Born into a musical family in Kazan, Russia, Elena Nezhdanova made a debut with an orchestra at the age of eight and is a recipient of several prizes and awards. Since finishing her Doctorate in Piano Performance and Collaborative Arts from UNC Greensboro, she continues professional activities in United States and abroad. In October 2015, Elena performed Peter Tchaikovsky’s 1st piano concerto in B-flat minor with Sichuan Symphony Orchestra in Chengdu, China. Passionate advocate of new music, Elena’s Doctoral dissertation thesis is a performance guide to 24 Preludes for Piano, Op. 41 by Lera Auerbach. Her recent solo appearances include an invitation to participate in the Lives of the Piano concert series in the program “The Piano and Claude Debussy: Celebrating the Centennial of His Death,” held at Manhattan School of Music on February 8th, 2018. Her future projects include solo appearances in Prague, Czech Republic, and Dresden, Germany in Summer 2018.
An avid chamber musician, Elena is a co-founding member of the Nezhdanova-Placzek (piano/cello) Duo. The Duo’s recent professional engagements include performances across North Carolina, the East Coast, and a scheduled tour of Central Europe for Summer 2018. The Nezhdanova-Placzek duo were featured artists at the North Carolina Bach Festival (2016) and in 2017 they performed alongside with distinguished pianist, Bach & jazz expert, Dr. John Salmon. As a sought-after collaborative pianist, Elena was invited to collaborate with a guest virtuoso Morin Khuur (Horsehead fiddle) player from Inner Mongolia on his North Carolina tour, worked with students at the Richard Luby International Violin Symposium in Chapel Hill, and is currently an Adjunct collaborative pianist at Campbell University, NC since 2017.
A dedicated pedagogue, Dr. Nezhdanova’s many years of interest in and research on the physiology of piano playing gave her the opportunity of being commissioned to write a review of Irina Gorin’s piano method, “Tales of a Musical Journey” published by the Clavier Companion magazine in November 2017. Among her many pedagogic activities, Elena served as a vice-president of MTNA collegiate chapter at UNCG, presented at the Greensboro Music Teachers Association, and at the NCMTA conference at Meredith College. She is frequently invited to judge for the NC music organizations, such as Chapel Hill Music Association Piano Festival, NC Federation of Music Clubs Piano Competition, the RPTA Federation Contests and the Young Artist Auditions. She is currently the Program Director of the North Carolina Bach Festival in charge of its Annual Youth Concert, among others.
Elena Nezhdanova has participated in master classes with distinguished artists such as William Wolfram, Dmitri Shteinberg, John Perry, Natalia Antonova, Nelita True, Ann Schein, Jacques Ogg, Gilbert Kalish, Claude Frank, Joel Krosnick (Juilliard String Quartet). She attended University of Florida International Piano Festival and Aspen Music Festival and School. She received her DMA degree at UNC Greensboro, her Master of Music degree at Ithaca College, and her Bachelor of Music degree at Syracuse University.