Irina Kulikova, Russia (Cleveland Debut)
"The opening sections of the Tansman Variations on a Theme of Scriabin include some of the most beautiful playing I have ever heard, with gorgeous sounds and exquisitely balanced sonorities." Soundboard

Irina Kulikova is considered to be one of the most gifted musicians on the classical guitar. She was born in Chelyabinsk, the capital of South-Ural, Russia. Under the guidance of her mother, cellist Vinera Kulikova, she started developing her musicianship at an early age. At twelve, she was already travelling throughout Russia and abroad, performing at gala-concerts and festivals. At fourteen, she was included in the book, The Classical Guitar, its evolution, players and personalities since 1800 by Maurice Summerfield.

She has given concerts in twenty five countries, performing as a soloist, in a variety of ensembles and with a number of orchestras. Irina Kulikova has won numerous awards at prestigious international guitar competitions across Europe, including five 1st prizes in 2008:

"Michele Pittaluga," Alessandria, Italy
"Guitarra Alhambra," Valencia, Spain
"Forum Gitarre Wien," Austria
"International Guitar Competition Iserlohn," Germany
"Scharpach Guitar Competition," The Netherlands

Also in 2008 she was awarded the "Young talent, Culture and Podia" award in The Netherlands.

Between 2008 and 2010, Irina Kulikova was invited for concerts, master classes and adjudication at festivals in 15 different countries, including "Musical Olympus" in St.-Petersburg, "Luigi Legnani" in Italy, "Naxos" in Greece, "J.K. Mertz" in Bratislava, Slovakia, "Niksiç" in Montenegro, "Esztergom" in Hungary (the oldest guitar festival in the world), "Split" in Croatia, "Rencontre de Guitare Classique" in Nice, "Guitarra Alhambra," Spain, and "Saltillo" in Mexico.

Highlights for 2010 - 2011 will be two new CD recordings with the Naxos label (including a CD with Russian composers), concert tours in Canada and the USA, a concert with the State Symphony Orchestra "New Russia" at the VI Moscow International Festival "The Guitar Virtuosos" in the Tchaikovsky Hall, and concerts at the XXth anniversaries of the Iserlohn Guitar Symposium in Germany and the West Dean Classical Guitar Festival in England.

Irina Kulikova graduated with distinction at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg (Austria), the Gnessins Academy in Moscow (Russia) and the Conservatoire of Maastricht (The Netherlands).

Artist's Website: