Lilian Akopova’s exceptional talent has been discovered as early as at her age of 5. In the years to come she has fulfilled all the promises of her giftedness by an elitist basic education, the best possible university training and a systematically structured national and international career.
Winner of numerous first prizes and placings at major international piano competitions, she is now a world-class solo and chamber musician.
.…the early years
Born in Yerevan, Armenia, she grows up in Kiev, Ukraine. Already as a 5-year-old, her parents, father engineer, mother piano teacher, recognized her special artistic talent.
Her parents present little Lilian during the annual selection of gifted children and adolescents to a panel of professors at the famous Lysenko Central Music School in Kiev. She is immediately admitted to this elite school and her first teacher, Professor Quartermaster, will later say that she was the most gifted student he has ever taught. At his suggestion Valerie Koslow, actually a professor at the Conservatory in Kiev, takes over the 11-year-old student, who already plays her first public piano concert at this age.
Elisso Virsaladze, a professor at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich hears her at the age of 16 and invites her to her masterclass at the Munich University.
Already in 1994 at the age of 11 she traveled to Poland and participated in the International Piano Festival Glubczyce; one year later in 1995, now 12 years old, she won an award at the International Contest of Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Gorovets, and then in 1996 at the age of 13 she won her first 1st prize at the International Vladimir Krajnev Competition in Kharkov.
In 1997, she was sent to Germany accompanied by her teacher, Prof. Koslov, and played several solo concerts in North Rhine-Westphalia, the proceeds of which benefited children suffering from radiation from the Chernobyl disaster. The year before she began her studies in 1999, she won a special prize at the International Piano Competition Vladimir Horowitz.
Lilian passes her exam in Kiev in 2000 graduating with honors. Other than the other students she leaves the marked path to the Conservatory (National Music Academy of Ukraine Peter Tchaikovsky) and follows without German language skills and homesick afflicted the invitation to the Munich Music Academy.
Her early experiences helped her to tough the difficulties of her beginning in Munich out.
….University education and competitions
Lilian began her studies in Munich at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater (University for Music and Theater) in 2001. The first stage she completed in 2005 with the diploma examination making her a ‘Diplom-Musikerin’ (now ‘Bachelor of Art’). She was then admitted to Elisso Virsaldze’s masterclass.
During her studies, she is awarded with only a few fellow students an invitation to master classes given by the Hungarian pianist András Schiff and the Vienna-based pianist Paul Badura-Skoda.
In 2007 she acquired the Meisterpodium im Fach Klavier and graduated with honors.
She was a recipient of the President-of-Ukraine Foundation, the International Vladimir Spivakov Foundation, the International Vladimir Krainev Society for the Advancement of Young Musicians, the Yehudi Menuhin, Live Music Now Foundation, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
Her regular participation in important international piano competitions continued duringand after her studies. Between 1996 and 2010 she participates in 11 international competitions, winning prizes and awards at each competition, including 6 first, one 2nd and 3rd prize and three special prizes for her interpretations during the final rounds. (see table with dates, locations and prices below).
In one of the most famous concert halls in the world, the „Great Hall“ of the Moscow Pyotr Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Lilian debuted in 2002. Since then she regularly gives concerts in many European countries and in the USA. She occurs in known concert halls, such as the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Salle Cortot in Paris, the Palau de la Música in Valencia, the Teatro Bibiena in Mantua, the Kiev Philharmonic or the Grande Auditório of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal.
…. continuation of career and teaching
As a soloist, she is a guest at renowned, international music festivals, eg. at the „Festival Classic Young Stars“ at the Konzerthaus Berlin, at the „Kissinger Sommer“, at the „Mozartiade“ (since 2012 mozart@augsburg) in Augsburg, at the „International Oleg Kogan Music Festival“ in Wildbach Kreuth, at the „Festival de Musique de Menton“, at „Jeunes Talents“ in Paris, at the „International Chamber Music Festival“ in Stavanger, Norway, at the „Festival Internazionale di Pianoforte Città di Rimini“ in Italy. Among the many solo concertos of recent times are to mention the ones in Portugal in Lisbon, Porto and other cities, in the Philharmonic in Kiev and on the Canary Island Lanzarote and in Munich’s Allerheiligen Hofkirche.
In 2014 she is an ECHO-reward winner.
Of special interest are the performances with actors like Wolf Euba and the television and theater actors Brigitte Karner and Peter Simonischek at literary readings and talks.
