Hailed by critics as "a phenomenal rising star," "a female reincarnation of
Liszt," and "a piano lioness," Anna Shelest (Polusmiak) is an international
award-winning pianist who has thrilled audiences throughout the world with her
sincere and compelling interpretations.
Born in Kharkov, Ukraine, Anna began her piano studies at the age of six. She
attended the Kharkov Special Music School for Gifted Children, where she was a
student of Gary Gelfgat and later of Sergei Polusmiak. At the age of eleven she
performed at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris as the youngest prize winner of
the Milosz Magin International Piano Competition.
In 1998, Anna's family moved to the United States, and she continued her studies
with Sergei Polusmiak at Northern Kentucky University, where she was a recipient
of numerous scholarships and awards, including the Corbett Scholarship, the
Regents Award, and recognition as an Outstanding Senior in the College of Arts
Anna made her orchestral debut with the Kharkov Symphony Orchestra at the age of
twelve, playing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 1. Since then she has been a
soloist with some of the world's most renowned orchestras-such as the Montreal
Symphony Orchestra, the St. Petersburg State Academic Philharmonic Orchestra,
the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. Other
appearances include the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, the Corpus Christi
Symphony Orchestra, the Lugansk Philharmonic, the Northwest Florida Symphony
Orchestra, the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Russian Chamber
Orchestra, the Minnesota Sinfonia, and the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra.
As a recitalist, Anna has performed in Canada, France, Mexico, Netherlands,
Russia, Ukraine, and the United States. Her chamber music collaborations include
performances with the Amernet String Quartet, the Cincinnati ARC Ensemble, and
musicians from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
Anna is a winner of over a dozen international piano competitions, including the
Louisiana International Piano Competition (2005), the Third International Piano
Competition for Young Musicians, Enschede, The Netherlands (2004) the Corpus
Christi International Competition for Piano and Strings (2004), and the Ludmila
Knezkova-Hussey International Piano Competition, Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada
The Louisiana International Piano Competition, LIPC, was founded in 2004 by a
group in Alexandria, Louisiana, USA, for the purpose of offering selected young
concert artists an opportunity to participate in a new venture; introducing
audiences in the central part of Louisiana to the highest caliber performers of
classical piano literature. Along with Artistic Director, Nikita Fitenko, I am
pleased to introduce the Grand Prize winner of our inaugural festival, Anna
Shelest (Polusmiak) from Ukraine. This initial LIPC event was held October
10-16, 2005, less than two months after hurricanes Katrina and Rita ravaged our
state and our people. The spectacular efforts of our original 27 concert artists
was testament to the kind of survival skills all performing artists must possess
in order to be successful. The example of these young talented pianists,
representing 19 countries served to invigorate our lives, reminding us of what
is truly good in our ever-changing world.
Executive Director, LIPC.