MEET THE FOUNDERS
Elena and Anna met over a cup of coffee and it wasn't long until they both realized they had similar ambitions and visions for how music students can flourish on the Eastside.
After countless hours of meetings and research and with great support from close friends and community, their first project was born: Elena's studio's 2014 recital took place at the Kirkland Performance Center (KPC). Taking typical "piano recitals" to the big stage was a great step. And it was a step in the new direction as no one else in WA does anything like this.
After great success, next year they worked on a combined project titled Little Red Riding Baseball Cap, a production performed in 2015 at KPC. Shortly after, the productions outgrew the capacity of KPC. Elena and Anna have been holding their productions annually at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, WA since 2017.
At the heart of their projects and work are two things: their sincere (and fiery) friendship and their absolute love and dedication to music.
Hailing from Russia with conducting and piano performance degrees from the Tchaikovsky Music College, Elena has enjoyed a rich artistic career throughout her life that has included solo, collaborative, and conducting concerts.
Since moving to Seattle in 2000, Elena has maintained a private piano studio. As an instructor, she is passionate about nurturing the love for music and the joy of self-expression on the instrument, while also building a good foundation in technique and musicianship.
In her studio, she has always looked for new or innovative approaches to teaching and performing, which led to her co-founding the Solovei School of Music & Arts (SSMA). Now every year the SSMA produces unique shows that feature musical, theatrical, and visual arts elements in front of 400-people audiences at the Meydenbauer Theatre in Bellevue, WA.
She also loves Paris, business, interior design, going to the gym, and chocolate.
Anna began her piano studies in Ukraine and her family moved to the United States when she was thirteen years old. She graduated with degrees in piano performance and pedagogy as the Presser Award winner and as the top senior of her university’s school of music. Over her career as a student, she has notably studied with Judy Baker, Gerald Berthiaume, Jeffrey Savage, and Yoon-Wha Roh.
Her teaching philosophy always puts the person before the music. She believes that a pianist who is cared for wholeheartedly will play with heartfelt care. This includes technical brilliance and musical excellence. Because of that, Anna is an advocate for and an ally to her students and their diverse backgrounds.
The co-founder of the Solovei School of Music & Arts (SSMA), Anna helps produce and run the SSMA shows that feature musical, theatrical, and visual arts elements in front of 400-people audiences at the Meydenbauer Theatre in Bellevue, WA.
She also loves video games, technology, dogs, running, and tea.