Elena Swensen

Elena S.

Potomac, MD

Lesson Details



Elena delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+ and special needs

Teaching since:
February 2014

Hi there! My name is Elena Svetalkina-S. I am a concert pianist and senior instructor (Assistant Professor) at Sobinov Conservatory in Russia. I received the Artist Diploma from the Sobinov State Conservatory in Saratov (Russia) under the tutelage of Professor Albert Tarakanoff and Professor Maria Christiansen, from which I graduated with distinction in 2002. I have won numerous awards in Russia and Europe and received a grant to teach piano in Hong Kong.
Place and date of birth: Penza (Russia) – 16 March 1979
1985-1993 Music School of Penza
1994-1998 Gradated from Penza College of Music with B.A.
My professional debut was at the age of seventeen with the Penza Philharmonic Orchestra (Russia), playing the Mozart Piano Concerto in A-major.
1997 First Prize in All-Russia Youth piano competition in Astrahan.
1997 Grant from Minister of Culture (Russia)
1998 Government grant for talented young musicians.
1998-2003 Sobinov Saratov Conservatory (under the tutelage of Professor Albert Tarakanov) with Masters Degree
2003 -2005 Post-graduate student Artist Diploma in Music Performance
Master classes with:
Professors Yuri Slesarev, Nikolai Petroff, Ludmila Roshchina, Michel D’Alberto, Manfred Vagner-Artz
2003-2005 – piano instructor - Sobinov State Conservatory
2005-2010 – senior instructor (assistant professor) at Piano department of Sobinov State Conservatory, Senior Lecturer for the course of Method of Piano teaching
2008-2009 – piano instructor at the Music Center in Hong-Kong (by invitation of the Piano Association of Hong-Kong)
2005 Second prize “Delphian games in Arts”
2006 Diploma International Piano Competition “Hopes, Talents, Masters” Bulgaria
2007 Second Prize in Piano Duet Shubert International Competition, Ruse Bulgaria
I play with Nadezda Tokareva (violin), Associate Professor of Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and Tatiana Nechaeva Associate Professor of Sobinov Saratov Conservatory.
Concert tours in Russia (Rachmaninoff’s Hall in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Astrakhan and elsewhere), China, Bulgaria
Bach (All Toccatas, WTK, Goldberg Variations,)
Brahms (Variation and Fugue on a theme by Handel)
Beethoven (Sonatas, including N 28,30,31)
Mozart (Sonatas, Concertos)
Schumann (Symphonic etudes, Piano Concerto, Fantasia, etc.)
Chopin (24 Etudes, 4 Ballades, Scherzos, 24 Preludes)
Debussy 12 Preludes (First Volume)
Rachmaninoff (etudes-tableaux, Variation on a theme by Korelly, Preludes)

I have been teaching music professionals, adults, and children for 14 years. Many of them have won awards at international piano competitions and festivals.

In 2010 I moved to US and I played numerous recitals in Maryland, MA, Virginia, New York.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am classically trained teacher and i think that classical music is the basement for any kind of music. I also would like to teach you some jazz or to play your favorite songs as you wish.
I adjust to my students' needs and goals. Every student is unique and so my point is to teach anyone in according to one's ability. I assess my student's ability during the first lesson and spend time discussing what the goals shall be for the next 5 lessons. Then I pick exercises and music pieces, and design a practice plan for my student that will help him or her reach their goals.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have "Stainway & Sons" piano and "Yamaha" digital piano as well.

*** Specialties ***
I have a comprehensive knowledge and expertise in piano literature, baroque, classical, romantic, impressionist and contemporary.
I help my students to distinguish different style of different epoch.

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Senior Instructor
Sep 2001 - Jan 2010
Saratov State Conservatory


Artist Diploma
Jun 2003 - Present
Saratov State Conservatory
Doctorate in Music Performance
Jan 2003 - May 2005
Saratov Sobinoff Conservatory


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Fluent / Native Proficiency


Second Prize
Nov 2007
Shubert Piano Duet International Competition, Ruse Bulgaria
Sep 2006
International Piano Competition “Hopes, Talents, Masters” Bulgaria
Second prize
May 2005
“Delphian games in Arts” Saratov Sobinov Conservatory
First Prize
Apr 1997
All-Russia Youth piano competition in Astrakhan.

Photos & Videos

This video from my concert after winning the International piano competition in Bulgaria, 2006
This is the 1st Part of my Piano Recital in Bulgaria, September 2007
Photo by Elena S.

Photo by Elena S.

Photo by Elena S.

Photo by Elena S.
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1 Review

Write a Review
Nicholas G. Jan 28, 2014
Piano ·

Patient and passionate

My 7-year-old daughter has been taking weekly lessons with Elena for a few months. It's her/our first piano teacher, so I don't have much basis for comparison, but we, and our daughter are very happy. Elena has a patient, gentle and genuine manner. She is very focused and attentive in her attention to the student, and my daughter seems to be learning quickly and looks forward to class. We're glad we found her.

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