Director of Piano Studies
Bulgarian pianist Elena Cholakova has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in Eastern and Western Europe, South America and the United States. She has given solo recitals at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary, U.S. Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, Bulgaria Hall and Sofia Conservatory in Sofia, Bulgaria, Aosta Concert Hall in Aosta, Italy, Fellbach Musicschulle in Fellbach, Germany, Fazioli Salon in Chicago, IL, and more. She has toured the south-east United States as a member of the American Chamber Music Society. Her performances have been broadcasted live on NPR, Atlanta's - WABE, Chocago's classical music radio station WFMT, Bulgarian TV and radio stations.
As a member of the Atlanta Chamber Players, Cholakova has appeared in the International Chamber Music Festival in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, has regularly performed in Atlanta's premier Spivey Hall, and has premiered commissioned works by leading American composers. Cholakova was most recently featured in the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival in North Carolina as well as the International Days of Music Festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Cholakova is a recipient of Rislov Foundation Scholarship of University of Michigan, awarded to musicians nationwide, for their high achievements in the field of music. Specializing in Chopin's Preludes, Op.28, she presented a lecture recital at the 3rd World Piano Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia focusing on the different editions of the piece. A dedicated educator, Cholakova holds a special interest for teaching. Her students have won top prizes at a number of national and international competitions.
Cholakova holds a MMus and DMus from Northwestern University. Her primary piano teachers include James Giles, Ursula Oppens, Atanas Kurtev, Klaus Hellwig.