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Sophia Agranovich

Springfield, NJ 07081 (map)

Lessons Offered

Keyboard, Music, Music Theory, Piano

Where are Lessons Offered

In Teacher Studio

Virtual / Online

About Me

(contact me)

Multi-award-winning pianist, recording artist, educator and artistic director, Sophia Agranovich is “a bold, daring pianist in the tradition of the Golden Age Romantics…A tigress of the keyboard” – Fanfare, “one of the most accomplished classical pianists of her day…she shines like the midday sun” – OneWorld Music Radio. Her performances are captivating audiences by the “orison of uncommon beauty” – Audiophile, “interpretation that dares to be different”, “magnificent shading and superior musicianship” – American Record Guide.

A Steinway Artist, Ms. Agranovich has performed in USA, Europe, Israel, and Canada. Recently she played solo concerts at the Pennautier Festival and Juan-les-Pins in France where she premiered compositions dedicated to her by Françoise Choveaux, and was invited to China and Brazil. Some of her prestigious venues are David Geffen Hall, Bruno Walter Auditorium and Paul Hall at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, Roerich and Metropolitan museums, Steinway Hall and gal­leries, Bargemusic, Tenri Cultural Institute, Polish Cultural Foundation, Lambert Castle, Watchung Arts Center, Salle Cortot, Théâtre Na Loba, Ehrbarsaal, Gesellschaft für Musiktheater, Kaiser Hall, Teatro di Marcello. She also performed at libraries and numerous colleges and universities, such as the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rubin Academy of Music, National Music Academy of Ukraine and Lviv State Conservatory. Ms. Agranovich has collaborated with Mark Peskanov, Shlomo Mintz, Christopher Collins Lee, Andrew Litton, Alexander Mishnaevsky, Andrew Lamy, Brett Deubner, Gregory Singer, Anatole Wieck, Rupam Sarmah, Lili Haydn, Hamid Saeidi, Kathleen Supove, award-winning Emmy, Grammy, and Billboard top ten musical artists, and members of the major orchestras.

Sophia Agranovich has released 11 solo albums from 2010 through 2023, including 8 on Centaur label. Her albums are charting in top 10 across all musical genres on One World Music Radio and on World Top Radio Airplay Charts. Her discography received outstanding reviews and includes ‘Romantic Virtuoso Masterpieces’ (works by Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, Scriabin), ‘Franz Liszt – Bicentennial Tribute’ (‘Un Sospiro’, ‘La Campanella’, Rhapsodie Espagnole, Sonata in b minor); ‘Passion and Fantasy’ (Beethoven: ‘Appassionata’, Chopin: Fantaisie and Sonata in b minor); complete Brahms-Paganini Variations; Schumann: Symphonic Etudes, Schumann-Liszt: ‘Widmung’; Schubert: ‘Wanderer’ Fantasie and Chopin: 4 Ballades; Schumann: Carnaval and Fantasie; Chopin: Polonaise-Fantaisie and Nocturne Op. 48 No.1, Liszt: complete Sonnetti del Petrarca, ‘Dante’ Sonata, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 14; Chopin: Sonata in B-flat Minor, 4 Scherzi, Polonaise ‘Héroïque’; ‘In Celebration of 250th Anniversary of Beethoven’ (Fantasie Op. 77, Sonatas ‘Pathétique’, ‘Moonlight’, ‘Tempest’); ‘Liszt: Rhapsodies, Études and Transcriptions’ (Hungarian Rhapsodies No. 6  and No. 13, Études d’exécution transcendanteRicordanza’ and ‘Mazeppa’, Schubert/Liszt Ständchen. Erlkönig, Die Forelle); ‘Album Leaf: Piano Works by Felix Mendelssohn’ (Fantasia in F-sharp minor Sonate ecossaise, Albumblatt in A minor, Caprice in A minor, Variations serieuses, complete Etudes, Rondo Capriccioso).

Ms. Agranovich is a First Place Winner of the Ukrainian Young Artists Competition–currently Mykola Lysenko International Competition, Bergen Philharmonic Competition and The American Prize in Piano Solo. She is a recipient of 3 Gold and 15 Silver Medals from Global Music Awards, 2 Gold Medals from Prestige Music Awards, Best Classical Solo / Best Classical Album / Hall of Fame from Akademia Music Awards, 5 Best Classical Piano Albums from Clouzine International Music Awards, Best Classical Artist (2) /Best Female Classical Artist/Best Classical Recording (3) /Best Instrumental Recording from Radio Music Awards, Best Classical Recording and Hall of Fame from Indie Music Channel, 5 Platinum awards in Best Classical Pianist/Best Instrumental Artist/Best female Artist/Best Classical Music categories, 3 Gold Awards in Best Female Instrumental Artist, Best Instrumental Music, Best Performance categories and Instrumentalist of the Year from LIT International Talent Awards, Best Classical Album from One World Music Radio, Best Classical Artist from World Entertainments Awards, Steinway Top Teacher Award,  2 Best Classical Albums and Best World Music Single – Gold at One Earth Awards, Best Instrumentalist from InterContinental Music Awards, Industry Leader and Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Awards and more.

