The Russian-born pianist, Svetlana Ponomarëva, went from playing on the table at age three to real pianos in Music School No.4 and then in Omsk Shebalin Music College. In the first leg of her journey toward becoming a concert pianist, she was accepted, with the highest mark, in the prestigious Gnesins Russian Academy of Music in Moscow where she earned graduate and postgraduate honor diplomas in piano performance. She studied in the class of Professor Alexander A. Alexandrov (1927-2004), and with Professor Alexander I. Satz (1941-2007). Satz opened up the connection between hearing and imagination, sculpting the sound in the air and Alexandrov gave her the tools and discipline to transform these ideas into performances.
For better or worse, the concert life always begins with competitions. Although great training opportunities, piano competitions could turn into sporting events rarely rewarding musicianship… or other teacher’s students! Crossing the “pond” Svetlana Ponomarëva took part in that ritual experience: she was a Finalist at the Young Concert Artist Competition in New York in 1993 and reached the Semi-Finals at the 1996 Esther Honens Calgary International Piano Competition in Canada. Moving on, she performed as a soloist, with chamber ensembles such as the Shanghai Quartet and orchestras in Russia, Germany, Canada and the USA.
For two difficult years in Moscow Svetlana Ponomarëva also had to work as a secretary for a British builder company to make ends meet. Luckily, she managed to avoid picking up her boss’s cockney accent. But she never lost sight of her calling and took the opportunity to move to Canada in 1999, thanks to those who could not forget the memories of her dynamic playing and her refreshing spontaneity.
Among them, her future husband would help organizing recitals in Calgary until they made Vancouver their home in 2004. Together, they now design individual concert projects over North America, Europe and Russia, special moments in a musician’s life. One such musical moment came with Svetlana Ponomarëva's 2003 performance of Schnittke’s Concerto for Piano & Strings in Omsk conducted by Yuri Nikolaevsky, a friend of the late composer, in his last public performance. She performed her Carnegie Hall debut recital on October 7, 2004 in Weill Recital Hall.
Svetlana Ponomarëva has recorded four CD's on the MV Productions label. She enjoys playing all good instruments but she really loves playing on her own New York Steinway D Concert Grand reference J 1725.