Among her chamber music partners are to mention the violist Zheng Wenxiao, violinist David Schultheiss, violinist Mikhail Ovrutsky, violinist Lena Neudauer, contrabassist Roman Patkoló, flutist Krzysztof Kaczka and cellist Levon Mouradian, and the double-bass ensemble Bassione Amorosa.
Several of her concerts and radio productions have already been broadcast by Bayerischer Rundfunk and by French, Italian, Ukrainian and Romanian television and Rádio e Televisão de Portugal.
Also of interest are the performances with actors like Wolf Euba and the television and theater actors Brigitte Karner and Peter Simonischek at literary readings and talks. Again f.e. in 2018 in Munich’s Prinzregententheater, where the actors read from the correspondence of Tchaikovsky and Nadeshda von Meck and Lilian Akopova played the extremely difficult and famous transcriptions of. M. Pletnev of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. Other interesting concerts follow the same year with Marta Argerich in a memorial concert for Nicolas Economou and the Munich Chamber Orchestra, with which Lilian will play Beethovens’s Piano Concert N0. 2 and Benjamin Britten’s ‚Young Apollo‘. Other solo concerts and chamber concerts are on Akopova‘ schedule in 2018 with Gottfried Schneider, Nicolas Köckert and Julius Berger. In 2019 a collaboration follows with he orchestra Jakobsplatz Munich and it’s GMD Daniel Grossmann.
Lilian Akopova co-founded in 2010 with the pianist Henri Bonamy the duo Lilian Akopova & Henri Bonamy, which plays nationally and internationally widely noticed concerts on two pianos and four-handed (an example among many others the concert on March 08, 2015 in the Munich’s Allerheiligen Hofkirche).
Of the CDs recorded by Lilian Akopova as a soloist or as a chamber musician, the CD she recorded in 2010 with works by Schumann, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Liszt published by the classic label GENUIN Classics, Leipzig, received euphoric reviews from the trade press for this recording (more…).
Besides her career as a soloist and chamber musician Lilian Akopova has several years of teaching experience:
She teaches at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich since 2007 and gives piano lessons to highly gifted children and adolescents at an elite grammar school.
In 2011, she led a piano master class for 13 elite students at the Instituto Piaget, Lisbon, Portugal – Campus de Universitário de Almada.
She repeatedly gives master classes for students at the State Tchaikovsky Conservatory Kiev, Ukraine. In 2015 she participated in the Summer Academy of the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Bad Reichenhall.
Following an invitation of Professor Henri Sigfridsson in December 2015, she taught two master class students at the Volkwang University of the Arts, Essen (more..).
As an organizer, program designer and performing contributor of several music festivals she has gained special experience.
In 2016, Lilian Akopova set up her own foundation: The „Lilian Akopova Foundation for Children“. Her reason for the establishing this Foundation for Children is her concern, which is explained by her personal life story.
She declared her solo concert on 4 November 2016 in Munich’s Allerheiligen Hofkirche to be the launching event of her foundation. Together with her fee, which she renounced in favor of the foundation, considerable donations were collected for this project.
The Foundation will use its available funds to support orphans, sick and disabled children, initially focusing on children in Ukraine, the ‚old‘ home of Lilian Akopova.
International Piano Competitions
- 1st prize 17th Vianna da Motta International Music Competition, Lissabon, Portugal
- Special Prize 17th Vianna da Motta International Music Competition, Lissabon, ‚Chopin Nocturne’
- 1st prize International Piano Competition Cuitat de Carlet, Valencia, Spain
- 3rd prize Ferruccio Busoni – International Piano Competition, Bozen, Italy
- 1st prize “Roma“ International Piano Competition, Rome, Italy
- Special Prize “Roma“ International Piano Competition, Rome, Italy – ‚Preis Chopin’
- 1st prize Concorso Internazionale di Pianoforte, Citta di Sulmona, Italia
- 1st prize Steinway Klavierspiel Wettbewerb, München Deutschland
- 2nd prize Concurso Internacional de Piano Premio, Jaén, Espana
- Special Prize International V. Horowitz Piano Competition, Kiew, Ukraine
- 1st price International Vladimir Krainev Young Pianists Competition, Kharkov Ukraine
- Finalist Diploma – 52. Concorso Pianistico Internazionale F. Busoni
- Diploma – International Contest of Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Gorovets
- Award Ist Kat. – 3. International Chopin-Competition
- Diploma – 1st Piano Festival, Glubczyce, Polen