Her albums and live concerts are broadcast worldwide, most recently in Brazil on Universidade FM 106.9 “Company of the Music”, in Canada on CKWR ‘Women in Music’, Berlin, Munich, Rome, New Zealand, Ivory Coast, London, Southampton, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Italy, Portugal, Tokyo, Osaka, Paris, Tel-Aviv, WMNR Fine Arts Radio, NPR WLPR-FM “Art on the Air”, WQXR Greene Space live with Elliott Forrest, on WWFM “Between the Keys” with Jed Distler, WWFM “Piano Matters” and WQXR “Reflections from the Keyboard” with David Dubal.

A native of Ukraine, Sophia Agranovich won the Mykola Lysenko International Competition at ten, being the youngest participant. At thirteen she performed Concerto in E minor by Chopin in Chernivtsi, Lviv and Kyiv. Her concerts were broadcast on national TV and radio stations. Her teachers in Ukraine were professors Anna Stolarevich and Alexander Edelmann, peers of Vladimir Horowitz in the class of Felix Blumenfeld and disciples of Heinrich Neuhaus. At fifteen, Ms. Agranovich entered the Juilliard School in New York City as a student of legendary professor Sascha Gorodnitzki, who himself was a student of Josef Lhevinne (peer of Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alexander Scriabin). While at Juilliard, she also studied with Nadia Reisenberg, a disciple of the St. Petersburg piano school of Leonid Nikolaev and student of Hofmann and Alexander Lambert – student of Franz Liszt.

Ms. Agranovich earned Bachelor and Master Degrees from the Juilliard School, holding full scholarship and a Fellowship teaching Piano Minor at Juilliard. After graduating Juilliard, Ms. Agranovich began working towards her Doctorate at the Columbia University, but deferred that pursuit to raise a family, which led to her additional 23-year career in Information Technology. Having earned a certification in Computer Science, she worked as a systems analyst for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company where she received the Presidential Quality Award for Computer Systems Design and Support, and later as a senior programmer/analyst/project manager/vice president at Merrill Lynch. Ms. Agranovich also studied naturopathy, traditional Indian medicine and traditional Chinese medicine, receiving certifications in Yoga, Pilates, and other holistic disciplines. She taught Yoga and Pilates at the YMCA branch.

Sophia Agranovich is an esteemed pedagogue, lecturer, master class clinician, adjudicator, and is a recipient of numerous teaching awards. Her students often win top prizes in regional, national and international competitions and are playing at prestigious venues and internationally. They had been accepted to Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, New York University, Mannes College  and other notable universities. Their performances were broadcast on radio and TV, including WWFM “Kids on Keys” and WQXR “Young Artists Showcase”. Ms. Agranovich is an active member of various professional music organizations, listed annually in “Who’s Who in America” and “Who’s Who in the World”, has been featured in American Record Guide, Fanfare Magazine, New York Times, The Whole Note, Broadway World, World Culture Times, Musical America, FOX News, News ABC and other major media outlets as well as in indie music publications and international news. She is a voting member of NARAS (GrammysR) and GrammyU mentor, Artistic Director of ‘Classicals at the Circle’ music series at the Watchung Arts Center and  a Program Chair of Music Educators Association of New Jersey.                             


My Musical Education Background

Bachelor of Music - Juilliard School, New York
Master of Music - Juilliard School, New York
Doctoral Studies - Teachers College at Columbia University, New York

Sophia Agranovich is an esteemed pedagogue and has received numerous teaching awards. She conducts master classes and lectures, adjudicates competitions, coaches professional musicians, prepares for exams and auditions, and maintains private teaching studio.

Sophia’s students are consistently winning top prizes in various regional, national and international competitions and festivals and had performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Merkin Hall at Kaufman Center, Alice Tully Hall, Rose Studio and Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Kimmel Center, Tenri Cultural Institute, Steinway Hall, Watchung Arts Center, as well as at  Rider University, Caldwell College, Montclair State University, New Jersey City University, Rutgers University, Polish Cultural Foundation, Polish Embassy, American Catholic University (Washington, DC), Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA), numerous libraries, houses of worship, and art galleries. Selected students performed in Austria, Poland, Italy, and France. Their performances were broadcast on radio and TV, including WWFM and WQXR in New York.

Educational Heritage

Sophia Agranovich’s music education heritage is one of the most impressive today and stems from the great tradition of Western European, Russian and American schools.  In Ukraine her teachers included Anna Stolarevich and renowned professor Alexander Edelman, peer of Vladimir Horowitz at the Kiev Conservatory in the class of Felix Blumenfeld and later  – disciple of Heinrich Neuhaus at the Moscow Conservatory.

At the Juilliard School in New York, she was a student of legendary professor Sascha Gorodnitzki, who himself was a student of Josef Lhevinne (peer of Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alexander Scriabin).  She also studied with the eminent Nadia Reisenberg, a disciple of the St. Petersburg piano school of Leonid Nikolaev and student of Josef Hofmann and Alexander Lambert – student of Franz Liszt himself. Sophia also studied with David Diamond and Joseph Bloch in musicology, Felix Galimir, Paul Doktor, and Samuel Sanders  in chamber music and ensemble. Ms. Agranovich was awarded Fellowship teaching Piano Minor at Juilliard.


