaimed by the New York Concert Review as having given "the most genuinely fascinating recital debut in many a moon," for her New York solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall, pianist Gisele Nacif Witkowski has been performing extensively throughout Brazil, United States, China, and Europe.
Mrs. Witkowski has performed in some of Brazil’s most prestigious venues. Sponsored by Funarte, she completed an extensive recital tour of northern Brazil, intended to promote the Brazilian piano repertoire, which included the capital cities of Brasília, Manaus, Boa Vista, Belém, Macapá, São Luiz, and Terezina. Other recital engagements have included the states of São Paulo, Paraná, Espírito Santo, Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais, and the American states of New York, Washington, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia, and New Jersey, as well as many performances in Italy and Czech Republic. Recent engagements included concerts at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, and at Union Square Park (NY), sponsored by the New York Times Young Performers Series.
She has appeared as guest artists and professor in several music festivals, including the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy for 13 years, the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival and the Hotchkiss Summer Portals in the US, and the São João del Rey, Ourinhos, and Londrina Music Festivals in Brazil.
Her orchestral engagements include numerous appearances with the Piracicaba Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Rio Claro, the Hartt Symphony Orchestra, the São Bernardo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with renowned chamber groups including the São Paulo String Quartet, the Fine Arts Quartet, and the Amerigo Trio formed by New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow.
Mrs. Witkowski also performs regularly with her husband, pianist Fabio Witkowski, as the Witkowski Piano Duo. They have appeared together in prestigious settings such as the Gardens of Villa Rufolo, in Ravello, Italy, at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, as well as several recitals in the United States, Europe, and Brazil. One of their latest projects has been to perform Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with the Bowen McCauley dance company, celebrating the 100 years anniversary of this masterpiece. About this collaboration, The Washington Post said, “Fabio and Gisele Witkowski played the four-hand piano arrangement as if they possessed the very paws of Fate.”
Mrs. Witkowski began her piano studies with her parents at age four. She graduated from the Santa Cecilia Conservatory and received her Bachelor’s degree from the Santa Marcelina College where she studied with Daisy de Luca and Isabel Mourão. She became the first prize winner of several piano competitions including the "The Villa- Lobos National Contest" (ES), the "Soloist Contest" (MG), the "Eleventh Young Instrumentalists Brazilian Contest" (SP), the "Concerto Competition of the Santa Marcelina College" (SP), the "Young Soloists Contest of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra" (SP), and was a recipient of the "Artists International's 1998 Twenty-Sixth Young Artists Piano Award" (NY), among others. She has also appeared on various radio and TV broadcasts including WQXR in New York and TV Cultura in São Paulo.
Mrs. Witkowski received a full scholarship from the Brazilian Government to study at the Manhattan School of Music with Ms. Nina Svetlanova, where she received her Masters degree. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the Hartt School of Music where she studied under the tutelage of Luiz de Moura Castro. She is currently a member of the piano faculty at the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. Her piano students have received numerous awards in regional, national, and international piano competitions.
Yuri Bogdanov started to play piano at four years old with outstanding teacher Anna Artobolevskaya. Simultaneously he began to study music composition under direction of T. Rodionova. In 1990, he finished Central Music School. He completed his studies with distinction at the Moscow State Conservatory P. Tchaikovsky in 1995, and his post graduate work in 1997. His teachers in Central Music School were A. Artobolevskaya, A. Mndoyants, A. Nasedkin; in a conservatory, Prof. T. Nikolaeva; in post-graduate, Prof. A. Nasedkin and Prof. M. Voskresensky.
