Svetlana Belsky

Svetlana Belsky
Coordinator, Piano Studies


Critically acclaimed as “a passionate pianist and scholar,” Svetlana Belsky is an in-demand recitalist and chamber pianist, noted for her remarkable rapport with audiences and stylistic versatility. She has appeared in the Ukraine, Russia, Poland, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and throughout the United States. Her performance credits include Carnegie Recital Hall, Kiev Philharmonic Hall, Dame Myra Hess Series, Music in the Loft, countless university concert series, live recitals on Chicago’s WFMT and New York’s WQXR, and guest appearances with the University of Chicago Symphony, Southern Illinois Symphony, Chicago Chamber Orchestra and the Tutti Orchestra.

Dr. Belsky’s love for a wide variety of music has led her to play early music with original instrument ensembles, and receive awards for her interpretation of new American music. In the past few years alone, she has introduced, in world and local premieres, compositions by no fewer than a dozen living composers. She also appears regularly as a harpsichordist with the Chicago Syntagma Musicum Ensemble.

During the 2012-2013 season, Svetlana celebrates the centennial of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, with performances of the rarely-heard transcription of the work for solo piano by Vladimir Leyetchkiss all over the world and on live radio, to excellent reviews. Her recording of the masterpiece will appear in 2014 on the Centaur Records label.

Another passion is the music, writings and pedagogical legacy of Ferruccio Busoni. Her recent book, an annotated translation of Busoni as Pianist by the renowned Russian musicologist Grigori Kogan, was published by the University of Rochester Press in January of 2010, to great reviews, and has been
nominated for the prestigious Claude V. Palisca Award (for Outstanding Translation) by the American Musicological Society. Ms. Belsky’s lecture-recitals have helped to introduce wide audiences to of Busoni’s music, and her CD of Busoni’s Piano Transcriptions (along with her other recordings) has been heard on 137 radio stations around the world. According to a recent review, Belsky “has some claim to call herself Ms. Bach-Busoni."

Although born in the Soviet Union, Svetlana Belsky was trained mostly in the United States. After immigrating to America, Ms. Belsky studied with Chicago's beloved Emilio Del Rosario. She received her Bachelor of Music Summa cum Laude and Master Degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Ann Schein, a student of the legendary Arthur Rubinstein. Later, she earned her Doctorate in Performance at the Manhattan School of Music, while working under Mme. Nina Svetlanova, an heir to the tradition of Heinrich Neuhaus. She has also been privileged to coach with Leon Fleisher, Menahem Pressler, Phil Levin (harpsichord) and other great artists.

Dr. Belsky has won prizes in numerous national and international piano competitions, including the Frinna Awerbuch and the AMSA World Piano Competition.

Ms. Belsky's busy teaching schedule includes students from four continents, many of whom are competition winners, professional musicians and performers themselves. Her students have gone on to pursue musical careers, win scholarships to music conservatories, and, most importantly, become music lovers. As the Coordinator of Piano Studies at the University of Chicago, besides teaching individual lessons and coaching chamber ensembles, she organizes student performances and masterclasses. She is also in great demand as a lecturer on the subjects of piano pedagogy, masterclass guest teacher, and competition adjudicator. Besides her book, she has to her credit numerous CD liner notes for Russian Disc, Consonance and Triton Records labels.