Elena Sergeyevna Lebedeva, was born in 1983 in Chisinau, capital of Moldova, situated between Romania and Ukraine. Although born in Moldova, Elena is from Russian descent, where her family is originally from.
Since Elena was a small child, she dreamed of playing the piano. She would beg her parents to buy her a piano for 3 years after seeing her aunt's (Veronica Oleinic) piano when ever they visited her, but they were unable to afford one, and were not sure how serious she was about playing.
Elena's mother, Tatiana Lebedeva, also dreamed playing the piano, when she was young, but her parents could not afford to get her one as well. So her mother understanding Elena's desire and that her heart was sure, one faithful day her dream came true when her mother put together enough money to buy her first piano at the age of 9. It was the very cheapest upright piano that could be found in the city, and was in not so great shape at all. In fact it couldn't keep tune, and had stickers all over it until her dad finally painted it black. To Elena it didn't matter, because to her it was like receiving a beautiful new Steinway Grand Piano.
She played it all the time and soon after began classical piano lessons at Polyakov music school for children where she studied for 5 years in class of talented teacher, head of the piano department in the school, Tatiana Sergeyeva, before entering the Rachmaninov College of Music, where she completed 6 years of study in 2 departments simultaneously and received her degrees in Solo Classical Piano Performance and Music Theory.
Upon graduating Rachmaninov College of Music, Elena continued her higher education by entering into the Moldova Academy of Music, Theater and Fine Arts, where she studied for the next 4 years until June 2008, when she graduated with honors from of distinguished teacher, associate professor Aliona Vardanyan, and was awarded her Licentiate Degree in Solo Classical Piano Performance, Teaching, and Accompanist.
During her years of studying, Elena had participated in many piano competitions, including many national competitions where she received awards. She has taken part in many performances, and concerts over the years as well as in accompaniment with Opera, and Chamber Music, and the Ballet where she worked for 4 years in Moldova.
Soon after graduation in 2008, Elena moved in Pennsylvania, marrying Paul Millar.
Elena did several performances with the Harrisburg Capitol Opera as the featured pianist.
Significant event in Elena's solo career in US was playing with the Hershey Symphony Orchestra, opening the season 2010-2011 in Hershey Theater under conducting of Dr. Sandra Dackow, playing Mozart's Concerto no. 13 in C major.
Elena is currently co-composing with her husband Paul Millar on a Suite in dedication to Irena Sendler (Irena Sendlerowa), and the victims of the Holocaust of WWII, particularly those of the Warsaw ghetto in Poland. The Suite has several pieces evoking the deep emotional turmoil surrounding the conditions in the Warsaw ghetto where Irena worked as Administrator to the Social Services Department of Warsaw, Poland during World War II.
Irena had saved more than 2500 children from the Nazi's during the Holocaust. More about her story can be found on the Internet, and has been already made into a feature film in 2009.
Each piece will represent different aspects related to the Holocaust theme and Irena's story. One piece from the Suite called "Sleeping With The Angels" can be heard on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WG6sUM-AW0, along with a video telling a short version of her story. The piece represents Irena's assent to heaven after her death in May 2008.
The project has grown into more than expected with 6 pieces so far and growing.
Elena also is developing her teaching career, giving lessons to students from her house and music studio of Central Penn Music store in Palmyra. Every year she organizes recitals for her students, giving them opportunity to experience stage performing with audience.
Recently Elena has become a member of Wednesday Music Club in Harrisburg, which gives different venues for performances and promotes professional musicians.
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