Mr. Bogdanov has been awarded several prizes and named the winner at the international competitions: J.S. Bach in Leipzig 1992 (III Prize), F. Schubert in Dortmund 1993 (II Prize), F. Mendelssohn in Hamburg 1994 (III Prize), F. Schubert in Vienna 1995 (Grand Prix), E. Honens in Calgary (IV Prize), and S. Seiler in Kitzingen, 2001 (IV Prize). Mr. Bogdanov is the winner of the festival “April Spring” in Pyongyang in 2004, and the recipient of a special prize at the International Competition of Pianists in a Sydney in 1996. In 1992, the pianist was awarded the 1st grant A. Scriabin. In 1989 at Scriabin House Museum in Moscow, Mr. Bogdanov played his first solo recital. Since then, the pianist has performed many concerts in more than in 60 cities of Russia and abroad. He had been on concert tours in Austria, Australia, Germany, Canada, Canary Islands, the Netherlands, Norway, Northern Korea, the USA, France, Switzerland, and Japan. Since 1997, Mr. Bogdanov has been the soloist of the Moscow State Academic Philharmonic Society. He has played in the best concert halls of Moscow, including Big Hall of the Moscow Conservatory P.I. Tchaikovsky as the soloist He’s played with symphonic orchestras of State 11 television and radio of Russia, the Moscow Philharmonic Society, Deutsche Kammerakademie, Calgary Philharmonic, the State Symphonic Orchestra, and others. The pianist cooperated with conductors: V. Ponkin, P. Sorokin, V. Dudarova, S. Skripka, E. Serov, I. Goritsky, M. Bernardi, D. Shapovalov, A. Politikov, P. Yadyh, A. Gulyanitskiy, and E. Nepalo. Mr. Bogdanov has recorded eight CDs. In 1996, his CD with pieces of F. Schubert was recognized by the Viennese F. Schubert Institute as the best recording of Schubert’s records in the world.
Mr. Bogdanov is a professor of Ippolitov-Ivanov Music Institute in Moscow and Gnessin Russian Music Academy. His students are laureates of several international piano competitions. Mr. Bogdanov participated as the member of the jury of many children’s, youthful, and adult competitions of pianists: T. Nikolaeva competition (Bryansk, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2006); A. Artobolevskaya competition (Moscow, 1999, 2002, 2009); A. Scriabin-Grant competition (Moscow, 1996- 1999, 2001, 2003-2007, 2009), in Rybinsk (2002), and in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (2003, 2006, 2010); “Romantishen Stern” competition in Kassel (2004, 2008); “The Star Youth of a Planet” in Krasnodar territory (2006-2010) and in Sochi (2010); and competitions in Ufa (2007, 2008, 2010), in Ulan-Ude (2008), in Abakan (2008). He is a president of the jury and art director of the music competition, “Where Art is Born” in Krasnodar (2008, 2010). Mr. Bogdanov gave master classes in Moscow, Abakan, Astrakhan, Birobidzhan, Blagoveshchensk, Bryansk, Vladivostok, Volgodonsk, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Lipetsk, Magnitogorsk, Murmansk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Pskov, Rybinsk, Saransk, Sochi, Syzran, Ulan-Ude, Ufa, Khabarovsk, Tchelyabinsk, Electrostal, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Yakutsk, Yaroslavl, and also in Kitzingen, Kassel (Germany), and Oslo (Norway). The repertoire of this pianist includes solo, chamber compositions, and concerts for a piano with an orchestra: I.S. Bach, D. Scarlatti, G.F. Hendel, I. Haydn, V.A. Mozart, L.V. Bethooven, F. Schubert, F. Mendelssohn, F. Chopin, R. Schumann, F. Liszt, J. Brahms, E. Grieg, S. Frank, I. Albeniz, C. Debussy, M. Ravel, F. Poulenk, P. Hindemit, A. Gordon Bell, L. Lachenman, N. Medtner, M. Musorgsky, P. Tchajkovsky, A. Scriabin, S. Rahmaninov, S. Prokofiev, D. Schostakovitch, T. Khrennikov S. Gubajdulinna, A. Schnitke, and A. Rozenblat.
The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation often invited Mr. Bogdanov to teach at different summer art schools in various regions of Russia and abroad. He has gratitude from chapters of administrations and heads of culture, departments of the Subjects of Federation, and also gratitude of minister of culture of the Russian Federation. Mr. Bogdanov is one of founders and vice president of A. Artobolevskaya Music Foundation and the International Charitable Y. Rozum Foundation. In December 2005, the presidium of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences selected Mr. Bogdanov as a member-correspondent of the Academy for the Humanities and Creativity. He was awarded a silver medal, “Offer to Art,” by the international charitable fund, Patrons of Art of Century. Also, he was awarded a medal of “honor and advantage” by the society “Kind People of the World.” In March 2006, the pianist got the honorary title “the honored artist of Russia.” Yuri Bogdanov is the art director of the project “Where Art is Born.” In 2007, his name was published in the 10th edition of the bibliographic directory “Who is Who” (the Russian edition). In the autumn of 2008, Steinway & Sons company chose Mr. Bogdanov as the artist of Steinway.