 Teaching Mission and Philosophy

In her instruction methods Sophia Agranovich combines traditional Russian, Western European and American schools. She teaches overall musicianship along with music theory, music history, ensemble, accompaniment and improvisation. She stresses the connection of music and other art forms, such as literature, painting and sculpture. This helps to achieve true style and balance in performing.  Ms. Agranovich guides her students to develop their individuality and independence in interpretations.  She uncovers hidden potential in every student, who progress very fast and to the best of their capabilities. She also incorporates into her teaching approach her additional studies and experience in psychology, kinesiology, music therapy, and meditation.  Sophia Agranovich is certified as Yoga and Pilates instructor, Life Coach, Holistic Fitness Practitioner and Holistic Health Practitioner. Sophia Agranovich’s  broad range of interdisciplinary studies has greatly enhanced both her performing and teaching, specifically by reducing physical strain and technique limitations, achieving refined states of concentration, focus and inspiration.

Genres and Subjects Taught

Piano, Music Theory, Music History, Ensemble, Accompaniment, Auditions and Exams Preparation

Ages / Skill Levels Taught

All ages and levels

My Certifications and Awards

Steinway Artist; Juilliard Alumni; First Prize-Winner of All-Ukrainian Young Artists (now Mycola Lysenko International Competition) and Bergen Philharmonic Competitions; Artistic Director of Classicals at the Circle music series at Watchung Arts Center; Program Chair of Music Educators Association of New Jersey, board member of the NJMTA - affiliated with Music Teachers National Association, member of National Association for Music Education, Leschetizky Association, College Music Society. Listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, and in the Private Teachers directory of the Juilliard School. Awarded three Gold and eight Silver Medals from Global Music Awards, two Gold Medals from Prestige Music Awards, Best Classical Solo from Akademia Music Awards, three Best Classical Piano Albums from Clouzine International Music Awards, Best Classical Artist/Best Female Classical Artist/Best Classical Recording/Best Instrumental Recording Radio Music Awards and Hall of Fame from Indie Music Channel, Platinum awards in Best Classical Pianist and Best Instrumental Artist categories and Gold Award in Best Female Instrumental Artist category from LIT International Talent Awards, Best Classical Album from OneWorldMusic Radio, Industry Leader and Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Awards and many more. 


Teaching Testimonials: at sophiagranovich(dot)com/pedagogy

Excerpts from Performance Reviews

More reviews and interviews at sophiagranovich(dot)com/prss

“…Agranovich has not only technique, but is refreshingly unwilling to flash it, as she seeks out the subtleties Liszt has built into the music… It all comes together in an interpretation that dares to be different. Beauty has tamed the beast… Magnificent shading and superior musicianship…”

“She caresses the notes, milks the music for ever expressive possibility, and persuades by a gentle coercion that can be seductive. I loved the opening Allegro maestoso, and had to restrain myself from crying with joy at the Venusian beauty of her playing. As a master of restraint she adds a new interpretive dimension to this often-recorded music. The Scherzo is less flashy and a little more deliberate than most. After accepting that, it was possible to enjoy its uniqueness. Once again her persuasive skills easily win one over. The Largo keeps the alluring melody always to the fore. There is nothing weighty about the playing. Nothing redirects your attention from the nocturne-like warmth of the music. The central section has a beguiling freshness to it and introduces no dark clouds. What comes next in the Finale is a sudden burst of energy and passion. It sparkles, notes tumble over each other, and the music continues to build towards a dazzling conclusion. The added touch of restraint works beautifully in a performance that easily reaches the heights.”

“Agranovich will be a major discovery for piano aficionados. This goes considerably beyond the realm of merely good pianism, and the rich bass sonorities of the recording give an added dimension of satisfaction. The pianist also writes her own notes.”

 Alan Becker – American Record Guide


“Her range is enormous, whether we are speaking of color or dynamics, but where she differs from so many improvisatory pianists is in her ability to appear to be making it up as she goes along while never losing the sense of overall architecture.

Agranovich is a Ukrainian artist who studied at Juilliard with Sascha Gorodnitzki and Nadia Reisenberg. That is a terrific pedigree, but many students don’t really blossom into fully formed artists even with good teaching. Agranovich has. There are many great recordings of the Wanderer and the Ballades, and it would be preposterous to say that Agranovich is better than all of them. But what can be said is that she can take her respectable place alongside Curzon, Richter, Pollini, and even Edwin Fischer in the Schubert, and Moravec, Cortot, Rubinstein, Gornostaeva, and a few others as well in the Chopin.”

Henry Fogel – Fanfare Magazine


Sophia Agranovich is a bold, daring pianist in the tradition of the Golden Age Romantics. Her playing is full of lavish gestures and she is comfortable taking big risks. To take just one example, she adds fifths to several of the low bass octaves in the final pages of the Brahms Paganini Variations. The effect is overpoweringly noisy, almost ugly — and intentionally so. It’s the kind of daredevil exhibition that was bread and butter for the likes of de Pachmann and Hofmann and that most of today’s pianists shy away from.

Similarly, Agranovich’s take on Liszt’s transcription of “Widmung” is impetuous and improvisatory. Agranovich slows the tempo significantly before the first statement of the melody, much more than any accompanist of the original Lied would. She provides unexpected surges in the middle section’s accompaniment that threaten to but do not quite subsume the melody. The impression is of a pianist swept away in the moment of performing….

