Piano Synergy Duo. Husband-and-wife team Ruslan Sviridov and Irina Khovanskaya created the Piano Synergy Duo in 1996. Using their unique musical potential, the duo designs concert programs in which they perform together as well as individually. The results have been a constantly heavy demand and continuing success. For the past 18 years, the duo has toured extensively throughout Russia, Europe, Unites States, and Canada.
Irina Khovanskaya was born to a musician’s family in Russia’s Moscow Region in 1972. She began piano lessons at age 4 and gave her first recital about two years later in Kiev. Ten years of formal musical training followed at the Moscow Central Special Music College, during which time she also concertized extensively as a recitalist and with orchestras. Several of these events took place at the Moscow Conservatory’s Small Hall, but she also played as far afield as the Russian Space Center (Moscow Region) and on USSR TV. Receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in 1990, Khovanskaya’s studies and performing career continued as she entered the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where her teacher was Victor Merzhanov. Now her performances become international. Besides appearances with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra and in many Russian cities, she performed in Zurich, Munich, Brussels, and Warsaw. Contests in Russia, Germany, and Belgium were capped by Khovanskaya’s winning First Prize in the Texas Steinway Society Piano Competition in Dallas, Texas in 1999. With her Conservatory Diploma (1996) and post-graduate work behind her, Dr. Khovanskaya lived in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to performance engagements, she taught piano at the University of the Incarnate Word and adjudicated in piano competitions. Currently resides in Toronto, Canada.
Ruslan Sviridov was born in 1973 in Tambov, Russia. He began to study music at age 7 and gave his first public performance at the age of 8. His years of study at the Tambov Music School and later at the Rachmaninov Music College in Tambov were marked by many competition triumphs and literally hundreds of concerts and recitals throughout Russia’s Central Region. First prizes came from the Tchaikovsky Regional Piano Contest (1989), the Bartok Regional Contest (1989), and the Kabalevsky Regional Competition for Young Pianists (1990), to name only a few. Sviridov went on to enter the Moscow State Conservatory, studying with Victor Merzhanov. Concerts and competitions continued, now at a higher level. He played with symphony orchestras in several Russian cities, including Moscow, Ulyanovsk, and Tambov, and at the Glinka Music Festival in Smolensk. During 1994-96, he took Grand Prize or First Prize (or both) or a Special Jury Prize at competitions in Italy at Tortona, Alassio, San Bartolomeo al Mare, and Caltanissetta, Sicily. His first U.S. triumph was a Special Jury Prize in Kingsville, Texas (1995). In addition to an international list of recitals, Sviridov’s career is distinguished by a substantial body of television tapes and live appearances, starting in Russia and extending through Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, and the United States (NBC). During his studies in Moscow, culminating in a Doctoral Degree (1998), he taught piano and music theory. Leaving Russia in 1998, Dr. Sviridov again picked up his teaching activity in San Antonio, Texas, also his base for concertizing and contest adjudication. Resides in Toronto, Canada.