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About the Artists:
“Simply dazzling” is the way the American Record Guide has described the Elkina Piano Duo.
Having played together since the age of five, Russian-born identical twins Julia and Irina Elkina are praised for their “truly remarkable oneness” by critics who also recognize that “each is a formidable pianist in her own right.”
The Elkina twins won the top prize in The Fourth Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition. They have performed throughout the United States, making their New York debut in 1996 and playing return engagements there and in San Francisco, Chicago, Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Miami, and New Orleans, just to name a few.
The twins have appeared at numerous festivals including Ravinia, the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival and the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest, and have performed with such conductors as Hugh Wolff and Bobby McFerrin.
The Elkinas have been heard on National Public Radio and many public radio stations nationwide including the award-winning weekly series Saint Paul Sunday, Performance Today, and A Prairie Home Companion.
Irina and Julia have been praised for their collaboration with the acclaimed Basil Twist’s puppet production, Petrouchka, which returned for a much-awaited engagement at New York’s Lincoln Center in 2008. It has been performed throughout the United States with most recent performances in Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. This season upcoming engagements include performances as a part of the MacPhail Spotlight series.
The sisters studied under Professor Alexander Braginsky at the University of Minnesota, where they earned their Doctoral Degrees in Piano Performance.
They both are currently on the piano faculty of MacPhail Center for Music. Julia also teaches at Century College.
About the Host:
Composer Abbie Betinis writes music called “inventive, richly melodic” (The New York Times), “superb, whirling, soaring” (Tacoma News Tribune), and “the highlight” of the program (Boston Globe). With over 50 commissioned works for ensembles such as Cantus, the New England Philharmonic, and The Rose Ensemble, Abbie is also a two-time McKnight Artist Fellow, and has won grants from the American Composers Forum, ASCAP, and Jerome Foundation, and at age 31, was listed in NPR Music’s Top 100 Composers Under 40. Abbie has been a Composer-in-Residence with New York State School Music Association, The Rose Ensemble, The Singers-Minnesota Choral Artists, and Schubert Club. In 2019, she will be the American Composers Forum’s ChoralQuest composer, visiting schools around the U.S. to write new choral music with middle school singers.
Originally from Wisconsin, Abbie is a graduate of St. Olaf College (B.A.), the University of Minnesota (M.A.), and holds a diplôme from the European American Musical Alliance Institute in Paris, France. She lives in Minnesota, where she is Adjunct Professor of Composition at Concordia University-St Paul and executive director of Justice Choir.
View the Frequently Asked Questions about the Courtroom Concerts.
Seating is limited and first come first served. Doors open at 11:30. Please call if you are attending as a group of 10 or more (651.292.3267).
Schedule & Programs Subject to Change