Hosted by composer Abbie Betinis, our popular Courtroom Concerts take place at noon most Thursdays in the Landmark Center in downtown Saint Paul. This series features accomplished musicians and composers from the Twin Cities and surrounding area, as well as occasional musical newcomers to the area. These one-hour concerts are free and open to the public.
About the Artists
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 DC. In 2014 the Elkinas collaborated with the well-known local theater “Heart of the Beast” on a new production of Petrouchka. Irina recently performed in the very well-received play “33 Variations” at the Park Square Theater in St. Paul.
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. In 2014 Julia has also joined the music faculty of Century College.