Yelena Eckemoff

About Me

I was born and raised in Moscow, Russia. My parents noticed that I had evident musical potential when I started to play piano by ear at the age of four. My mother, Olga, a professional pianist, became my first piano teacher. Since my fifth birthday she started to write down my first childish compositions. At the age of seven, I was accepted into an elite Gnessins 10-year School for musically gifted children where, in addition to common school subjects, I received extensive training in piano, music theory, music literature, solfeggio, harmony, analysis of musical forms, conducting, composing, and other musical subjects. I was fortunate to study piano with Anna Pavlovna Kantor, who also trained one of today's most celebrated pianists, Evgeny Kissin. Later I studied with Galina Nikolaevna Egiazarova at the Piano School of the Moscow State Conservatory. Upon graduation with Master's Degree in piano performance and pedagogy, I worked as a piano teacher in one of Moscow Music Schools, gave solo concerts, attended courses at the Moscow Jazz Studio, played in an experimental jazz-rock band, and continued to compose music for different instruments and voice. After marrying and becoming a mother, I had to withdraw from further career moves as a concert pianist. Even though I have never given up my performing activities, I had to stay away from commercial music circles. Together with my husband, we found Christian faith and decided to flee the Soviet Union. Since 1991, I have been living permanently in the USA, where I continued to play concerts and compose music. Taking advantage of technological advancements, I also began developing a career as an independent recording artist. Over the course of years, I have produced number of recordings of my original, arranged, and classical music under the independent label, L & H Production. In 2006-2008 I have played gigs and recorded with cellist Gayle Masarie, drummer Michael Bolejack, flutist Deborah Egekvist, oboist/saxophonist Evan Thee, and double-bassists Nathan Scott, Gray Hackelman, and Pat Lawrence. In 2009 I started to work and have recorded an album, “Cold Sun” (released on April 12, 2010) with two legendary jazzmen, Mads Vinding (double-bass) and Peter Erskine (drums). I have also recorded an album entitled “Grass Catching the Wind” (released in July of 2010) with Mads Vinding on double-bass and Morten Lund on drums. In August of 2010, I flu to Pasadena, CA, where I have recorded yet another album with Peter Erskine on drums and Darek Oleszkiewicz on double-bass. This new album, “Flying Steps,” is scheduled for release in November 2010.