Agranovich’s presentation of Schumann’s Symphonic Etudes is a case study in technical mastery, musical depth, and meticulous attention to detail. The canonic entrances of the fourth etude are easier to follow in Agranovich’s hands than in those of almost any other pianist’s I have heard. She is likewise one of a very few for whom the clipped, military overtones of the first etude are hushed and stealthy rather than overt and aggressive. In the Baroque-flavored eighth variation, Agranovich combines the spaciousness of Richter and the propulsion of Gieseking to convey both tragedy and drive.”

Myron Silberstein – Fanfare Magazine


“A musician of splendid gifts “

“As a pianist of remarkable technical accomplishments, she is also one of the more sensitive artists who brings to her performances a percipiency and sensibility all too rare among her contemporaries.”

“The over-all musicianship, her knowledge of a composer’s intentions aids her in bringing to all her performances that kind of intelligence one should demand of all first-rate pianists, but who, in many cases, concentrate most of their efforts on the sheer virtuosity of their impeccable techniques.”

“She is a singular artist and should be admired for that rare quality alone”.

 David Diamond –  American Composer, Juilliard Professor


” The pianist’s technique is thrilling, but it’s the boldness of her conception—her refusal to feminize the music—and the extraordinary dramatic urgency she brings to these pieces through grand Romantic gestures—probably to a greater degree than Chopin himself could or would have attempted on his Érard or Pleyel piano—that leaves one with the strongest impression of Agranovich’s playing…”     

Jerry Dubins – Fanfare Magazine


“Bravo! That was the most unusual and imaginative ‘Wanderer’ Fantasy I ever heard. The abandon you play with, the amazing, amazing coloration… I never heard those arpeggios in the Finale played like that… And what you have done is bringing true character of the Schubertian world.”

“Delightful and original performance! You heard a real Lisztian here!”

“Reckless and interesting performance on every level… Fabulous! Incredibly wonderful temperament!”

David Dubal – Authority on Piano Literature and Pianists, Author, Pianist, Radio Host, Juilliard Professor


“Agranovich plays the tight canon in lulling form, the music’s retaining its extraordinary singing power.”

“Agranovich plays luscious chords and rolling arpeggios, resonantly ardent after her ominous “funereal” opening. Pungent declamations in a polonaise rhythm and the rolling arpeggio refrain lead to an orison of uncommon beauty, the serene atmosphere, although ephemeral, persuasively realized by Agranovich’s subtle nuances.”

“Everything about the central Largo evokes an elongated opera aria in the manner of a barcarolle saturated by parlando or recitative passages, the middle section of which rocks us in Agranovich’s right hand triplets most caressingly. The impetuous Finale: Presto con brio thrusts Agranovich into a maelstrom tarantella her Steinway projects with frenetic energy.  The primary motif, increasingly emphatic, reveals the brilliant filigree Agranovich might offer us in the more spirited mazurkas and waltzes. By the blazing coda, her soaring octaves a crystalline runs have quite swept us into and beyond Chopin’s rarified world to the hot-house vision that engendered the recital as a whole.”

Gary Lemco – Audiophile


“Agranovich is a magnificent technician”, “…gives us energy and tonal beauty”, “white-hot passion…”

Maria Nockin – Fanfare Magazine


“… The beautiful American, Sophia Agranovich has spellbound the public, with nearly two hours of a fabulous recital.”

Fabienne Oliveres – L’Independant


“Like such Eastern European pianists as Lipatti, Fischer, Cziffra and, yes, Reisenberg, her Chopin is more muscular and less soft-grained than we are normally used to. (The only Western European pianist whose Chopin is equally wide-awake was Alfred Cortot, whose 1929 recordings of the Ballades compare favorably to Agranovich’s.)… In Agranovich’s skilled hands, these passages emerge as sturdy pieces of the overall structure, necessary transitions that bind the music together rather than simply rolling along. Such an approach makes all the difference in the world between glorified mood music and music that engages the mind as well as the emotions.”

“The pianist who approaches this work needs be mindful of this underlying structure, as it is imperative that everything be clear and all strands held together. Agranovich does this magnificently in addition to imparting more warmth to the work than young Brendel did. This, then, is a disc of high intrinsic worth as well as another feather in the cap of this superb pianist. I highly recommend it.”

Lynn René Bayley – The Art Music Lounge


 “She surely knocks off the Liszt etude with panache, plays the finale of the Beethoven with impressive washes of sound, and deftly aerates the endless swirls of Schumann’s piano writing—swirls that can so easily get stuck in lesser hands.”

“Unfailingly responsive to changes in musical terrain, she refuses to coast or to scant on the details, and the result is a series of eventful performances invigorated by imaginative articulation (the Liszt etude is especially striking in this regard), sensitive treatment of dynamics, and (most notably in the Liebestraum) a fine sense of phrasing in which plasticity of tempo never degenerates into self-indulgence.”

Peter J. Rabinowitz – Fanfare Magazine


 “…Extraordinary technique, refined velvety tone and elegant interpretations which are uniquely hers…”

“Her instrument is the piano but her sound rivals an entire orchestra.”

“From fiery, volcanic eruptions of passion to ethereal nuances of tranquility and tenderness that stir the soul, the enormity of her unmatched dynamic range of expression transports listeners to the realm of the mystical.”

