Jurors and Guest Artists
Dr. Valery Kuleshov and his wife Kate came to the University of Central Oklahoma in 1998. He serves as an Artist in Residence for the College of Fine Arts and Design in the School of Music. Kuleshov, a pianist, is an Honored Artist of the Russian Federation whose awards include a Gold Medal at the Busoni International Piano Competition (1987), a Silver Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (1993) and the first prize at the Pro Piano Competition (1998).
Kuleshov has toured the world, performing in some of the world's best concert halls including New York's Carnegie Hall, the Milan Conservatory in Italy and the Great Halls of the Moscow Conservatory and St. Petersburg Philharmonic.
Kuleshov was born in Chelyabinsk, Russia, near what is now Kazakhstan. He began playing by ear at age five. Teachers soon noticed his talent, and by age seven he had left home to enter the prestigious Central Music School at the Moscow Conservatory. At age nine, he made his concert debut in the Conservatory's Great Hall.
Kuleshov briefly studied with piano legend Vladimir Horowitz. In 2001, he released "Homage to Vladimir Horowitz," a CD of Kuleshov's transcriptions of his mentor's works. He also has released several other CDs.
Kuleshov performs concerts each year at the University of Central Oklahoma. Students in the UCO Symphony Orchestra often get the opportunity to accompany him during his performances, and at times Kuleshov gives a solo performance.