Director of the Piano Research and Education Department of the Shenzhen Arts School, director of the Piano Foundational Education Department of Shenzhen, vice president and vice-secretary general of the Shenzhen Piano Association, a senior examiner and member of the piano committee of the Chinese Musician’s Association, member of the Expert Committee of Shenzhen Secondary Vocational College. Graduated from the Wuhan Conservatory of Music with a bachelor of Music Performance, under the tutelage of Professor Wan Chen. Continued studying for a further year at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, under the tutelage of Mr. LeYi Wu. Then went to a master class taught by the Canadian pianist W. Schultz for a period of two years. After graduating, joined the Wuhan Symphony Orchestra as a pianist. Currently employed as a teacher in the Shenzhen Arts School Piano Department. A visiting professor and guest speaker at the Ningxia Vocational Art College.
With over 20 years experience in the musical education field achieving overwhelming results, publishing articles and papers notably in the "Piano Artistry" magazine and other periodicals of national renown. Independently published "Piano Masterpieces" (volumes 1-4). Between both her current and past students they have accumulated over 60 awards in acclaimed international and domestic competitions. Amongst these awards are the third International Chopin Piano Competition in ASIA Senior Division Gold Prize; the sixth International Chopin Piano Competition in ASIA Concerto Group A Division Silver Prize; the first prizes of the Singapore International Youth Piano Competition Open Group and Youth Group; the fifth Wiesbaden International Piano Final (Asia Pacific) primary schools, high schools, and concert junior high school’s groups divisions special awards; the advanced piano duet division of the sixth Shenzhen Piano Open Competition second place; and the first prize of the Advanced Piano duet Division and fourth prize of the Advanced Concerto Division of the eleventh Shenzhen China Piano Duo (two pianos and fours hands) Competition. With piano students being admitted into the Eastman School of Music, Oberlin College, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Royal College of Music, the Belarusian State Academy of Music, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, the Central Conservatory of Music, the Shanghai, Xinghai, Wuhan Conservatory’s of Music, etc. With titles and awards from the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, various provinces, cities, and Hong Kong such as the "special contribution award," "excellent instructor award," and "gardener award." Alongside teaching and administration work, organizes many piano recitals with the teachers and students. As a representative of the school conducted many information exchange sessions with the Moscow Conservatory of Music, the German Liszt music school, the United States North Texas Art Institute, and the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.
For a multitude of years been a piano competition judge in the Asia-Pacific region at levels ranging from provincial, municipal, Hong Kong, and Macao, whilst concurrently being a senior examiner at the Chinese Musician’s Association.
Has collaborated with the nationally renowned conductor Mr. Xiaotong Huang to perform the "Yellow River Piano Concerto", Mozart "B-flat Major Piano Concerto,” as well as performances with the Wuhan Symphony Orchestra of Liszt’s " Piano Concerto No. 1” Rachmaninoff “second piano concerto," etc. With performances in the Wuhan Qintai Grand Theatre, Wuhan Theatre, Guangzhou Xinghai Concert Hall, Shenzhen Concert Hall, Shenzhen Grand Theatre, Shenzhen Poly Theatre, Hong Kong City Hall, and a variety of other venues.
Born in Cuba, Leonel Morales has lived in Spain since 1991, where he has been awarded many international prizes, including First Prize in the Guerrero Foundation International Piano Competition in Madrid and the Second Prize at Jaen International Piano Competition. He graduated from the University of Havana where he studied under Frank Fernandez, a student of renowned Moscow Conservatory professor Victor Merzhanov, firmly establishing Mr. Morales in the Russian pianist tradition. A professor of piano at the Conservatorio Superior de Castellón, Spain, Mr. Morales has performed all over the world, including the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in New York City. He has toured with various orchestras, including the Spanish National Orchestra, Spanish Radio and TV Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic of Galicia, Symphonic Orchestra of Bilbao, the Symphonic Orchestra of Hamburg, Frankfurt-Oder Orchestra, RAI National Orchestra of Turin, among many others. While on tour with the Spanish National Orchestra, he has been praised by The Washington Post for his “...extraordinary interpretation and power.”