Somerset Reporter


“…her métier is geared more towards music as architecture: a stylistically direct approach, albeit with fascinating and telling moments of rubato, an evolving sense of both mood and structure as two sides of the same coin, and a smoldering sense of passion in her playing. In short, she is a tigress of the keyboard, yet one who knows just how much to attack and when to pull back. She is a sort of cross between György Cziffra and Dinu Lipatti, a tigress who is also a poet.”

“It is musical brinksmanship of an extraordinarily high order.”

“In the Sonata No. 3, I was able to compare Agranovich with not only Reisenberg but with Lipatti, Cortot, Cherkassky, and Cliburn—certainly a clutch of outstanding pianists to drawn on. Agranovich does not really resemble any of them but comes closest to Lipatti, who also brought out the structure of the music he played. Yet I found her approach more poetic in places than his, pulling back a bit more on the phrases to allow moments to linger in the mind.”

“It’s not often that one encounters, in this day and age, an artist who not only has a dazzling technique, …but, better yet, an independent and individual way of thinking about music. Of course, when one specializes in the tried-and-true piano repertoire of the 19th century there is always a danger of having your “take” on a particular composer or work compared to the greats of the past (Schnabel, Gieseking, Lipatti, Fischer, Rubinstein, Gilels, Fleisher, Richter, Cziffra, Cherkassky, etc. etc.), but Agranovich has a way of expressing herself through this music in a way that almost precludes comparisons… She would rather take risks than present a glassy-but-perfect surface performance… Her approach to music is to throw her whole self into it. She seems constitutionally incapable of playing any other way. The results, then, are unique as well as exciting.”

Lynn René Bayley – Fanfare Magazine


“This is magnificent, deeply emotional and performed with scintillating virtuosity of the highest order. You get a laurel wreath for this one. Bravissima.”

Seymour Bernstein – Pianist, Composer, New York University Professor



“Agranovich’s performance is flawless with dazzling precision and passion (not necessarily in that order!), moving effortlessly from pianistic fireworks to deep despair and mourning to graceful lyrical lines that are pure poetry. I think it’s a real bonus that Ms Agranovich also wrote the liner notes for the album, giving insight into both the origins and history of the each piece as well as her approach to and interpretation of some of the passages of those works.”

“Both physically and emotionally demanding, Agranovich handles the music with power, grace and ease. The third movement, “Marche funèbre,” is one of those classical pieces that became almost cliché from overuse in cartoons and other pop culture, but Agranovich imbues the piece with such deep emotion that I feel like I’m really hearing it for the first time.”

“Agranovich is a wonder in her performance of these very demanding works… From thundering chords and octaves to lightning-fast runs to tender lyricism, Agranovich gives it her all and makes it her own. Brava! her performance of these Chopin works is nothing short of amazing.”

Kathy Parsons – Mainly Piano 


“A lusty, compelling rendition… Agranovich sports a touch that, in its detached form, inserts an antique, transparent texture into the emergent sound, as if indeed we were hearing the music played in tavern or Beidermeier salon. The lyric repeats and swells, aching with heartbreak, the piano easily substituting for a guitar or ennobled lute.”

“The music no less conveys a dramatic, nostalgic narrative that becomes liquid in its cascades, runs, and trills. The shifts in metric pulse, the sudden impulses, agitato, require a mastery of Liszt’s pedal that Agranovich demonstrates with a finesse that might invoke comparisons with other bearers of the Liszt flame. Bolet, Arrau, and Cziffra.”

Gary Lemco  – Fanfare Magazine


“A presentation that is simply breath-taking and sublimely intelligent.”

“Agranovich creates a mood so mysterious and deep that one just literally has to follow her bright burning lights of a passionate performance.”

“Agranovich pulls off a masterful accomplishment and a simply majestic concluding achievement, one with great speed and endurance… It is a formidable collection of great works performed by an artist who has a sublime technical skill, but also the creative and artistic intelligence, one to bring to the world a recital of such class and colour, that it opens the world of classical music up and makes it accessible to anyone.”

Steve Sheppard – One World Music Radio


“As she has demonstrated in the past, Sophia Agranovich is fully possessed of the technical equipment to surmount Liszt’s most extreme demands…’Unbeatably treacherous,’ one contributor called it, the passages in octaves apparently a major factor. You wouldn’t know it listening to Agranovich play the piece, which comes off not only with absolute executional assurance, but with countless tonal colorations and imaginative interpretive touches that reveal an undeniable truth about Agranovich’s artistry. The struggle to play the notes has been left far behind. Concerns over fingering, pedaling, and other physical aspects of performance no longer exist. Agranovich is free to explore Liszt’s muse and to go wherever the music’s flights of fancy take her.”

“Ständchen, especially, comes off with touching beauty, This is playing quite stunning in its visceral impact, but more than that, the impression emerges early and continuously throughout the program that Agranovich hears in this music private intimacies and poetic delicacies that exist beneath the glitzy surfaces, and she brings them to the fore in ways that reveal a sensitive, vulnerable side of Liszt we don’t often hear in his bravura works.”

“Anyone who cannot resist piano playing of thrilling virtuosity will love this album. But beyond that, anyone who suspects that deep down Liszt was more than the sum of his keyboard wizardry and legerdemain will have their suspicions confirmed by Agranovich’s probing and profoundly moving performances of his music.”

