EStrella Piano Duo
Elena Doubovitskaya and Svetlana Belsky
"Svetlana Belsky and Elena Doubovitskaya are superb pianists on their own; together as the EStrella Piano Duo, they are doubly superb."
-John Puccio, Classical Candor
"Right from the first tracks, this is a special release."
-Harrington, American Record Guide, May/June 2019
"The rapport between Belsky and Doubovitskaya is utterly remarkable. ... The achievement of conveying such busy textures in such an exciting way and yet remaining clarity throughout is astonishing."
-Colin Clarke,Fanfare Magazine
The Duo burst onto the musical scene in 2011 with a series of concerts celebrating the great Russian masterpieces for piano duet. Their first performance evoked raves of “technical brilliance” and “infectious joy in music making”. The second drew a standing-room-only crowd. Since then, they have performed widely to enthusiastic audiences and critical acclaim throughout the US, Canada and China. In 2018 the Duo was awarded a Global Music Award Silver medal for their critically acclaimed new CD, Tales from the East, featuring stories of adventure, magic and romance by Russian composers. In 2019 the CD was awarded an Honorable Mention by The American Prize Competition. When the Pandemic made in-person concerts impossible, EStrella created concert videos and movies for their audiences hungry for new musical experiences. In 2022, a collaboration with North Shore Chamber Orchestra (Evanston, IL) led to a critically acclaimed performance of a rarely heard concerto for piano / four hands by Leopold Kozelouch. During the same year, the Duo became the recipient of a grant from Musicians Club of Women to record music for piano 4-hands by women composers of the Romantic Era after performing several programs of these pieces. Plans for the 2022-2023 season include performances of these works, as well as concerts of music by Ukranian composers, along with a newly commissioned Fantasy on Ukranian folk songs by the American composer Ilya Levinson.
EStrella's repertoire includes, besides the usual favorites, many rarely-heard, fascinating works that most duos fear to touch. Their programs are always musically profound, but also virtuostic, often acrobatic, and occasionally humorous, always with introductions which draw the listeners into the music.
Elena Doubovitskaya and Svetlana Belsky are accomplished pianists in their own right. Between the two, they have been heard throughout Europe, Asia and the United States. Their concert credits include Carnegie (Weill) Hall, Kiev Philharmonic Hall, Chicago Symphony Center, St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakoff Museum, Baptist University of Hong Kong, Ravinia and Tanglewood Music Festivals, among many others. Critics praise them for “marvelous and extraordinary playing” and “confidence and élan”. Elena and Svetlana are also accomplished teachers, who enjoy sharing their love for music with new generations of pianists.
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