Lora Tchekoratova’s professional journey has been multifaceted.
At age 21 she won first prize at the Washington International Competition for pianists where she was also awarded the audience prize and the prize for the youngest finalist. Subsequently, Ms. Tchekoratova made her debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. followed by recital appearances throughout the United States, most notably at the Phillips Collection (broadcast over WGTS-FM), Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, as well as in Alexandria, Chicago, Minneapolis, and New York. Thereafter, she became a sought-after soloist and recitalist frequently performing in major venues throughout the world.
As an active advocate of new music, Ms. Tchekoratova has premiered numerous contemporary works by American and Bulgarian composers. Currently, she is the co-chair of Bulgarian Concert Evenings in New York, a concert series, dedicated to the presentation of music and musicians from Bulgaria. The Lower Manhattan Cultural Fund, the Puffin Foundation, the Arthur Foundationand and the Kittredge Fund have all awarded her grants for the presentation of lesser-known music from her country. In addition, she has presented Bulgarian music on tour with her husband, the noted Bulgarian violinist Georgy Valtchev, represented by the organization World Artists Experiences in Washington, D.C. She has appeared at many festivals for new music, starting while a student at Juilliard under the direction of her mentor Joel Sachs, who presented her at the festivals Focus, Summergarden, and Piano Century at the Juilliard Theater, MoMA, and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Tchekoratova also performed at the American Composers' Festival in New York's Symphony Space and the Keys to the Future festival for new and recent piano music in New York.
Tchekoratova is a champion of composer Dobrinka Tabakova. Recently she presented several concerts and talks, featuring the Bulgarian composer’s solo piano and chamber music in the United States. Future collaborations are planned in New York as well as in Bulgaria. In addition, Lora frequently collaborates with other contemporary artists, writers and intellectuals in the creation and presentation of multidisciplinary events and establishements of grants for emerging artists. Such was her colaboration in November of 2017 with the EuropeNow Journal, the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation and the American Foundation for Bulgaria, presenting contemporary Bulgarian creative minds, including world renowned writers Georgi Gospodinov and Elizabeth Kostova and celebrated artists Houben RT, Ani Collier and Rafaelo Kazakov.
Lora Tchekoratova is a dedicated chamber musician. She frequently performs with her husband, violinist Georgy Valtchev. During the past season they presented a series of concerts in Maryland, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York. In 2019 they will once again appear in the Washington D.C. area as well as in New York and their native Bulgaria. Lora also appears regularly in various chamber music programs with members of the New World Symphony, where she was a fellow for two seasons under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. These collaborations led her to performances in Miami (at the Lincoln Theater), Palm Beach (Kravis Center), New York (Union Club), as well as on tours in Boston, Long Island and abroad in Prague, Rome, and Monte Carlo. She has also been a featured artist at many international festivals, including Kuhmo Nuori Musikii in Finland; Lappland Festspel and Bastad Festspel in Sweden; Kneisel Hall in Blue Hill, Maine as well as Apolonia, and Sofia Music Weeks in Bulgaria.
In the summer of 2017, Ms. Tchekoratova established her own nonprofit organization in Bulgaria, the Unbeaten Path Foundation with the goal of bringing new opportunities for chamber music collaborations between Bulgarian and American artists. Her first independent project in Bulgaria is a chamber music festival in the picturesque Rodope mountains village of Kovachevitsa. The first edition of the festival will took place in early August of 2018 with two more editions being planned for the first weekends of August in 2019 and 2020.
In addition to performing, Lora spends significant time devoted to teaching, mentoring and promoting extraordinarily gifted classical musicians from around the world. In June of 2017, she became the Artistic Director of the renowned nonprofit organization Salon de Virtuosi, founded by the late concert pianist Charlotte White. The Salon’s mission is to seeks out the most gifted young artists and to support and promote their careers by presenting them in unique venues throughout New York City in the tradition of the 19th Century Salon as well as awarding them scholarships and career grants. As piano pedagogue Ms. Tchekoratova is a sought after faculty member of Mannes Prep, where she will serve as Chair of the Piano Department.
Lora Tchekoratova began her piano studies at age four and gave her first recital five years later at the State Music School in Sofia, Bulgaria. At age eighteen, she continued her studies at The Juilliard School in New York City, where she received her Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees as a student of Seymour Lipkin. Other teachers include Lydia Kuteva, Vessela Marinova, Prof. Jenny Zaharieva, and Oxana Yablonskaya. She has made numerous recordings for Radio and Television in Bulgaria, Sweden, Finland, and the US. Her CD recordings for Gega New and Albany Records have received worldwide critical acclaim.