Our 2005 winner, Mishka Rushdie Momen, who was 13 at the time, has since then garnered critical and audience enthusiasm for her many performances in venues throughout England and in Europe and India. She won first prize in the piano section of the 2010 Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artists competition. She represented the UK at the first EU Piano Competition in 2009 in Prague and was awarded the Director’s Special Prize for her rendition of Chopin.
Momen is currently a postgraduate scholar and student of Joan Havill at the Guildhall School, where she previously also studied for 5 years with Imogen Cooper as her only student. Her competition successes include the Tillett Trust Young Artist Platform Scheme 2012-13, the Kenneth Loveland Gift 2012, and First Prize in the Norah Sande Award 2012.
Last season Mishka gave recitals at the Barbican Hall for the pre-LSO series, Wigmore Hall for the Tillett Trust Monday Platform, and the Bridgewater Hall. Forthcoming venues include Cardiff University and The Venue, Leeds.
Her concert experience includes most of the major London venues as well as New York, Weimar, Prague, Mumbai, and Cologne.
Elina Akselrud began her professional music education in her native Ukraine at the Kiev Lysenko Special School for gifted children, studying with Irina Lipatova and Irina Barinova. She made her orchestral debut at age 8 and was an award-winner in numerous competitions for young pianists in the Ukraine and in Europe. In 2000 she toured Swtizerland, Germany, and Austria.
Moving to New York in 2005, Elina studied with Irina Morozova at the Kaufman Center and then at Mannes College, from which she received her Bachelor of Music degree and the Wahl Performance Award in 2012. She was an award-winner in numerous competitions, including first prize at the International Chopin Competition in Hartford, C,T in 2012. She was presented by WQXR on their Young Artists Showcase. In 2010 she participated in the Chopin 200 Marathon, performing a series of all-Chopin recitals at New York’s World Financial Center.
Currently Akselrud is a Master of Music candidate at New England Conservatory, where she studies with Alexander Korsantia. In May 2013 she won the NEC Concerto Competition and will appear at Boston’s Jordan Hall with the NEC Symphony in the 2013-2014 season, performing Chopin’s Concerto No. 1.