Graduation and Fellowships

graduationIn July 2015, Alexandra has graduated with Distinction from the Master of Arts programme at the Royal Academy of Music. She has received a double Fellowship (the Hodgson Fellowship for piano solo and the RAM chamber music Fellowship with her clarinet/violin/piano Trio Mirage) from the same institution which will allow her to gain valuable experience working with students and performing new and exciting music during the 2015/2016 academic year.

Review of Alexandra’s Piano Recital at the “Farley Music Festival” organized by Nicholas Walker in June 2015

“Alexandra Vaduva, a final year Masters student at the Royal Academy, gave the second piano concert. She has a prestigious career developing as a recitalist and has won many prizes in notable competitions. Her programme at Farley included music by Bartok, Schoenberg, Janá?ek, Schubert and Stravinsky. It was wonderful to hear how some relatively rarely heard music made perfect sense in her hands, especially the nostalgic and at times anguished suite of pieces entitled On an Overgrown Path by Janá?ek. Her concert ended with the incredibly virtuosic arrangement of Petrushka made by Stravinsky for Rubinstein (who initially refused to play it because of its extreme technical demands). There were no problems for Alexandra, who produced an amazing and exciting performance to the delight of the audience at Farley.” – Richard Godfrey

“Harold Craxton” chamber music competition winners

On the 25th of February, Julia Pusker (violin), Matthew Scott (clarinet) and I performed the wonderful “Contrasts” by Bartok in the “Harold Craxton” chamber music competition at the Royal Academy of Music. The adjudicator, Daniel Tong, awarded us the First Prize. It was a very special experience because we all love this piece and thanks to very inspiring lessons with Maestro Gyorgy Pauk, we managed to express Bartok’s “contrasting” desires to our best of abilities.

Tomorrow, the 3rd of March, we will play this piece in a concert at RAM at 1:05 pm in the David Josefowitz Recital Hall alongside Stravinsky’s incredible “Soldier’s Tale” and Milhaud delicate and contrasting “Suite”.

Exciting times ahead!

Duo LIPATTI winns the “Jacob Barnes” Scholarship

Duo LIPATTI, formed of pianists Alexandra Vaduva and Anna Szalucka, has recently won the prestigious “Jacob Barnes” scholarship. The auditions took place at the Royal Academy of Music and the group was selected to perform in the Piano Festival at RAM in June 2015. They will also give a recital and masterclass at St. Edmund’s School in Canterbury in January 2015 as part of this prize.

Alexandra is the winner of the 2013 “Alexander Kelly Memorial Prize”

Alexandra has just been appointed the 2013 winner of the Alexander Kelly Memorial Prize.

“Alexander Kelly was one of Britain’s most eminent piano teachers, and one of its most loved. Early in his distinguished performing career he was made a professor at the Royal Academy of Music. For the next 30 years he made an enormous impact on the generations of pianists who flocked to study with him there.
His first experience of the RAM had been as a 17-year-old, when a Caird scholarship enabled him to leave his native Edinburgh in 1946. He broke off his studies for National Service in 1949, resuming them two years later. In addition to piano lessons with Harold Craxton he also learnt composition with Lennox Berkeley.
The concert life that followed was wide-ranging both in the repertoire Kelly played and the places where he performed. He was passionate about the Classical period, and his Festival Hall debut was in C.P.E. Bach under Beecham. He also played Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations at the Wigmore Hall and at the Edinburgh Festival.
He brought the same commitment to new music, giving many first performances both nationally and on tours to Eastern Europe, Asia and New Zealand. Scottish composers in particular have much to thank him for: Thomas Wilson’s Piano Sonata was a favourite piece, and he also played works by Robert Crawford, Martin Dalby, David Dorward, Thea Musgrave and John Purser. Peter Wishart wrote a Piano Concerto as a wedding present for Alex Kelly and the cellist Margaret Moncrieff when they married in 1957.
Margaret also had pride of place among Alex’s duo partners. His natural pianistic gifts combined with a gregarious personality and an outrageous sense of humour to make him an ideal chamber musician. The violinist Jean Harvey, the flautist William Bennett and the tenor Duncan Robertson were among the other artists he worked with, a line that ended, touchingly, with another cellist, his younger daughter Alison Moncrieff-Kelly.
Along with Kelly’s other daughter, Catriona, Margaret and Alison were ex-officio members of the teaching team: producers of endless cups of tea, pourers of endless glasses of wine. To be taken on as a pupil was to be absorbed into the Kelly family. Together they created an atmosphere that welcomed and nurtured, a household of ideas (you had to clear away the books to make room for the cups of tea) that became home from home for decades of students.
As a teacher Kelly had the great gift of finding the good in his pupils. The glass was always half full, never half empty. However anxious or depressed you were when you went in to a piano lesson, you came out playing better. And more often than not, laughing. Like everything else about Alex Kelly, his vision of music was generous. Lessons took in God, sex, pictures, poetry. (More books, this time cluttering up the piano.) He loathed playing that was dry. Everything had to say something, everything had to have emotion.
The very antithesis of a career teacher, Kelly had no interest whatever in empire-building. His was an empire that spread of its own accord. And while his appointment in 1984 as Head of Keyboard marked the peak of his career at the RAM, it was the contact with students in his day-to-day teaching that continued to give him the greatest satisfaction. Those students have enriched British musical life: Michael Dussek, Vanessa Latarche, David Owen Norris, Jonathan Plowwright and the late Alan Gravill were all Kelly pupils. He cared less, though, about the technical excellence of whoever was playing to him than their musical integrity. He was equally prepared to be moved by a child or an enthusiastic amateur.
Theoretically, Alex Kelly retired in 1992. He retired in name alone, throwing himself into ever more examining and adjudicating, constitutionally incapable of refusing anyone who asked him for help. His influence extended far beyond his own pupils. Classic FM broadcast a series of his masterclasses, and the Caird Scholarships, the Associated Board and the Scottish International Piano Competition all benefited from his wisdom. You sat beside him in any official capacity at your peril, so monstrous were his jokes, so scurrilous his scribbled notes. As a colleague he showed the same qualities that marked his teaching and his life: warmth, charity and generosity.
Alexander Kelly, musician: born Edinburgh 30 June 1929; Professor, Royal Academy of Music 1960-94, Head of Keyboard 1984-92; married 1957 Margaret Moncrieff (two daughters); died London 23 October 1996.”

Alexandra is Laureate of the “Orpheus Young Musician of the Year Piano Competition”

Alexandra is happy to announce that she has won the second prize at the Orpheus Young Musician of Year Piano Competition, 2013. Many thanks to everyone involved in the organization of this event, to the jury and to the Richard Carne Trust for their support. Also, a huge thank you goes to Florian Mitrea ( for playing the orchestral reduction of the Grieg Piano Concerto.

Finalist of the “Orpheus Young Musician of the Year Piano Competition”

Alexandra is now a finalist in the Orpheus Young Musician of the Year Competition, which is taking place on Tuesday, the 22nd of October 2013, in St. George’s Church, Hanover Square, London. She is going to play the Grieg Piano Concerto in a concert open to audience. For more details, click on this link: