60. Lauren Vandervelden, violin; Lora Tchekoratova, piano

Sunday, June 4th, 2023 @ 7pm

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Sunday Evenings at Klavierhaus
Joe Patrych, artistic director


Lauren Vandervelden, violin
Lora Tchekoratova, piano

Sunday, June 4th, 2023 @ 7pm

Live at Klavierhaus
790 11th Avenue
New York, NY 10019

Donate to Salon Concerts      Livestream link provided upon request.


Olivier Messiaen
Fantaisie for Violin and Piano

Lauren Vandervelden
Caprice (for solo violin)


Richard Strauss
Sonata for Violin and Piano in E flat Major, Op. 18
I. Allegro ma non troppo
II. Improvisation: Andante cantabile
III. Finale: Andante - Allegro


American violinist and composer, Lauren Vandervelden, is a recent graduate of The Juilliard School, where she was a proud recipient of the John Erskine Prize for exceptional scholastic and artistic achievement. Starting this fall, she will be pursuing her master’s degree in Solo Performance at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste in Switzerland with international soloist Ilya Gringolts. Previously, Lauren studied composition with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Melinda Wagner and violin with Kurt Nikkanen, concertmaster of the New York City Ballet Orchestra. She is a current violin student of soloist Kinga Augustyn.

Lauren is the First Prize Winner of the 2023 Alexander & Buono International String Competition as well as the 2022 Grand Prize Winner of the Bellagrande International Music Competition for violin performance. In addition, as a winner of the Juilliard Orchestra Competition in February 2020, Lauren was a soloist with The Juilliard Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall, premiering the first movement of her Violin Concerto. She premiered the second movement of the Violin Concerto for the Next Festival of Emerging Artists at National Sawdust in 2019. Most recently, Lauren served as Guest Concertmaster for the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra in New York City. Lauren performed in chamber music groups at Juilliard and participated as a violinist in masterclasses at the prestigious International Menuhin Academy in Rolle, Switzerland. She has participated in additional lessons and masterclasses with Bella Hristova, Stefan Jackiw, Renaud Capuçon, Midori, Ilya Kaler, and Jeremy Constant. Previously, she was a first violinist with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and concertmaster of the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Lauren composed and performed pieces for the Yellow Barn Young Artist Program.

Lauren has received numerous national awards in composition, including recognition from BMI, ASCAP, National Young Arts, Tribeca New Music, MTNA, NFMC, and the Frost School of Music. Lauren’s compositions have been performed at notable venues including Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Davies Symphony Hall, New World Center, The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, and the Greek National Opera Alternative Stage (workshop with George Tsontakis). Composer mentors have included John Adams, David Ludwig, Aaron Jay Kernis, Stephen Coxe, Eric Nathan, and Christopher Theofanidis.

Lauren collaborates extensively with choreographers, visual artists, and fellow musicians. She recently was a featured composer at the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of the New York City Ballet. She also collaborated with the San Francisco Ballet School, the Juilliard School ChoreoComp choreographers and dancers, and is currently engaged in a project with the New York Theatre Ballet. In addition, Lauren has composed and performed violin pieces presented online in collaboration with visual artists featured in Musaics of the Bay. Future projects include a performance of a commission from The New York Virtuoso Singers. Lauren seeks to bring an operatic, narrative quality to her compositions, drawing and expanding upon the realm of tonal harmony as a means of channeling great expressivity. She is inspired by the beauty of nature, striving to express its sublimity in her music.


Lora Tchekoratova’s professional journey has been multifaceted. She made her debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, in 1996 after winning first prize at the Washington International Competition for pianists, where she also received the audience prize and the prize for the youngest finalist. Since then, she has made recital appearances throughout the United States, most notably at the Phillips Collection, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, The Museum of Modern Art, and Allice Tully Hall in New York and Alexandria, Chicago, Miami, and Minneapolis and in major venues in Europe, including in Rome, Monte Carlo, and Prague.

Renowned for her interpretations of the Romantic era repertoire, Ms. Tchekoratova is also an enthusiastic performer of new music. She has premiered and commissioned numerous contemporary works by American and Bulgarian composers throughout her career. She has appeared at many venues for new music, starting while a student at Juilliard under the direction of her mentor Joel Sachs, who featured her as a solo artist at the Focus, Summergarden, and Piano Century festivals. Tchekoratova has also performed at the American Composers Festival in New York’s Symphony Space, the Keys to the Future festival for new and recent piano music in Greenwich House, and at the Dear Composer series at Scandinavia House for the Musicians Club of New York. Tchekoratova frequently performs music by composer Dobrinka Tabakova. With a grant from the Ernst von Siemens Foundation, she recently commissioned Tabakoa to write a new piano quintet, Stone Trail (2023), for the Off the Beaten Festival. In addition, she has presented several concerts and talks featuring the Bulgarian composer’s solo piano and chamber music in the United States and Bulgaria.

Lora frequently collaborates with other contemporary artists, writers, and intellectuals to create and present multidisciplinary events and presentations of grants for emerging artists and composers. Such was her collaboration in November of 2017 with the EuropeNow Journal, the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, and the American Foundation for Bulgaria. The organizations presented contemporary Bulgarian creative minds, including world-renowned writers Georgi Gospodinov (Bulgaria) and Elizabeth Kostova (USA) and celebrated artists Houben R.T., Ani Collier, and Rafaelo Kazakov. The collaboration led to an annual multidisciplinary grant to create contemporary art collaborative works. The Council for European Studies administers the award at Columbia University.

Lora Tchekoratova is a dedicated chamber musician. She frequently performs with her husband, violinist Georgy Valtchev. During the past season, they presented a series of concerts in Toronto, Maryland, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Washington D.C., and their native Bulgaria. In addition, they often work for the World Artists Experiences in presenting lesser-known music from Bulgaria. Other upcoming collaborations include performances with world-renowned artists: flutist Carol Wincenc, violist and composer Kenji Bunch, composers Peter Kerkelov, Svetlin Hristov, and Lora Al Ahmad, and cellist Zlatomir Fung.

Lora also appears regularly in various chamber music programs with members of the New World Symphony, where she was a fellow from 2000-2002 under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. These collaborations led her to performances in Miami (at the Lincoln Theater), Palm Beach (Kravis Center), and New York (Union Club), as well as on tours in Boston (Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum), Long Island (Residency in the Hamptons), and abroad. As a guest artist, she has been featured at many international festivals, including Kuhmo Nuori Musikii in Finland, Lappland Festspel, and Bastad Festspel in Sweden, Kneisel Hall in Blue Hill, Maine, as well as the festivals Apolonia, Sofia Music Weeks, and Varna Summer in Bulgaria. She has made numerous recordings for Radio and Television in Bulgaria, Sweden, Finland, and the United States. Her CD recordings for Gega New, Albany Records, and Naxos have received worldwide critical acclaim.

Lora Tchekoratova began her piano studies at age four and gave her first recital five years later at the State Music School in Sofia, Bulgaria. At age eighteen, she continued her studies at The Juilliard School in New York City, where she received her Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees as a student of Seymour Lipkin. Other teachers include Lydia Kuteva, Vessela Marinova, Prof. Jenny Zaharieva, and Oxana Yablonskaya. She serves on the faculty of Mannes Prep at the New School in New York.

Lora resides in New York with her husband and two children, Ivan and Mina.