Artistic Interpretation in a Crossdisciplinary Context –Late Piano Œuvre of Alexander Scriabin

Elina Akselrud, Piano

Internal Supervisors and External Advisors

Markus Schirmer and Deniz Peters (University of Music and Performing Arts Graz).


This project aims to realize Scriabin’s meta-artistic vision of emotively expressing “creative activity” via producing a multidisciplinary performance of Scriabin’s Five Late Sonatas. The performance will integrate contemporary media, and I will collaborate with artists from different genres. The elements of this research-performance may include but are not limited to sound, color (projection, video effects), movement, sensation, scent, space. To construct the script, research will be conducted on crossover intermodal perception, multi-modal relations, the study of Scriabin’s other oeuvres, and the relation between mental states and sense perception. Experiments as controlled performances will be conducted accordingly. I propose to integrate a discovery oriented research method: a cyclic oscillation between interpretive work at the piano and collective inter-medial exploration, which would result in further interpretational pianistic work. The idea is to connect intermodal interpersonal interpretation with solo interpretation as a dialogue, enriching the latter and looking for a more plastic, emotionally nuanced, modally expanded solo piano interpretation.


American pianist and fine art photographer of Ukrainian origin Elina Akselrud is the founder and artistic director of a multidisciplinary organization “Intertwining Arts“, as well as the lead artist of all its crossover projects.  Elina made her debut with an orchestra at the age of eight with Bortnyansky Concerto in D Major, while studying at Kyiv Special Music School with Irina Lipatova and Irina Barinova.  She is a prize winner of international piano competitions, such as Chopin on Thousand Islands (USA, 2010, 1st Prize), Chopin in Hartford (USA, 2012 1st Prize), Midwest (USA, 2014, 2nd Prize), Chopin in Canberra (Australia, 2014, 3rd Prize), and others. Elina has performed in numerous countries in Europe, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. She appeared with orchestras, such as the Ukrainian National Orchestra (Haydn D Major), Ithaca Orchestra (Schumann), the Kaufman Center Orchestra (Beethoven No.2), NEC Symphony (Chopin No.1), and Lucerne Symphony (Beethoven No.3), among others.

Elina Akselrud received her education at Mannes School of Music in New York City, USA, with Irina Morozova (Bachelor of Music’12), New England Conservatory in Boston, USA, with Alexander Korsantia (Master of Music’14), Hochschule Luzern – Musik in Lucerne, Switzerland, with Konstantin Lifschitz (Master of Arts in Music, Major Solo Performance’18), and Scuola di Musica di Fiesole in Florence, Italy, with Eliso Virsaladze.

Elina Akselrud’s current activity consists of performing as a solo and chamber musician. Since 2016 she has been concentrating on expanding the concept of a piano solo recital by collaborating with artists from other genres and simultaneously blending music with theater, photography/video projection, live painting projection, dance, lighting art, and 3D projection on stage. Each project is an artistic research embodying either a historical, philosophical, or a sociological message.  Elina and her Intertwining Arts Team created and premiered “Chopin: A Letter through the Parisian Years” (2016-2018), “The Scriabin Sonatas Reimagined, Part 1” (2018-2019), “Transience: Painting after Scriabin and Vine” (2019-2020), and “Messiaen. A Birdsoul” (2020-2021) with performances in France, Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands, including cinematic version releases of these works.

The pianist also actively performs and records themed chamber music projects, including premieres of commissioned works.

Elina Akselrud is currently working on her Doctoral Degree in Artistic Research at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Austria, where her project “Artistic Interpretation in a Multidisciplinary Setting – Scriabin’s Five Late Piano Sonatas” has been supervised by Markus Schirmer and Deniz Peters, and where she holds a position of a research assistant.

Photocredits: Marc Serhan