Born in 1997 in Surgut, Siberia, pianist Simon Karakulidi was educated in the Russian piano tradition. He began studies with Prof. Mira Marchenko at the Central Musical School in Moscow in 2013. In 2016, he made the decision to relocate to Parkville, Missouri to work with Van Cliburn competition gold medalist Stanislav Ioudenitch. An aspiring polymath with interests ranging from politics to philosophy, he will be pursuing his masters degree at the Yale School of Music, a tuition free program at Yale University.
Simon is strongly enthusiastic about North American contemporary music, and has given a number of performances of works by David Lang and Nico Muhly. He is especially concerned with the format of classical music concerts (if “classical music” still means anything today), and hopes to ignite interest in art music by making performances more interactive and accessible.
Most recently, Simon took the gold medal at the 2019 Wideman International Piano Competition and the third prize of the 2019 Olga Kern International Piano Competition. He is also a prizewinner of the First Vladimir Krainev Piano Competition in Moscow (Second Prize and two special awards), and the “Astana Piano Passion” Piano Competition (First Prize). In June 2018, Simon was awarded the Enlight Prize at the Art of Piano Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2019, he received First Prize at the Ann & Charles Eisemann International Young Artists Competition and the Grand Prize of the Naftzger Competition. In the summer of 2019, Simon was a laureate in the International Keyboard Institute & Festival Competition in New York City.