My goal is to show young and aspiring artists how to independently look for the meaning of music, and joyfully bring it out to the audience in the most beautiful and soul-lifting way.
Aleksandr Polyakov, D.M.A., joined the Conservatory in 2017 and is an instructor of piano. He is a Ukrainian-American educator, concert pianist, and orchestral conductor who is establishing an international reputation for his remarkable virtuosity, command of sonority, and innovative pedagogical approaches.
The winner of more than 20 international competitions, his notable prizes include third prize at the ninth International Liszt Competition (Netherlands), second prize at the sixth International Liszt Competition (Germany), and first prize at the Steinway Society Competition (Boston).
His numerous concerto performances include the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic under Jaap van Zweden, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine under Volodymyr Sirenko and Allin Vlasenko. In the United States, he gave nine performances of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Boston Ballet Orchestra under Mischa Santora, and has had numerous performances with the Brockton and Newton Symphony Orchestras with James Orent. “Technical difficulties seem to disappear under his hands” says the Boston Musical Intelligencer, and “he has the tremendous virtuosity of Martha Argerich” according to Nordbayerischer Kuriernotes.
Polyakov has performed in major venues around the globe, including Carnegie Hall, Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas. He is a dedicated chamber music partner, participating in several performances with colleagues and aspiring artists. This includes his decade-long “Double Digits” piano duo collaboration with Janice Weber, and cofounding several piano trio groups over the past years.
In addition to his work as a pianist, Polyakov has an international conducting career. He has collaborated with over 20 symphonic orchestras, frequently leading opera productions and working with vocalists. In Ukraine, he has performed both Liszt piano concertos and Beethoven’s “Emperor” concerto while conducting from the keyboard. He has participated in conducting master classes with Riccardo Muti, Jorma Panula, Harold Farberman, and many other prominent artists and pedagogues. He served as a cover conductor for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra during the 2022–23 and 2023–24 seasons.
Polyakov is also a dedicated and sought-after pedagogue. He has taught at Music Fest Perugia and given master classes in the U.S., China, and Europe. He often incorporates modern technologies in his teaching. He is passionate about curriculum development and continuously focuses his efforts on diversifying the content of his courses by exploring and articulating reference points between ancient philosophies, positive and sports psychology, and music preparation and performance.
Polyakov was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, and studied piano performance and orchestral conducting at the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine, earning his B.M. and M.M. in piano performance (2005–2013) and his B.M. and M.M. in orchestral conducting (2010–2014). He earned his artist diploma at Boston Conservatory at Berklee under the instruction of Michael Lewin. Under the tutelage of Professor Kenneth Kiesler, he completed a D.M.A. degree in orchestral conducting at the University of Michigan.