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Anna Shelest: Bio

Hailed by The New York Times as a pianist of "a fiery sensibility and warm touch" , Anna Shelest is an international award-winning pianist who has thrilled the audiences throughout the world. Her recent engagements included debuts at Alice Tully Hall in New York City, Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall in New York City, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and the Wiener Konzerthaus in Austria. 

Born in Kharkiv, Ukraine Ms. Shelest began her piano studies at the age of six. She attended the Kharkiv Special Music School for Gifted Children, where she was a student of Gary Gelfgat and later of Sergei Polusmiak.  At the age of eleven she performed at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris as the youngest prize winner of the Milosz Magin International Piano Competition.

An "effective collaborator" (The New York Times), Shelest made her orchestral debut at the age of twelve with the Kharkiv Symphony Orchestra, playing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 1. Since then she has been a soloist with some of the world's most renown orchestras such as Montreal Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, under Maestro Paavo Jarvi, and Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. Other appearances include Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, Lugansk Philharmonic, Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Russian Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Sinfonia and the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Shelest has performed on some of the world's greatest stages such as Carnegie Hall in New York City, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory and Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.

As an international recitalist, she has performed in Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine, South Africa and the United States. Her chamber music collaborations include performances with the Amernet String Quartet, Cincinnati ARC Ensemble, and musicians from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. In June 2011 she was the first one to present a recital at the newly rebuilt 7 World Trade Center in New York City.

Shelest's repertoire ranges from the Baroque to today's contemporary composers.  Her discography includes Rachmaninoff Etudes-Tableaux op. 39 and Moments Musicaux op. 16; "Beyond Oblivion" featuring music for trombone and piano with Cristian Ganicenco, principal trombonist of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition as well as works by Tchaikovsky and Glinka; and the new release "Spirit and Romance" featuring music of German Romantic composers.

With her sincere and compelling interpretations Anna Shelest has won top prizes and awards in numerous international piano competitions including: Louisiana International Piano Competition; Kawai American Recording Contest; Bradshaw-Buono International Piano Competition, New York; Jefferson Symphony Young Artists Competition, Denver, Colorado; International Piano Competition for Young Musicians, Enschede, The Netherlands; Corpus Christi International Competition for Piano and Strings; Washington International Piano Competition; and others.

Having received her Masters Degree at The Juilliard School in the class of Jerome Lowenthal, Ms. Shelest currently resides in New York City. Her previous teachers included Sergei Polusmiak at Northern Kentucky University where she was a recipient of numerous scholarships and awards including a Corbett Scholarship, the Regents Award, and recognition as an Outstanding Senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as private studies with Eugene and Elizabeth Pridonoff  of  University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. 

1 Bach - Chaconne in D Minor, BV B 24
2 Liszt - Sonetto 104 del Petrarca
3 Schubert - S. 558/8: Gretchen am Spinnrade
4 Wagner - Isolde's Liebestod
5 Schumann - Piano Sonata No.1, Op.11 / Introduzione
6 Schumann - Piano Sonata No.1, Op.11 / Aria
7 Schumann - Piano Sonata No.1, Op.11 / Scherzo: Allegrissimo - Intermezzo: Lento
8 Schumann - Piano Sonata No.1, Op.11 / Finale: Allegro
Wagner-Liszt Isolde's Liebestod, Anna Shelest
Anna Shelest - 12 Years Old - Rachmaninoff Concerto No.1

The Sorel Charitable Organization celebrates the launch of pianist Anna Shelest's latest CD, Spirit and Romance, a selection of works by Bach, Liszt, Schubert, Wagner, Busoni and Schumann, as the inaugural album of Sorel's latest initiative, Sorel Classics, a non profit record label devoted to highlighting the talent and achievements of female singers, instrumentalists, and composers of classical music. Ms. Shelest is the first artist chosen to record under the new label. Having already been dubbed "the female incarnation of Liszt" and described as an artist of "fiery sensibility and warm touch" by The New York Times, Ms. Shelest first came to the attention of Sorel after a Carnegie Hall performance as first prize winner of the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition.

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