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About Dina Ugorskaja
Pianist Dina Ugorskaja began performing at a young age, following in the footsteps of her father, Anatol Ugorski. She performed throughout Europe as a soloist and chamber musician, made several well-received recordings, and was an educator.
Ugorskaja was born on August 26, 1973, in Leningrad, U.S.S.R. (now St. Petersburg, Russia). She was born into a musical family: her father, Anatol, was an already established concert pianist and her mother, Maja Elik, a musicologist and artist. Her first piano lessons were with her father, and she began her performing career at age seven with a performance at the Leningrad Philharmonic Hall. Following her debut, she studied piano and composition at the Leningrad Conservatory. Her piano teacher was Maria Mekler (while also continuing lessons with her father), and she studied composition with Evgenij Irschai. In 1988, she made her concerto debut with Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in Leningrad. The next year, her string quartet was performed for the first time, marking her debut as a composer. Ugorskaja's family fled the Soviet Union in 1990, following a series of anti-Semitic threats to the family. They relocated to East Berlin, where she attended the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik from 1990-1992, studying with Galina Iwanzowa. She then attended the Hochschule für Musik Detmold and studied with Nerine Barrett.
After earning her degree in 2001, Ugorskaja began performing throughout Europe. She appeared as a soloist in concert halls and festivals. She was a frequent guest with the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony and North West German Philharmonic orchestras, among others, and worked with well-known conductors, including Vladimir Jurowski and Peter Gülke. She also regularly performed as a chamber musician, collaborating with Tanja Tetzlaff, Michael Gurevich, and the Auryn Quartet, among others. From 2002-2007, she was an associate piano professor at Detmold, and in 2016, she joined the piano faculty at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien. Ugorskaja died in her Munich home on September 17, 2019, following a long battle with cancer.
Ugorskaja's solo recording career was on the CAvi Music label, which included releases of music by Bach, Handel, and Schumann, among others. She partnered with her father for a 2005 album of double concertos on EBS, and she joined Gülke and the Brandenburger Symphoniker for a 2019 MDG release of Brahms' first piano concerto. Her final album, containing solo Schubert works, was issued posthumously in 2019. ~ Keith Finke