Director of Piano Studies
Bulgarian pianist Elena Cholakova regularly performs in important musical centers 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, Chicago's classical music radio station WFMT, Bulgarian TV and radio stations.
During the 2019-2020 season, Dr. Cholakova will be premiering a work by renowned Columbian composer Juan Antonio Cuellar alongside German virtuoso violinist Anyango Yarbo-Davenport and recording a CD of the music of living female composers from around the world.
Cholakova recently performed Stravisnky’s “Rite of Spring” with Atlanta Symphony’s music director Robert Spano in a multi-media production hailed as “one of the most important collaborations of the year”. 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 has been featured in the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival in North Carolina, the International Days of Music Festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, the Sofia Musical Evenings Festival in Sofia and more. During the summer, Dr. Cholakova serves on the faculty of the Interharmony Music Festival in Italy and the Prague Piano Festival in the Czech Republic.
Elena 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 numerous national and international competitions.
Dr. Cholakova holds a MMus and DMus in piano performance from Northwestern University. She serves as Director of Piano Studies at Emory University and Director of the Emory Young Artist Piano Competition.