Jerry Dubins  –  Fanfare Magazine



“Ms Agranovich’s artistry is dazzling as she easily transitions from bravura passages to passages of fragile beauty and delicate tenderness – truly a breathtaking performance! Making the project even more personal, Ms Agranovich also wrote all of the liner notes which explain the history of each piece as well as its structure and her approach to it – very enlightening!”


“From light-hearted and dance-like to funereal, Ms Agranovich’s expressive virtuosity brings the rhapsody to life… The broad emotional range from deep melancholy to impassioned to joyful and dancelike is a musical thrill-ride!”


‘Soulful and very beautiful… an amazing performance!” “Ms Agranovich imbues it with grace and elegance… Another jaw-dropping performance!.. If you want to hear a virtuoso performance that overflows with heart and soul, you’re going to love this one!”


Kathy Parsons – Mainly Piano


“Sophia Agranovich is a multi-award-winning pianist and one of the preeminent torch-bearers of Romantic-era piano.”

“Liszt would most certainly be proud of Sophia Agranovich’s efforts here. Her playing is faultless throughout a record that features some of the most complex arrangements ever written for the piano. Her resonance with the music of Liszt is remarkable and this will no doubt be recognized as one of the definitive presentations of his work. This is a compulsory listen for fans of Liszt and lovers of the piano in general.”


-The Ark of Music


“She can spin a legato, sensitive melody and sort out contrapuntal voices. Her facile technique is perfect for the music here. The well-written and detailed booklet essay is also provided by the pianist.”

“Five stars: A wonderful Mendelssohn recital with a wide range of pieces, all in strong and exciting performances.”

James Harrington – Fanfare Magazine


“Electric Performance of Liszt…she plays with the kind of coiled energy of a loaded spring. That energy is tension, really, an engagement with the instrument that seems to give off sparks every time she presses the keys.”

“Featuring repertoire that is noted for its complexity and difficulty, Agranovich offers a performance that is informed, nuanced, and so expressive that I was instantly hooked both on Liszt and Agranovich. Her sound is warm, bright, and fluid. When she plays, Agranovich is in complete control of the sound that comes from the instrument. The full dimension of her sound is the result of her precise movement, volume, and tone, which is so precise that the ringing sound of the held notes easily sounds more like a bow on a stringed instrument than a hammer on a string in a wooden box. While navigating dramatic changes in tempo and dynamics, Agranovich also brilliantly articulates Liszt’s extremely demanding finger work.”

Jacqueline Kharouf  – Fanfare Magazine



“Sizzling performance… Agranovich conjures up a memory palace of a performance with senses and flavours of the ethereal, in a passionate manifestation that exudes copious amounts of both warmth and love…”

“…Packed with mixed emotions, moods and feelings, as the moods are manifested in music and build upon a narrative of romance, passion and conflict.”

“A wonderful delight, perfectly played by the pianist…Agranovich feels each and every note played, with a sublime attractive and intelligent performance.”

Sophia is without doubt one of the most accomplished classical pianists of her day, and here on this brand new collection of works by Mendelssohn, she shines like the midday sun. This album is guaranteed to be a sure fire hit with listeners and classical music aficionados alike the globe over”.

Steve Sheppard – OneWorld Music Radio


 “Jaw-dropping virtuosity… a performance of sparkling magic.”

“She teases rhythms beautifully, in a way that is completely congruent with Liszt style: her rubato is decidedly composer-specific, as it should be. There is abandon, here, too, with spirit very much to the fore… Agranovich captures the bittersweet serenity of “Ständchen” from Schwanengesang to perfection. and she does make the Erlkönig’s lines of seduction to the child most beautiful and appealing.  Agranovich’s way with the Schubert/Liszt Forelle is individual and highly beautiful: her evenness in the flourished prior to the appearance of the universally-known theme are works of art themselves. This particular transcription (Liszt’s second) includes an extended introduction/cadenza. Agranovich is utterly charming in this performance: she finds the ideal between Schubert’s and Liszt’s musical languages: the gestures could only be Liszt, the underlying music could only be Schubert…”

“The booklet notes, by the pianist, are excellent and detailed.”

“A remarkable performance. A most rewarding disc by a pianist of great sensitivity and intellect.”

Colin Clarke – Fanfare Magazine


“Performed to perfection… A wide range of emotions – from grief to exhilaration – a musical thrill ride for sure! Dazzling…powerful and inspiring!” 

Kathy Parsons – MainlyPiano


“On this recording, Sophia Agranovich is in communion with Frederic Chopin. As we listen to her play, we may close our eyes, if we dare, to see the music, as it leaves the piano, to take shape as an entity in line to be jettisoned into our psyche propelled by the hand of a master musician. We get the feeling that this is how the maestro would have it sound. There is elegance in each stanza. There is power when called for, and comfort for the audience in the safety of a devoted and reliable artist. Listening to Ms. Agranovich is effortless. From the first note, you are instantly transported into the splendor of the vision of 1839 as seen through the eyes of this modern interpreter… It is no surprise that Ms. Agranovich has a stunning biography… She has recorded the great works of Beethoven, Liszt, Brahms, and others…This recording (on Centaur Records) is 1 hour 12 minutes tour de force. A lesson in excellence.”

