Ilya Yakushev Biography

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 2009-10 season also included tour performances with the Syracuse Symphony, an engagement with the Fairbanks Symphony, and in recital at Chicago’s Ravinia, Cincinnati’s Matinée Musicale, and Fresno’s prestigious Phillip Lorenz Keyboard series.

In November 2010, Mr. Yakushev performs Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Keith Lockhart in London, prior to touring the Rachmaninoff - along with Mendelssohn’s 1st Concerto - to 15 American cities with the Orchestra and Maestro Lockhart.  He will return to Cincinnati to perform a recital at Xavier University’s Piano Series in spring 2011, prior to embarking on an 18-city recital tour through the midwest.  He will also perform the Rachmaninoff II with the Des Moines Symphony and Joseph Giunta in May 2011.

Recital performances in 2008-09 included New York’s Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, San Juan, Jacksonville, Oakland, and an eight-city recital tour through the central states.  He was guest artist with the Utah Symphony in January 2009, and with the Arkansas Symphony and Beaumont Symphony in 08-09 as well.

He 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 the Kirov Orchestra, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Eastern Connecticut 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.

In addition to his performing career, Mr. Yakushev is presently serving as Executive Director of the International Keyboard Institute and Festival at Mannes, founded and directed by Jerome Rose, a position he has held since 2002.