Morales’ ability and virtuosity have frequently been shown during his concert performances with the Spanish National Orchestra, Spanish Radio and TV Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic of Galicia, Symphonic Orchestra of Bilbao, Philharmonic Orchestra of Malaga, Symphonic Orchestra of Tenerife, Symphonic Orchestra of Murcia, the Symphonic Orchestra of Hamburg, Portuguese, Frankfurt-Oder Orchestra, RAI National Orchestra of Turin, Adana, Istambul and Ankara Symphonic Orchestras of Turkey, Virtuosos Orchestra of Berlin Philharmonic, Philarmonic Warsaw Orchestra, Dresdner Philharmonie, Philharmonic Orchestra of Bergen, Symphonic Orchestra of Ljubljana.
Leonel Morales has become member of the “Academia de Bellas Artes de Santa Isabel de Hungría”, in Seville (Spain). He is probably one of the only pianists in the world to have performed all Rachmaninov concerti, including the Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, during two consecutive nights.
Mr. Morales and his wife are co-founders of the international piano competition “Spanish Composers” in Spain, International Piano Competition Maria Herrero, International Piano Festival Masterclass “Leonel Morales,” and International Piano Course for Children and Teenagers. He is also a guest professor at the Hotchkiss in Florence Music and Arts Festival, in addition to serving as a juror at major international piano competitions. In 2008, he was awarded the prestigious Tasto D’Agento prize in Alexandria, Italy, reserved for pianists with distinguished international concert careers.
Leonel Morales-Herrero studied in the Conservatory of Music of Castellón and at present, he continues his studies at the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts at the University Alfonso X el Sabio in Madrid under the direction of his father and teacher Leonel Morales.
Leonel Morales-Herero has received many awards in music competitions, including the first Prize in the Lyon International Piano Competition 2016, in France, and the 2017 Cidade de Ferrol International Competition, in Spain. Also, he obtained first prizes in the 2016 International Piano Competition Mozarte, in Germany, the 2015 César Franck Competition in Brussels.
When he was 15 years old, he performed for the first time in Adana, Turkey, the 1st Concerto of Prokofiev with the Cukurova State Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of the conductor Emin Güven Yasliçam. Obtaining great success, he was invited again to Antalya to perform the 1st Concerto of Tchaikovsky. He also played the Beethoven 4th Concerto under the direction of the conductor Giussepe Mancini in Madrid in the Auditorium “Joaquín Rodrigo” in Las Rozas and in the Palau of the Music in Valencia (Iturbi Concert Hall) under the direction of the conductor Sergio Furió.
He performed in several concert halls in Germany, Holland, Paris, Slovenia, Salzburg including at the Wiener Saal, at the Festival Santa Cecilia-Parnassós in Monterrey, Mexico, and in Taurisano, Varallo, and Mantova in Italy.
In Spain, he performed for the Foundation Yehudi Menuhin in the presence of her Majesty Queen Sofía, for the March Foundation, “Olivar del Castillejo” Foundation, “Juventudes Musicales” of Sevilla, and in different concert halls in Granada including the Auditorium Manuel de Falla.
He has premiered various pieces written by Spanish composers, such as Juan Medina, David Azagra, and Antón García Abril.
He is currently a teacher at the “International Piano Course for Children & Teenagers” and assistant at the “International Masterclass and Piano Festival Leonel Morales”.
Perry has won numerous awards including the highest prizes in both the Busoni and Viotti international piano competitions in Italy and special honors at the Marguerite Long International Competition in Paris. Since then he has performed extensively throughout Europe and North America to great critical acclaim. Also a respected chamber musician, he has collaborated with some of the finest instrumentalists in the world.
He also enjoys an international reputation as a teacher, presenting master classes throughout the world. He often is a jury member at some of the most prestigious international piano competitions. His students have been prize winners in most major competitions and include two first-prize winners in the Rubinstein, four first-prize winners in the Music Teacher's National Association national competition, and first-prize winners in the Naumburg National Chopin competition, the Cleveland Competition, Beethoven Foundation competition, the Federated Music Clubs, and the YKA, AMSC, and YMF competitions, and finalists in the Chopin International in Warsaw, the Van Cliburn, the Queen Elisabeth, Leeds, Dublin, Busoni, Viotti and the Three Rivers competitions.
