Pianist, recitalist, coach, prompter and assistant conductor,
Yelena Kurdina is among the most sought after collaborators in the opera world today. A specialist in Russian repertoire at The Metropolitan Opera for over twenty-five years, Ms. Kurdina became Placido Domingo’s private coach for his preparation of “one of the most important roles of his career,” Ghermann in Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades. Ms. Kurdina has partnered with many of the most outstanding singers of our time. Yelena was the coach and consultant for Renee Fleming’s recording of Night Songs, as well as her televised appearance as Tatiana in Eugene Onegin with the New York Philharmonic on PBS’ Great Performances. Ms. Kurdina’s recitals with the remarkable Dmitri Hvorostovsky, have been called “rich and haunting collaborations, beautifully judged and impeccably ardent”.
Ms. Kurdina has brought her distinguished musicianship to many renowned festivals and opera houses and has been the assistant to a host of extraordinary conductors - Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Seiji Ozawa, Vladimir Jurowski, James Conlon, Valery Gergiev, among others - with whom she has worked not only on Russian operas, but also on many Italian operas, as well. She has worked at such renowned festivals and opera houses as the Opéra national de Paris, Houston Grand Opera, Saito Kinen Festival in Japan, Summerscape in the Frank Gehry theater at Bard College, Cincinnati May Festival, Teatro de la Maestranza in Sevilla, Spain, the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera in Washington, DC. and recently San Francisco Symphony.
Hailing originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, Ms. Kurdina is a protégé of John Wustman - the “Dean of American accompanists” - with whom she studied at the University of Illinois. Like her illustrious mentor, an important part of Ms. Kurdina’s career has centered on working with young artists.
Ms. Kurdina has been a regular guest of the Domingo Young Artist Programs at the Washington Opera and Los Angeles Opera, and maintains a vibrant private studio in New York City, where she has coached innumerable singers who have gone on to major operatic careers.