Inspiration, Music, Motivation
Called “magical” and “mesmerizing,” Yelena Balabanova has performed as a soloist, accompanist, and chamber musician in numerous festivals and concerts, including Steinway Hall, Benaroya Hall, a four-year tenure at Colorado Music Fest, and tours across the United States, Canada, Europe, and her native Russia.
“...unbelievable clarity...aware of every note and its meaning in the phrase...selfless, honest approach to the music and its message...fingers disappeared and the more important illusion of SOUND as an orchestral possibility, emerged. Yelena's playing transported us.” (Deborah Dewey, pianist)
Yelena Balabanova’s extensive repertoire, original interpretations, and imaginative programs were recognized by the Award from the National Endowment for Advancement in the Arts, Recognition from the National Foundation of Music Clubs, Outstanding Alumna Award from the State School of Arts in the Moscow Region, Prize in the Competition of the Americas for the professional pianists, Graduate Faculty scholarship at the University of CO at Boulder, and full scholarship at the Russian State Gnesins Academy of Music.
Yelena Balabanova began her musical training at the age of four, received her Bachelor’s piano performance degree at the age of 19 in Moscow, and was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she studied with Larry Graham and Robert Spillman. Her teachers also include Vladimir Krainev, Arcadiy Sevidov, and Valentina Zvereva. Dr. Balabanova taught at the State School of the Arts in the Moscow region of Russia, at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, University of Colorado at Boulder, and at the Renaissance Music Academy of Virginia. She is a sought-after presenter of workshops and master-classes, and enjoys coaching and creating performance opportunities for other musicians as Artistic Coordinator of Soli Del Gloria concert series in Bellevue, WA. She currently serves as WSMTA Membership Committee Chairman and a member of Advisory Boards for several non-profit cultural organizations. After working as an Artistic Director of API and Colorado MTNA Competition Chairman, Dr Balabanova also founded the Rocky Mountain Piano Soirees, a grass-root movement which has grown to bring together pianists from all over the state of CO. Currently Yelena serves as a Board member of Washington Federation of Music Clubs and Artistic Co -Director and Board member of the Chopin Foundation of the United States Northwest Council.
Yelena Balabanova loves to share her passion for piano with her community and students of all ages through teaching at the International Conservatory Studio in Bellevue, Sammamish, Mukilteo and Seattle, WA, and in Colorado Springs, CO. ICS students performed with 15 symphony orchestras including Berlin Phihlarmonic and were recognized with numerous awards, including scholarships to schools including Peabody Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, Wheaton Conservatory in Chicago, BYU, University of CO at Boulder, CO State University, Philips-Andover, Julliard, Cheatham Music School in England, Seattle Pacific University, and others.
“At God’s Waterfall”, Yelena Balabanova’s new CD was met with rave reviews. The CD is featuring a live performance of Scriabin and Chopin Etudes and poetry by Rosalyn Renshaw. It was recorded at the First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue, famous for its music programming. As a frequent guest pianist, Yelena Balabanova is heard on many broadcasts and streaming live with the Choir and Orchestra of Bellevue. Other Yelena’s recordings are featured on the Ten Grands CDs produced by MAH Records.
Yelena's "Great Romantics" CD, featuring masterpieces by Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin and Brahms, was released in 2015 and remains a favorite among music lovers.