Tracing her piano training lineage all the way back to Franz Liszt, Russian born pianist Lira Makarova has been performing and teaching piano in Tucson for almost 20 years. On Tuesday (Jan. 6) at 11:30 a.m., the Arizona Senior Academy will feature Makarova in a varied program of classical music by composers ranging from Tchaikovsky, Khachaturian, and Sviridov, to Chopin and Beethoven.
Makarova was born in the city of Kazan, the third largest city in Russia, where she began piano study at the age of 5. She earned her undergraduate degree in piano performance, piano pedagogy and chamber ensemble at the Kazan Music College and then earned a master’s degree in the same fields at the Kazan State Conservatory.
Her teacher, Era Sayfullina, passed along the European and Russian piano traditions received from three generations of Russian pianists trained at the Moscow Conservatory, going back to the influential pianist, conductor and composer, Alexander Siloti. Siloti had left Moscow to study with Franz Liszt in Germany, and then returned to the Moscow Conservatory where his students included his first cousin Sergei Rachmaninoff. Siloti eventually settled in New York City in the 1920’s where he taught at the Julliard School.
Makarova, now an American citizen, operates a private piano studio, attracting students of all ages and backgrounds. She performs and teaches the full piano repertoire, from Bach through the Classical and Romantic composers, as well as contemporary classical, popular, and other music.
Written by Leslie Nitzberg, Academy Village Volunteer