- "Donna Voce"
Hailed by The New York Times as a pianist of “a fiery sensibility and warm touch,” ANNA SHELEST is an international award-winning artist who has thrilled audiences throughout the world.
Anna Shelest made her orchestral debut at the age of twelve with the Kharkiv Symphony Orchestra and has, subsequently, appeared as soloist with many distinguished orchestras, among them the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. In recital, she has been heard in New York City’s Stern Auditorium and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Alice Tully Hall, Washington, DC’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes and Austria’s Wiener Konzerthaus.
With her husband, pianist Dmitri Shelest, Anna has recorded “Ukrainian Rhapsody,” an album exploring the rich repertoire for solo and four hands piano by composers of their homeland. This CD was broadcast on radio stations throughout the United States, many of which selected it as their Album of the Week. The same wide-spread media enthusiasm greeted her 2019 solo album, “Donna Voce,” comprised of scores by women composers drawn from the last three centuries. She records exclusively with Sorel Classics, which has issued six CDs to date.
A champion of esoteric repertoire, Anna Shelest is currently collaborating with legendary conductor Neeme Järvi on a project to record the complete works for piano and orchestra by Anton Rubinstein. The initial CD of the set features the Concerto #4 and Caprice Russe and was released in 2018 to wide critical acclaim. Early in 2019, Ms. Shelest’s latest album in this series was released: Rubinstein’s Concertos #3 and #5 with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.
A native of Ukraine, Anna Shelest received her early music education at the Kharkiv Special Music School. She received her Masters Degree from The Juilliard School in New York City, where she studied with Jerome Lowenthal.
Anna Shelest makes her home in New York City with her husband and two sons.
Concerto #1 in d, BWV 1052
Concerto #4 in G, Op. 58
Fantasia in c, Op. 80 ("Choral Fantasy")
Concert Piece for Piano & Orchestra (1988)
Concerto #11 in F, K. 413
Concerto #21 in C, K. 467
Concerto #23 in A, K. 488
Concerto #24 in c, K. 491
Concerto #1 in D-flat, Op. 10
Concerto #2 in g, Op. 16
Concerto #1 in f-sharp, Op. 1 (rev. 1917)
Concerto #2 in c, Op. 18
Concerto #3 in d, Op. 30
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini , Op. 43
Caprice Russe, Op. 102
Concerto #2 in F, Op. 35
Concerto #3 in G, Op. 45
Concerto #4 in d, Op. 70
Concerto #5 in E-flat, Op. 94
Concerto #2 in g, Op. 22
Concerto in a, Op. 7
Concerto #1 in c, Op. 35
Concerto #2 in F, Op. 102
Burleske in d
Concerto #1 in b-flat, Op. 23
Fanny Mendelssohn: Sonata in g
Sorel Classics: SC CD 015
Piano Concerto #3 in G, Op. 45
Sorel Classics: SC CD 014
Piano Concerto #4 in d, Op. 70
Sorel Classics: SC CD 013
Lysenko: Suite on Ukrainian Themes, Op. 2
Sorel Classics: SC CD 011
Piano Concerto #1 in D-flat, Op. 10
Sorel Classics: SC CD 006
“TUTTI” - SHELEST PIANO DUO
Smetana: The Moldau
Sorel Classics: SC CD 002
“SPIRIT & ROMANCE”
Sorel Classics: SC CD 001
“PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION”
Glinka/Balakirev: The Lark
Sorel Classics: SC CD 007
Donna Voce ( Woman’s voice) is a virtuosic piano program that puts listeners up close and personal with female composers of the last three centuries. By sharing their compelling life stories and wide ranging oeuvre, Anna Shelest makes the case for the power of this music to capture hearts and minds of today’s listeners.
Anna Shelest brought a fiery sensibility and warm touch to the piano solo of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, whose theme evokes the famous melody of his Ninth Symphony. Soloist and orchestra collaborated effectively for an energetic rendition that highlighted the improvisatory character of the work.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
RUBINSTEIN Piano Concerto No. 4
The conductor launches into the first-movement introduction at a faster than usual clip, while Shelest sails through her introductory cadenza with bracing confidence and not a single splinter or vagary in those massive chords. Her forward-moving phrasing and flexibility are exactly what this burly music demands. The pianist’s tone opens up in the cadenza, where even a home listener gets a sense of how her melodic projection extends out towards the venue’s proverbial peanut gallery. If anything, the tumultuous finale showcases Shelest’s power and agility operating at more inspired capacity, tossing out runs, leaps and octave surges to effortless effect.
Anna Shelest delivers a powerhouse performance in the new release, Anton Rubinstein Piano Concerto No. 4. The Rubinstein Concerto No. 4 is gargantuan and Shelest is simply brilliant in her navigation of this iconic 19th-century Russian’s work. She captures the rich beauty of all Rubinstein’s melodies, both broad orchestral statements and intimate piano utterances. Conductor Neeme Järvi brings his extraordinary skill to the podium to direct the energies released by the music. The CD also includes Rubinstein’s Caprice Russe whose strong national folk content stands in contrast to the more European flavour of the concerto. It’s a thrilling live recording.
THE WHOLE NOTE MAGAZINE
A new piano duo on the scene is the Ukrainian-born, and now New York-based couple, Anna and Dmitri Shelest. Shelest Piano Duo have released their first recording, TUTTI, with substantial standard repertoire items. Among the disc’s highlights are Liszt’s own arrangement of his Les Préludes played with consistent brilliance and sensitivity through to its magnificent conclusion. Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony Allegro is an impressive display of melody and countermelody beautifully balanced and phrased. [In Ravel’s La Valse], the Shelests capture the chaos and complexity familiar in the orchestral version and bring it to a stunning finish.”
THE WHOLE NOTE MAGAZINE
Anna Shelest has not only won me over with her astoundingly dexterous and emotive pianism, but has truly proved herself a whiz at programming her albums. Even if her newest CD, Donna Voce, was not a collection of piano solos by female composers who deserve as much attention as their male contemporaries, I would have been impressed. Certainly Fanny Mendelssohn (represented by a firecracker rendition of her Sonata in G Minor) and Clara Schumann (a buttery, melodiousScherzo No. 2 in C Minor) have made the rounds these days, but that has more to do with their relationships to Felix and Robert. While Shelest’s powerful accounts of these pieces is worth the price of admission, the other represented women [Cécile Chaminade, Amy Beach, Lili Boulanger, Chia-Yu Hsu] are eye-openers.
STAGE AND CINEMA
PORTLAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (ME)
Eckart Preu, conductor
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto #1
UKRAINIAN CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FESTIVAL
video streaming presentation: https://www.ucmfnyc.com/Saturday-2021
ABBEY DELRAY (Delray Beach, FL)
in-house video streaming presentation
ADIRONDACK LAKES CENTER FOR THE ARTS (Blue Mountain Lake, NY)
Mozart: Fantasia in c, K. 475
TOPEKA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (KS)
Kyle Wiley Pickett, conductor
C. Schumann: Piano Concerto