Perry is professor at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, professor of piano at California State University Northridge in Los Angeles, visiting artist faculty at Boston University, and Professor Emeritus of the USC Thornton School of Music. In addition, he recently founded a music school, John Perry Academy of Music in Los Angeles, where he serves as Artistic Director. During the summer he is artist professor at the Lake Como International Piano Academy, the Banff Center in Alberta, Canada, the Sarasota Music Festival in Florida, the Orford Music Festival in Quebec, the Morningside Music Bridge Program in Calgary, Alberta, the Internationaler Klaviersommer Cochem, Germany, the International Music Festival in Perugia, Italy, the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy, Montecito International Music Festival in Santa Barbara, and the John Perry Academy Summer Piano Festival in California. In January he is main guest artist at the Sydney Piano Festival in Australia.
Resident Piano Faculty
Mina Hirobe Perry has performed in recitals as a soloist and chamber musician in Germany, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Ireland, North America, South Korea and Japan. She also enjoys concertizing two piano and four hand repertoire. Ms. Perry earned her Bachelor and Master Degrees with honor at Musashino School of Music in Tokyo, where she studied with Professor Tetsushige Maruyama and Professor Konstantin Ganev, who was the assistant of the eminent pedagogue Heinrich Neuhaus at Moscow Conservatory. After three years of concertizing throughout Japan and teaching piano privately, she moved to Germany where she earned her Artist Diploma and served as a correpetitor at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold. She continued advanced studies at the Glenn Gould School of Music in Toronto, Canada.
Ms. Perry is Co-Founder and Festival Director of The Southern California Music Institute and the director of the Honors Piano Performance Seminar at the Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. Additionally, she maintains a private studio in La Crescenta, California.
As a dedicated teacher, her students have won numerous competitions and have been accepted to prestigious music conservatories and universities such as Manhattan, Eastman, Cleveland, Peabody, USC, UCLA, and Indiana.
Ms. Perry regularly performs at summer festivals worldwide, including Summer Music on the Shannon in Ireland, Académie Internationale de Courchevel in France, Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg, Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy, and Duxbury Music Festival in Massachusetts. She is also frequently invited to give master classes nationally and internationally.
Her biggest musical influence is from Prof. John Perry, with whom she studied in Germany, Canada, and now is learning from him everyday as his life long partner.
Oxana Yablonskaya is one of a number of hugely talented expatriate Russian pianists to have emerged from the post-World War II era. Yablonskaya possesses an all-encompassing technique and vast repertory that takes in works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and many others. She has made numerous recordings throughout her career, including for Melodiya, Naxos, Connoisseur Society, and Classical Records.
Yablonskaya was born in Moscow, Russia, on December 6, 1938. A gifted child pianist, she studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Alexander Goldenweiser. She had later studies with Tatiana Nikolayeva. In the 1960s Yablonskaya captured prizes at three major competitions: the Jacques Long-Thibaud (1963), the Rio de Janeiro (1965), and the Vienna Beethoven (1969). Despite numerous concert invitations from abroad, however, the Soviet government forbade her from performing outside Eastern Bloc borders. Frustrated in her career, Yablonskaya applied for a U.S. visa in 1975 and was subsequently stripped of her professorship at the Moscow Conservatory and denied all concert engagements. In 1977, thanks in great part to a petition signed by Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Richard Rodgers, Katharine Hepburn, and other notables, Yablonskaya emigrated to the United States with her father and son, Dmitry. Her son would become the renowned conductor and cellist Dmitry Yablonsky, with whom she would make several recordings.
Later on in 1977 Yablonskaya gave critically acclaimed concerts at Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall before capacity crowds. She regularly concertized thereafter, appearing in both recitals and as a soloist with major symphony orchestras across the U.S. and Europe. She soon began making recordings in the U.S., producing three highly praised albums for the Connoisseur Society label that featured music of Beethoven, Liszt, Mussorgsky, and Prokofiev. The Liszt recording was awarded a Grand Prix du Disque by the International Liszt Society.
From 1983 Yablonskaya has served on the faculty at Juilliard. In 1990 she created a near-sensation in her former homeland, giving several sold-out concerts and conducting master classes at the Moscow Conservatory. With the appearance in 1995 of volume one of the piano music of Tchaikovsky, Yablonskaya launched a series of highly successful recordings for the Naxos label.
In 2004, Yamaha engaged Yablonskaya to serve as an artistic advisor for master classes in New York and to conduct yearly master classes in Paris. Yablonskaya established her own piano institute in 2008 at Castelnuove di Garfagnana in Tuscany, Italy.