Pianist, Chamber Musician and University Teacher for Piano and Chamber Music
Kalaidos Academy of Music, Zurich, Switzerland and Academy of Music and Theatre, Munich, Germany
Keywords to the vita of the pianist Lilian Akopova
– at the age of 5 she is discovered as an exceptional talent and giftedness,
– until the age of 18, she graduated with honors the elite Lysenko Central Music School Kiev for highly gifted children and adolescents;
– to be followed by the Bachelor and Master studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, where she graduates with distinction.
– From the age of 7 she already has her first public appearances at concerts internationally and at the age of 11 she performs as a soloist in the famous concert hakk of the Moscow State P.-I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory.
– Thus she begins her career as a soloist, during which she participates in 14 international piano competitions from 1996 to 2010, winning 6 first prizes and 3 further placements as well as 3 special prizes for her performances during the final rounds.
– Today Lilian Akopova is a soloist and chamber musician of the international top class, about whom the judgments of the journalists and colleagues interviewed are partly summarized in the following quotes.
University lecturers, colleagues and journalists about Lilian Akopova
“Concerts by Lilian Akopova are elementary experiences
that almost make you believe in miracles……..”
Renowned German cultural journalist at Süddeutsche Zeitung Munich Germany
“Now she plays Bach, the B flat major Partita No. 1, … … and she plays the Bach
with fresh ease, but also with a singing on every single note.
You almost feel – one must think of Glenn Gould”
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Feuileton for Music & Art
“I was very impressed with the scope of her pianistic abilities….”
Prof. Anne-Sophie Mutter
“Her playing shows sensitivity, spontaneity, fantasy and intelligence and her
outstanding pianistic abilities give her playing warmth and personality….“
Tchaikowsky Conservatory, Moscow, and the University of Music and Theatre, Munich
“Her pianistic skills are world class and her interpretations have
an ideal balance of emotion and intelligence.”
Professor for piano Folkwang University of the Arts Essen
.…the early years
Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Lilian grows up in Kiev, Ukraine. By the age of five her special artistic talent has already been recognized by her parents, her father an engineer and her mother a piano teacher.
During the annual selection of gifted children and young people, her parents present little Lilian 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 ever taught. At his suggestion, Valerie Koslow, a professor at the Conservatory in Kiev, takes over the 11-year-old student, who plays her very 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 master class at Munich University.
In 1997, she travels to Germany accompanied by her teacher, Prof. Koslov, to play several solo concerts in North Rhine-Westphalia, the proceeds of which go to benefiting children suffering from radiation from the Chernobyl disaster. In 1999, the year before she commences her studies, she wins 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 path marked out for her to the Conservatory (National Music Academy of Ukraine Peter Tchaikovsky) and instead takes up the invitation to the Munich Music Academy, arriving there homesick and with little to no knowledge of the language.
Her early experiences help her through the difficulties of her early period in Munich.
….University education and competitions
Lilian begins her studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater (University for Music and Theater) in Munich in 2001. She completes the first stage in 2005 with the diploma examination, which qualifies her as a ‘Diplom-Musikerin’ (degree in music). She is then admitted to Elisso Virsaldze’s master class.
During her studies, she and only a few fellow students are given an invitation to attend master classes given by the Hungarian pianist András Schiff and the Vienna-based pianist Paul Badura-Skoda.
In 2007 she acquires the Meisterpodium im Fach Klavier and graduates with honors.
Lillian has received funds from 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 from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
Lilian’s regular participation in important international piano competitions continues during and after her studies. Between 1996 and 2010 she participates in eleven international competitions, winning prizes and awards at each competition, including six 1st prizes, one 2nd and 3rd prize, and three special prizes for her interpretations during the final rounds. (See table with dates, locations and prizes below).
The year 2002 sees Lilian debut in the “Great Hall” of the Moscow Pyotr Tchaikovsky Conservatory, one of the world’s most famous concert halls. Since then she regularly gives concerts in many European countries and in the USA. She appears in famous 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 and 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, for instance at the “Festival Classic Young Stars” at the Konzerthaus Berlin, the “Kissinger Sommer” at the “Mozartiade” (since 2012, mozart@augsburg) in Augsburg, the “International Oleg Kogan Music Festival” in Wildbach Kreuth, the “Festival de Musique de Menton”, “Jeunes Talents” in Paris, the “International Chamber Music Festival” in Stavanger, Norway, and the “Festival Internazionale di Pianoforte Città di Rimini” in Italy. Among the many solo concertos of recent times, those deserving of a special mention include the ones in Lisbon, Porto and other cities, in the Philharmonic in Kiev, on the Lanzarote Canary Island and in Munich’s Allerheiligen Hofkirche with the MKO Munich Kammerorchester..
Performances of special interest include those with actors such as Wolf Euba and the television and theater actors Brigitte Karner and Peter Simonischek at literary readings and talks.
Her chamber music partners include the violist Zheng Wenxiao, violinist David Schultheiss, violinist Mikhail Ovrutsky, violinist Lena Neudauer, contrabassist Roman Patkoló, flautist Krzysztof Kaczka and cellist Levon Mouradian, Gottfried Schneider, Nicolas Koeckert and Julius Berger as well as 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.
In 2018, once again in Munich’s Prinzregententheater where the actors read from the correspondence of Tchaikovsky and Nadeshda von Meck, Lilian Akopova plays the extremely difficult and famous transcriptions of. M. Pletnev of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. Other interesting concerts are scheduled in 2018, with Marta Argerich in a memorial concert for Nicolas Economou.
Together with the pianist Henri Bonamy, in 2010 Lilian Akopova founded the duo “Lilian Akopova & Henri Bonamy”. Until 2015 they played nationally and internationally at widely acclaimed concerts, both on two pianos and fourhandedly (one of the many concerts: March 8, 2015, in Munich’s Allerheiligen Hofkirche).
Lilian Akopova has recorded numerous CDs as a soloist and as a chamber musician. Particularly noteworthy is the CD she recorded in 2010, with pieces by Schumann, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Liszt, released by the classic label GENUIN Classics, Leipzig and which received euphoric reviews from the trade press (more…).
In parallel with her career as a soloist and chamber musician Lilian Akopova has several years of teaching experience: She has taught 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 frequently 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.
At the invitation of Professor Henri Sigfridsson in December 2015, she taught two master class students at the Volkwang University of the Arts, Essen (more…).
Following the masterclasses that Lilian Akopova has held in Kiev, Ukraine, Germany and Portugal, in March 2019 she will lead a 5-day master student course at the “Conservatori Superior des Música de Castelló” in the province of Valencia, Spain.
She has gained special experience in the role of organizer, program designer and performing contributor at several music festivals.
In 2016, Lilian Akopova set up her own foundation: The “Lilian Akopova Foundation for Children”. Her motivation for establishing this Foundation for Children is closely connected with her own life story.
Her solo concert on November 4, 2016, in Munich’s Allerheiligen Hofkirche marked the launching of her Foundation. Together with her fee that she waived in favor of the foundation, considerable donations were collected for this project.
The Foundation will use its 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, Lisbon, Portugal
- Special Prize 17th Vianna da Motta International Music Competition, Lisbon, ‘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, Italy
- 1st prize Steinway Klavierspiel Wettbewerb, Munich, Germany
- 2nd prize Concurso Internacional de Piano Premio, Jaén, Spain
- 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, Poland