Joe Kidd – Clouzine Magazine


“Pianist Sophia Agranovich, born in Ukraine and adopted by the USA, gives another recital that shows us why she is so much in demand as a performer and teacher. On the menu are some of the most technically demanding (and rewarding) works of Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt, all rendered with Sophia’s customarily infectious verve… This artist, by the way, has an unusually strong left hand, an asset that comes into play frequently in the Liszt portion of the program.”

“Après un Lecture de Dante: Fantasia quasi Sonata, otherwise known as the “Dante” Sonata, is one of the most difficult of all major works for the piano, requiring frequent re-positionings to accommodate the many changes in tempi, texture, and harmonic structure. It is about half the length of Liszt’s famous Sonata in B Minor, which it resembles in having a radiant central episode, here a chorale expressing the Heavenly joy of the blessed souls. The contrasts with the despair of the souls in Hell in the opening section and the incredible final section depicting Satanic torments make this one of the most emotionally and physically demanding works in the literature. I have personally under-rated it in the past, frankly because I had never heard it performed with the conviction it receives here.”

Audio Video Club of Atlanta 


“The highly accomplished Ukrainian-born pianist Sophia Agranovich gives exciting readings of two virtuoso works by Brahms and Schumann, but what gives them special interest is that she has taken the step (or leap) into interpretative freedom… She has the patience and temperament to give each of the 28 variations its own mood, and she also establishes a satisfying arc from beginning to end….The Steinway she plays is magnificent sounding and was recorded with depth and realism, a decided plus… Short of the ideal, which is more or less impossible, a satisfying interpretation should seem fresh, with spontaneous phrasing and natural rubato. Agranovich achieves this, and she goes further by dipping into the richly Romantic legacy of Russian-school Schumann. This will come as a bit of a shock to modern ears, but I was very pleased by her choices. The result is a bold interpretation where every phrase is emphatically personal.”

“Agranovich avoids anything resembling a modified Russian approach, striking out to find her own Chopin, which turns out to be unusually tender, gentle, and entranced. Even more than in the Schubert her gift for lyrical phrasing comes to the fore. The highlight is her reading of Ballade No. 4 in F minor, a work that instantly separates the poets from the poseurs. Her poetry is undeniable, and she brings out the element of fantasy in captivating fashion.

The impressive Ukrainian pianist Sophia Agranovich—widely admired in a number of previous Fanfare reviews—employs what I’d call a modified Russian style. She exhibits power and depth of tone, yet these qualities are subordinated to a natural lyrical gift of the kind that makes Schubert’s melodies float aloft.”

Huntley Dent – Fanfare Magazine



“Sophia Agranovich is an artist who brings intense commitment and a fresh “take” on music to her performances… And indeed, she is different—quite different, in fact—in her performance of the Fantasia…Her take on it is that it is the closest we can probably come to the way Beethoven improvised in his concerts, that it is an improvisation which he wrote out and published, and that is how she plays it. The result is indeed quite different from other pianists, almost startling in fact…In the quiet section around 3:40, she almost makes it sound as if she herself were ‘thinking the music through’ as if improvising it into being herself.”

This is a performance that has the same odd but invigorating effect as her recording of Schumann’s Carnaval, which I consider to be both a unique and a masterful interpretation unlike any other. Agranovich’s reading of the first movement of the “Moonlight” sonata bears a striking resemblance to the famous recording left us by Cutner Solomon, only not quite as slow as his. Here, the feeling of détache in her playing fits the mood perfectly. The second movement, however, is taken a bit slowly, but you know what? It sounds good this way…Interestingly, Paderewski also played it at this tempo, at least on one of his recordings…Agranovich’s idiosyncratic phrasing can also be heard in the “Tempest” sonata. By this point, most listeners will have adjusted their ears to her very personal sense of phrasing.”

One thing you have to say about her, she is no mere cookie-cutter interpreter. She has her own way of hearing and presenting the music she plays, and sounds like no one else in the world, thus her Beethoven is entirely unique. Would that all modern-day pianists had a personal style as she does!

Lynn René Bayley – ArtMusic Lounge


 “Remarkably, Sophia Agranovich manages to present these extremely familiar works with a distinct profile. In general, her style is clearly textured, measured in tempo, and rhythmically playful without being mannered. “

“…she travels across Liszt’s vast world with poise and determination, and throws out a sure sense of grandeur and theater with nary a trace of pomposity and bombast, a refreshing way with this booby-trapped score.”

Peter Burwasser – Fanfare Magazine


“…Once again, Agranovich’s grasp of architecture and proportion, elegance and beauty of phrasing, and clear articulation provide considerable pleasure. And once again, I find myself especially gravitating toward the moments that allow Agranovich’s poetic impulses to shine their brightest. Lovely recorded sound and Agranovich’s fine liner notes enhance this project. A most enjoyable recital.”

Ken Meltzer –  Fanfare Magazine


“Sophia Agranovich always surprises and never disappoints…

“Her fingers move so fast they’re probably a visual blur, but there’s no audible blur in her playing. Every note of every sweeping arpeggio across the keyboard and every note of every run is perfectly weighted and clear as a bell. This is remarkable playing…there’s some really gorgeous music on this disc. The Rondo Capriccioso in E Major, with which Agranovich ends her program, takes a page out of Chopin for its opening statement, but Mendelssohn can’t resist the temptation to take Chopin on a magical tour of his forest of elves, faeries, and leprechauns.”

