B i o g r a p h y
Pianist Slavina Zhelezova has appeared as a recitalist, soloist and chamber musician at venues throughout the United States, Canada, Bulgaria, Belgium, France, China, Taiwan, and Mexico. Performance highlights include Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago (live radio and TV broadcast), the Harvard Club of New York City, Steinway Hall (NY, NY), the Cornelia Street Café Classic Series (NY, NY), the El Blanco y Negro Piano Festival (Mexico City, Mexico), Simon Bolivar Amphitheater (Mexico City, Mexico), Pro-Musica Concert Series (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico), Schumann-Chopin International Piano Festival (Cuernavaca, Mexico), Palm Beach International Piano Festival (Palm Beach, FL), Tenri Institute (NY, NY), Chopin Festival at Mannes (Mannes), Bach Festival at Mannes (NY, NY), Taiwan National Orchestra Summer Festival, Morelia Summer Festival (Morelia, Mexico), and Xalapa International Summer Festival (Xalapa, Mexico). Recent orchestral appearances include Xalapa Symphony Orchestra (Poulenc Double Concerto), Xalapa Chamber Orchestra (Chopin Concerto No. 1, Beethoven Concerto No. 5 and Schnittke Double Concerto), Zacatecas Symphony Orchestra (Schnittke Double `Concerto), Puebla Symphony Orchestra (Chopin Concerto No. 2), Sonora Symphony Orchestra (Mozart Double Concerto) and Michoacan Symphony Orchestra October (Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals).
As part of the Guevara & Zhelezova Piano Duo, Slavina has toured Mexico extensively and recently gave the highly acclaimed Latin-American premiere of Schnittke’s Double Piano Concerto with the Guanajuato Symphony Orchestra (Guanajuato, Mexico). In October 2017 the duo released their debut album, “Midnight Conversations,” on Centaur Records, critically acclaimed for its “wonderful sense of dialog and balance” and “brilliant performance that's a lot of rollicking fun” (American Record Guide, March/April 2018). The duo was lauded for its “daring,” “virtuosic,” and “blistering” interpretations, and “velvety,” “dazzling,” and “opulent” sound (Piano News, 2/2018).
Slavina is a first-prize winner at both the Dimitar Nenov National Piano Competition in Bulgaria and the Citta di Ostuni International Piano Competition in Italy. She is an award winner of the Soros International Foundation, the Cyril and Methodius Foundation, and the Future of Bulgaria National Foundation. Slavina began studying the piano at an early age and debuted on Bulgarian National Radio at age ten. In 1997, she moved from her native Bulgaria to New York City to study at the Mannes College of Music. Her principal teachers include Phillip Kawin, Seymour Bernstein, Pavlina Dokovska, and Rossitza Mihaylova. She has worked with eminent artists such as Phillippe Entremont, Richard Goode, Arie Vardi, Oxana Yablonskaya, Robert Roux, Michel Berof, Jean Philippe Collard, Jerome Lowenthal, Edward Aldwell and Yanina Fialkowska. Slavina holds a Doctorate in Musical Arts and Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Mannes College of Music. She has also been a part of the highly competitive International Certificate for Piano Artists Program (ICPA) studying under Nelson delle Vigne and Philippe Entremont.
As an educator, Slavina holds a private studio in New York City. Her students are winners of various competitions and honors. She is a regular visiting artist at the University of Veracruz (Mexico) and ISMEV (Xalapa, Mexico), where she gives masterclasses, and coaches and mentors young pianists. She has conducted master classes at the Mexico City Conservatory, Zacatecas University and Uruapan Music School (Mexico). Slavina has served on the faculties of the Piano School of New York City, Restoration Youth Art Academy (Brooklyn, NY) and Harlem Day Charter School (Harlem, NY).
Slavina is the co-founder and Artistic Director of the Xalapa International Piano Festival and Academy, which was inaugurated in August 2018. The grand forum included recitals, orchestral concerts, an international piano competition, and masterclasses, and gathered international luminaries such as Philippe Entremont, Jorge Federico Osorio, Xalapa Symphony Orchestra, and Maestro Lanfranco Marcelletti, along with young international pianists. The second edition of the festival will take place in Summer 2020.