Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Nikolayeva studied piano at the Moscow Conservatory graduating in 1948. In 1950 she gained prominence by winning the Bach Leipzig Piano Competition, part of the bicentennial marking Bach's death. More importantly she met Dmitri Shostakovich at the competition leading to a life long friendship and inspiring Shostakovich to compose his 24 Preludes & Fugues which are dedicated to Nikolayeva.
In 1959 Nikolayeva became a teacher at the Moscow Conservatory, later becoming professor in 1965.
Nikolayeva made over 50 recordings during her career, notably of Bach's piano works and of his Art of Fugue, but only became widely known in the west late in life. With the fall of Communism, she found herself in demand internationally making several concert tours to Europe and America.
Her third recording of the Shostakovich 24 Preludes & Fugues won the 1991 Gramophone award in the instrumental category. In November 1993 Nikolayeva died shortly after playing the same work in concert in San Francisco.
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