“…I have an even greater appreciation for Sophia Agranovich’s ease of execution and shimmering beauty of tone. Played with consummate technical skill and artistry, this well-chosen program of Mendelssohn’s solo piano pieces can be unreservedly recommended to all audiences.”

Jerry Dubins –  Fanfare Magazine


“It’s grand. It’s untouchable. It’s…magnificent. Looking for a piano virtuoso who can truly interpret the work of a hallowed classical master? Pining for playing on a level that seems, sadly, to fade as technology replaces creativity? Then you NEED to purchase Album Leaf – Piano Works by Felix Mendelssohn by Sophia Agranovich. It’s almost more than human ears deserve.”

The Ark of Music


“Quite breath taking new release from Steinway artist Sophia Agranovich”

“Celebrating Beethoven by Sophia Agranovich is a true classical reflection of an artist who deeply cares, and shows such a vast level of attention to the smallest of details and performance structures, from the abundant refrains of Beethoven Fantasia Op. 77 through to the albums conclusion, and the presentation of Beethoven. Tempest III. Allegretto, a masterful work in its own right, and it must be said, Agranovich’s performance on both pieces is incredibly stunning..

One of my personal favourite performances by the artist can be found by enjoying the incredible efforts given on the piece Beethoven  Pathetique I. Grave – Allegro di molto e con brio. It has pace, power, intensity and a wonderfully fluent sense of balance and texture.

This is an album of pure culture and made accessible by the masterful performances and open interpretations of Beethoven’s work by Agranovich, from the artistic nuances of Beethoven.  Pathetique III. Rondo allegro, and to the loving arms of one of Beethoven’s most famous works entitled Beethoven. Moonlight I. Adagio sostenuto, a body of work used in so many movies and musical arenas worldwide over many years, and beautifully played by Agranovich, with such heart, sensitivity, and an almost symbiotic energy, it is as if she is literally channelling the grand master here.

One can also deeply enjoy the tapestry of a crafted performance on Beethoven. Tempest I.  Largo – Allegro, a presentation where two opposing sides seem to literally dance around each other in a chaotic energy of dominance.

From start to finish, from page to page Sophia Agranovich flows with the essences of Beethoven’s crafted compositions, on the light energies of Beethoven. Moonlight II. Allegretto, into the intensity and powerful force that is known as Beethoven Moonlight III Presto agitato, a track that has an abundance of depth, complexity and tone.

The penultimate offering on the album is entitled Beethoven. Tempest II. Adagio and Agranovich’s performance here was delightfully subtle, profound in its presentation, and perceptive in its overall tones, one which would of course lead us to the final concluding offering, the aforementioned Beethoven. Tempest III. Allegretto, a more fluent presentation you will not find, and performed with such an amazing technically emotive performance, but one held within the musical constraints of the piece beautifully, but adding a deeply compelling romantic hint into the weave of the composition.

Celebrating Beethoven by Sophia Agranovich celebrates the anniversary of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, and she does this with such style and panache. Each and every performance on this wondrous new album is utterly sublime, and I am sure the grand master himself would have been very pleased indeed at the penetrating, profound, assured, and eloquent presentations given here. If you are appreciative of the works of Ludwig Van Beethoven, then you really must have a copy of Celebrating Beethoven by Sophia Agranovich in your musical collections as quickly as you can.”

Steve Sheppard – OneWorldMusicRadio


“Marche Funebre moves forward with grim determination until the lovely central section. The ghostly Finale is quite a thrilling ride, worthy of anyone’s attention.”

“The Scherzos are played with sparse pedal and an impressive display of technical prowess. If they are not like any other performances I have heard, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary, they have an edge-of-your-seat energy and nervous jitter to them that is alluringly different and sometimes shakes the listener up. There is much pent-up energy at the point of explosion that fits the Scherzos especially well. I do like the way she plays around with the last (and greatest) Scherzo. It is not a relaxing performance, but it is a great traversal with an almost acidic humor that should be heard. Her feeling for the composer is well displayed in the slow lyrical section. How she fares with the famous Heroic Polonaise is a little more traditional, pushing forward with energy and determination. Once again, Agranovich writes her own excellent notes and the Steinway D sounds forth with energy to complement this often fabulous recital.”

Alan Becker – American Record Guide


“Pianist Sophia Agranovich’s performances should be lauded (if they aren’t already) for their transportive qualities. I would not think she would give performances that feel so authentic and speak so presently to the current moment if I did not also acknowledge her work to understand the context of a composer’s works, reading and researching her chosen repertoire inside and out. One example of her work—a performance enhanced by her informed mindset—can be heard in her latest album of Liszt, but she has made many other recordings with her same level of dedication and vibrancy. In a way, listening to an Agranovich performance is a bit like overhearing a conversation between the composer and the performer, or the composer and the piano. She gives Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies context apart from their complexity, exploring the nuance and modernity of this music while avoiding the shallow misperceptions of Liszt as the ultimate showman. That depth of feeling is perhaps all from Agranovich, but I think it is also something she reveals from the music, from engaging in her understanding of Liszt as a composer and transcriber”

Jacqueline Kharouf  – Fanfare Magazine WANT LIST for 2022

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