Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev, with many awards and honors to his credit, continues to astound and mesmerize audiences at major venues on three continents. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 2007 with Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, performing Prokofiev’s First and Fourth Piano Concertos as part of the Symphony’s “Prokofiev Festival”. His performances were included in the top ten classical music events of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle, and prompted a return to the Symphony in September 2009 with Maestro Tilson Thomas performing Prokofiev’s 3rd Piano Concerto.
The highlights of Yakushev’s 2011-12 season included return appearances with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Larry Rachleff and with the Brevard Music Center Orchestra and Keith Lockhart. He also performed with the Cheyenne Symphony and William Intriligator, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and Andrew Sewell, Edmonton Symphony and Mei-Ann Chen, Wichita Symphony and Daniel Hege, Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Andrew Constantine, as well as Boston Pops and Keith Lockhart at the Tanglewood Festival in August 2012.
Also in the 2011-12 season, Mr. Yakushev appeared as recitalist in Woodstock, NY, Cedar Falls, IA, Oakland, CA, Atlanta, GA, Albert Lea, MN, Rahway, NJ, and Tokyo, Japan. He also performed recitals and taught master classes at the Lee University in Cleveland, TN and Furman University in Greenville, SC.
Mr. Yakushev’s orchestral engagements in the 2012-13 season include appearances with the El Paso Symphony, the Columbus Symphony, the Las Cruces Symphony, and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. He will also perform an extensive 15-city recital tour around the Midwest in March 2013.
In October 2010, Mr. Yakushev released two CDs on IY-Records label – “Prokofiev by Yakushev” and “Bach Partitas No. 1,2, & 3”. American Record Guide wrote “Yakushev is one of the very best young pianists before the public today, and it doesn’t seem to matter what repertoire he plays – it is all of the highest caliber”.
Yakushev attracted international attention in December 2006, presenting solo recitals at such venues as the Bechstein Center in Berlin and Vienna’s Musikverein. He also toured Southeast Asia, performing in Singapore and Malaysia. In past seasons, he has performed in various prestigious venues worldwide, including Glinka Philharmonic Hall (St. Petersburg), Victoria Hall (Singapore), Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall (New York), Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco), and Sejong Performing Arts Center (Seoul, Korea). His performances with orchestra include those with the Kirov Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Arkansas Symphony, and others.
Winner of the 2005 World Piano Competition which took place in Cincinnati, OH, Mr. Yakushev received his first award at age 12 as a prizewinner of the Young Artists Concerto Competition in his native St. Petersburg. In 1997, he received the Mayor of St. Petersburg's Young Talents award, and in both 1997 and 1998, he won First Prize at the Donostia Hiria International Piano Competition in San Sebastian, Spain. In 1998, he received a national honor, The Award for Excellence in Performance, presented to him by the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation in Moscow. Most recently, Mr. Yakushev became a recipient of the prestigious Gawon International Music Society’s Award in Seoul, Korea.
Mr. Yakushev attended the Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music in his native St. Petersburg, Russia, and subsequently came to New York City to attend Mannes College of Music where he studied with legendary pianist Vladimir Feltsman.
Since 2002, Mr. Yakushev has served as Executive Director of the International Keyboard Institute and Festival at the Mannes College in New York City.