Ivana Ristova

The winner of 15 international competitions since 2002, Ivana Ristova’s incredible talent as a pianist has already captured the hearts of audiences throughout Europe and the United States. As a young female performer, Ms. Ristova shatters all stereotypes about female pianists with passionate energy and poetic interpretation. Indeed, critics have praised her as “the woman with powerful sound.”

Among the numerous awards and recognitions Ms. Ristova has received are First Prize Winner Awards in Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia, and New York, and many other awards in Croatia, France, Serbia, Spain, and Russia. Besides the competition awards, she is also the recipient of several special awards that include: Honorary Citizen Award in her hometown Macedonia that proclaimed her as the Cultural Ambassador of the city Kocani; Interlochen Summer Award for Best Pianist at the Academy; and the “Grand Maddy Award” as the best musician in the same Academy.

Born in a family of non-musicians, Ms. Ristova was determined at an early age to follow her love of music down the unfamiliar path of a musician. She began taking piano lessons at the age of four and gave her first public performance in Macedonia after enrolling in the Elementary Music School. She continued to attend Music Schools throughout her years of education and upon graduating from the Special Music High School Conservatory in Macedonia, she came to the U.S. to further her studies at Chicago’s College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. During her time in Chicago, Ms. Ristova studied with Dr. Ludmila Lazar, student of Rudolph Ganz. She is currently a student of the eminent pianist and pedagogue Nina Svetlanova, student of Heinrich Neuhaus.

Throughout her musical journey, she has had opportunities to work with great pianists such as Martha Argerich, Aleksandar Ashotovich Mn’dajanc, Van Cliburn and her mentor , Olga Kern as well as established conductors and symphony orchestras from Europe and the United States.

She continues to have an active career as a soloist and a chamber musician. After her Carnegie Hall debut with Violinist Asi Matathias in February 2010, Ms. Ristova will appear again in June 2010 at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall with pianist Denis Kozhukhin performing a Duo Piano Recital. She will then embark on a U.S. tour in the summer with cellist Jakob Koranyi. The tour will begin in July and take place in 10 major cities including Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and more.