We had the good fortune of connecting with Anna Goryacheva and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anna, how do you think about risk?
I believe that with taking great risk often come great opportunities, taking chances are absolutely necessary if you strive for more and want make the most of your live. I don’t know a one success story without taking risks as you need to constantly challenge and push yourself out of your comfort zone to achieve new heights. Ten years ago I moved to the United States without a dollar in my pocket and could barely understand English. My road to success wasn’t smooth at all, it was risky yet adventurous!
I remember living in a small town in Russia, and dreaming about living by the ocean. Sunny California has always been on my mind, even though it was difficult to even imagine where California is located geographically, somewhere at the opposite end of the globe. Being a teenager, I loved watching American TV shows and my heart was stopping and throbbing every time the new episode went live. Beautiful life, beautiful people, freedom – all of that seemed so exciting, attractive, and absolutely unrealistic.
I received my Bachelor’s degree from the Russian Gnessin Academy of Music, one of the world’s top music schools, and my life as a musician seemed to be accomplished enough already, however I felt that something was missing in that life, I have always dreamed big. Knowing that there are more places to visit and dreams to fulfill, I have applied for the Artist Diploma Performance program at USC, and got a letter of acceptance – a once in a life time opportunity – I could not believe what has just happened.
Suddenly, I found myself in a predicament, as I wasn’t ready to move overseas that soon and leave everything behind – my family, my friends, my professional surroundings and comfort zone of everyday routine. All of that was holding me back to the reality of my life in Russia, convincing me to stay and to keep it safe. Nevertheless, that would have secured me having a stable job at the music college in Moscow, which was already a big accomplishment, however, this is definitely not what I was dreaming about. At that time, it seemed like I was taking a huge leap of faith because I had to close one door in order to open the new door to my dream. I knew I was not going to fully realize my potential and become the best version of myself by staying in a comfort zone, so I decided to take this risk and start my professional journey from scratch. In order to pursue my passion for music, I moved to America, earned two degrees from University of Southern California and started my own business. Moving to Los Angeles was the best decision I have ever made in my life as I learned a lot through challenging times, gained unique knowledge and experience, which helped me grow professionally and enabled me to create my own brand Elite Piano Institute.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Being an artistic person, I have always wanted to create something special that no one has done before, something that would inspire people around, that is how I came up with the idea of my own business.
Elite Piano Institute is the specialized piano project, where we are dedicated to providing the top music education in the United States. With all the legendary traditions and heritage of the Russian piano school we are committed to offering the ultimate knowledge and techniques necessary for developing the strong musical experience. Our graduates get admitted with the highest scholarships to continue their education in the best conservatories and universities, including Juilliard School, Stanford University, USC, Rice University, University of St. Louis, UCLA, Moscow Conservatory and other top music schools in the United States and abroad.
All of our faculty are holding performance degrees from the most prestigious Russian music schools like Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, St. Petersburg Conservatory, and Gnessin Academy of music, plus at the same time all of us supplemented our studies in the United States at the University of Southern California. So we have that deep and wise multicultural understanding of what’s needed to become a professional pianist and how to build a performance career.
With our unique music theory program, we incorporate our exclusive harmony and ear training method from the very first stages of learning, so just in a few years our students will have enough knowledge to get through not only pre-college level, but all the way through the Master’s and Doctoral studies in the top American schools.
Elite Piano is not just a top music school in Los Angeles, but also a unique educational project – me and my dedicated team are producing international piano festivals and competitions, organizing musical events, recitals, master classes, and music workshops. Having strong connections in the piano industry, we partner with the leading music festivals and competitions around the globe, creating unique performance opportunities for young pianists and helping their talent to get discovered.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in Redondo Beach, and it is by far my favorite place in the entire Los Angeles area. I love taking long walks by the ocean, especially if I need to hold off from work and projects and simply recharge and relax my mind. I am very thankful for living by the water and being able to reconnect with nature on a regular basis, it is a true blessing.
My favorite place to eat is Reel Inn fish restaurant in Malibu. I remember visiting this place for the first time back in 2011, just a few days after I moved to LA. It was love at first sight – delicious fresh seafood, mountains, ocean view, rustic interior of the outdoor patio – it all resonates with me. I think it is the best place to dine if you like grilled tuna.
If I had a friend visiting I would definitely take him to Griffith Park and Observatory as this place is iconic and famous for its stunning views.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to say thanks to my wonderful mom. No matter what, she always believed in me and gave me confidence to become who I am today. And to my beloved husband, pianist Vladimir Khomyakov, who has always been my role model and made a big impact on my personal and professional growth.
There is a special place in my heart for my dear teacher and mentor, a world-renowned pianist Daniel Pollack who guided me all the way through my studies at USC Thornton School of Music. I feel extremely honored to know him and learn from him.