Russian flutist Elena Bondareva is excited to announce her upcoming chamber recital, scheduled for February at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. The recital, which will take place at the Swope Music Building, will enable Philadelphia-based Elena to showcase talent she has been honing since a very young age.
Elena is an accomplished musician who currently plays in West Chester Symphony Orchestra (as a principal flute) and “Trilovati” Flute ensemble. West Chester Symphony Orchestra plays both classical and contemporary music and offers an array of exciting programs and concerts to the public. However, this is, perhaps, one of Philadelphia’s best-kept secrets. “A lot of people do not know that in Philadelphia they have such an excellent opportunity to visit our concerts,” Elena said.
Not surprisingly, Elena is a staunch advocate of classical music. She feels that all people should listen to classical music—especially young people—because of its potential benefits. For example, listening to classical music can help children read better and gain a “humanitarian education” that can help shape their internal perspective.
Elena’s passion for music compels her to share her gift with others by providing private flute lessons. She helps children and adults prepare for music competitions, auditions, and recitals for all levels. Her overriding goal is to not only enhance her students’ ability to play, but to also inspire them to maximize their performance. “I try to teach my students to achieve more than they could ever imagine,” she said.
That’s exactly what happened when one of Elena’s students was chosen as a flute and piccolo player in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (flute leader section). The orchestra had concerts throughout the year at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall and the Union League of Philadelphia. This experience was a tremendous accomplishment for Elena’s student. “Getting a place in this orchestra was difficult,” Elena explained. “More than fifty people were on an audition for the flute position.”
Elena’s love for music began around the age of eight, which is when she began her music education. She has since earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Flute Performance from Novosibirsk State Conservatory in Russia and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Flute Performance at West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
In terms of her career, Elena was a soloist from 2003-2010 in Youth Choir “Detstvo”, one of the top 10 best choirs in the world. While performing with the choir—which was based in Blagoveshchensk, Russia—she earned several awards, including “Europa Cantat” Choir Festival 2004 (Nevers, France). She also received honors for World Choir Games 2008 (Graz, Austria), the most significant global choral competition. By the time she was eighteen years old, Elena was invited to serve as a flute teacher in Blagoveshchensk’s Central Music School.
From there, Elena’s professional work steadily progressed. She played in the Folk Orchestra as a flutist and piccoloist from 2008 to 2010 and in the Novosibirsk Conservatory Symphony Orchestra from 2010 to 2014. She was an artist in Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre from 2011 to 2014. Her subsequent awards include “Zolotaya Sibir” International Music Competition, second prize; “Otrajenie talanta” Russian Music Competition, second prize; and “Rossia molodaya” Russian Music competition, third prize.
In Philadelphia, Elena served as a volunteer flute teacher in Nelly Berman School of Music. She has had experience playing in large and small ensembles and performed in the Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention in Virginia in 2018. Currently, she is a member of the Philadelphia Flute Society, which complements her role as a principal flutist with the West Chester Symphony Orchestra.