About the North Carolina Bach Festival
Leadership & Board of Directors / Advisors
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Dr. Roman Placzek, Executive Director
"Having my name associated with the North Carolina Bach Festival is a dream come true. Bach is the pinnacle of the musical arts: fascinating, engaging, and challenging. He is also the only composer in history whose original pieces can be put in front of a six-year-old child or the master of any instrument, giving them both a blissful satisfaction that connects both stages through an eternal source of music and knowledge."
The cellist of the Nezhdanova-Placzek Duo, Executive Director of The North Carolina Bach Festival, Inc. and a published composer, Dr. Roman Placzek is an internationally recognized soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player as well as a sought-after cello teacher and music educator. Dr. Placzek has served as an executive director, board president and founder of music festivals, academies and other cultural institutions in both Europe the United States. He holds degrees from The Boston Conservatory, UMass Amherst and, in 2014, received his D.M.A. in Cello Performance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Dr. Elena Nezhdanova, Program Director
"Once I was challenged with a question, 'Why should we teach our students to love music?' Growing up in Russia, music was always an inseparable part of my life. One of the happiest moments as a young pianist was going to the top floor of my music school on the days when I did not have classes. I walked around and listened to the cacophony of sounds coming from the studios. It was my safe place, my haven. It was when I sat at my piano teacher's lessons, watching her teach other kids with passion, I discovered that I wanted to be like her. To me, she was a Fairy Godmother sprinkling the magic of expressivity and imagination on all of us. It is my wish that the feeling I preserved even into my adulthood could be shared with other young aspiring musicians."
The pianist of the Nezhdanova-Placzek Duo, Program Director of the North Carolina Bach Festival, Inc. and piano pedagogue, Dr. Elena Nezhdanova was born into a family of professional musicians in Kazan, Russia where she made her orchestral debut at the age of eight. The recipient of numerous prizes and awards, Elena made her international debut in October, 2015, performing Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra in Chengdu, China. Dr. Nezhdanova holds degrees from Ithaca College and Syracuse University. In 2017, she received her D.M.A in Piano Performance and Collaborative Arts from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.