Irina Kulikova - Russia and U.S.A
Concert - Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 7:30 PM
Master Class - Wednesday, November 29, 2023 at 7:00 PM
Christ Church Episcopal Parish Miginis Chapel
1060 Chandler Rd.
Lake Oswego, OR 97034
Irina Kulikova Biography
It’s about the touch
Widely acclaimed for the rare beauty of her tone and her enchanting presence on stage, Irina Kulikova has established herself as one of today’s leading guitarists. She received over 30 awards for her artistry, including 1st prizes at the most prestigious international competitions. She tours far afield, with appearances at leading festivals in Europe, North America and Asia and in concert halls such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, the Palau de la Musica in Valencia, the Musashino Hall in Tokyo and the Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai.
Irina Kulikova was born in Chelyabinsk, the capital and industrial mainport of South Ural. The daughter of a cellist and distinguished pedagogue, she started her musical career at an exceptionally young age. At five, she started playing piano and guitar. At eight she gave her first guitar performances. By the time she was twelve, Irina Kulikova was a child star playing all across Russia and at festivals in Europe.
She received a scholarship from ‘New Names’, the United Nations program for talents. And she was discovered by some of the world’s leading guitarists, including the Grammy Award winning David Russell and Sergio Assad. ‘If you close your eyes, it is like you hear an adult play’, Spanish master José María Gallardo del Rey marvelled. ‘A star is born’, Colin Cooper reviewed in Classical Guitar Magazine. At fourteen, Irina Kulikova appeared in Maurice Summerfield’s book ‘The Classical Guitar, its evolution, players and personalities since 1800’.
In 2007, Irina Kulikova made her home in The Netherlands. The year after, every touch was magic: she graduated with distinction at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg; she was awarded 1st prizes at all five competitions she participated in: the highly prestigious competitions of Michele Pittaluga in Italy, Guitarra Alhambra in Spain, Forum Gitarre Wien in Austria and Iserlohn in Germany and the Twentse Guitar Competition in The Netherlands; and still in the same year, she was awarded the Dutch Youth, Culture and Podia prize in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.
In July 2012, Irina Kulikova’s beautiful baby girl was born. Eight months later, she brought her along to Moscow, for her performances in the Tchaikovsky Hall. Reunited with Mother Russia, Irina received a standing ovation, holding her daughter in her arms. To celebrate the inspiring beginning of a new phase of her career, Irina Kulikova recorded a new solo album for Naxos, sharing some personal and picturesque reminiscences of her motherland with her audience worldwide. The album included the world premiere of ‘Swan Princess’, dedicated to her by Konstantin Vassiliev.
In March 2020, Irina Kulikova recorded her fifth album; it was her fourth cooperation with Grammy Award-winning producer Norbert Kraft. The program includes transcriptions of popular classical pieces and world premieres, as well as compositions for guitar and cello. Title of the album is Irina’s personal motto in life and music: It’s about the touch. The album was followed in half a year by her sixth album: two suites by Belgian composer Mark Van Overmeire. Again half a year later, she released her seventh album: a Christmas CD for voice and guitar, recorded in the famous Abbey Road Studio.
Irina Kulikova is dedicated to the discovery and guidance of a next generation of guitarists.