Elena Bashkirova - NOSPR
The pianist Elena Bashkirova once said, “Chamber music is music’s soul,” and this belief is evident in her work as a soloist, accompanist, ensemble musician, and program planner. Her approach to all aspects of music is one of empathetic collaboration and communication.
Among the highlights of the 2021/2022 season for Bashkirova – subject of course to the uncertainties of the pandemic – were recitals in St. Petersburg, in the Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonie, and at the Ruhr Piano Festival. Song recitals with Georg Nigl and Martina Gedeck have been planned in Munich, the Cologne Philharmonie, the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, and at the Heidelberg Frühling festival. As a soloist, Elena Bashkirova has performed Mozart’s Concerto in G major, K. 453 and Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto with the Tonkünstler Orchestra, the Odessa Philharmonic, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, and the Sofia Philharmonic.
She comes from a Russian musical dynasty going back generations. Born in Moscow, she began her studies at the age of 15 in the class of her father, the legendary piano pedagogue Dmitry Bashkirov. Together with violinist Gidon Kremer, with whom she has often performed as a duo and has made a number of recordings, Elena Bashkirova left the Soviet Union in 1978 and moved to Paris. She has been influenced by her work with conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Sergiu Celibidache, and Michael Gielen. Since 1992, she has lived in Berlin with her husband, Daniel Barenboim.
She is Artistic Director of the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival, which she founded in 1998. The festival takes place each year in September and has become a pillar of Israel’s cultural life, bringing together outstanding soloists from around the world. In addition, the widely acclaimed Intonations Festival has taken place in April of each year since 2012 in Berlin’s Jewish Museum. Together with musicians from these festivals, Elena Bashkirova performs regularly in the world’s most important chamber music series, including summer festivals such as the Lucerne Festival, the Rheingau Music Festival, the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest, and the Beethovenfest in Bonn. Numerous recordings document the highlights of programs conceived by her for various chamber music groupings.
The repertoire for piano and voice is of particular importance to her. The list of singers with whom she performs as a duo includes Anna Netrebko, Olga Peretyatko, Dorothea Röschmann, René Pape, and Robert Holl.
Her recording of two Tchaikovsky cycles, The Seasons and Album for Children, received the ICMA award in the category “Solo Instrument” in 2017. Her complete recording of Antonín Dvořák’s Poetic Tone Pictures, Op. 85 was released in October 2020.
In 2018, Elena Bashkirova received the Ruhr Piano Festival Prize and was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She was recently named conductor Kurt Masur’s successor as President of the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Foundation in Leipzig.