Nina Lelchuk, 85, world-class pianist, wife, mother, grandmother and mentor, passed on January 12th, 2022. Her great big heart stopped after 1:30pm and would not start again.
Born on February 21st, 1936 to Simon and Eugenia Lelchuk in Leningrad, Russia, Nina was many things. But she is probably best known as an amazingly accomplished musician who dedicated her life to the study, performance, and teaching of classical piano.
Having grown up and studied alongside brilliant minds at the prestigious Moscow Conservatory, Nina quickly mastered technique and form, and brought a commanding stage presence as well as grace to her playing. Study of music and perfection of the art took her all over the world. But she still found time to raise a son, care for her grandchildren, and be a musical mother and mentor to a host of young aspiring students.
Nina's life was filled with chance encounters, gallant interchanges, tense competitions, and acclaimed performances. Among her many varied accomplishments are six performances at Carnegie Hall and a 1945 solo performance for Joseph Stalin. She brushed shoulders with celebrities, politicians, scholars, and of course, fellow musicians. Nina played concerts, taught master classes around the world, and devoted endless hours to teaching her beloved students, helping them find their own way to becoming accomplished musicians. She was an incredible storyteller, recanting nuances of historical events, people, and situations that kept rooms of people engaged, and even kept the younger listeners enchanted with chronicles of a bygone era.
Nina's life was also filled with her family. She had an abundance of love for her grandchildren, and poured an unconditional love into their lives that will never be replaced or forgotten. They are lucky kids to have grown up with such an incredible grandmother.
We all miss Nina dearly. She will continue to smile upon everyone whose life was touched by her light. Her sharp wit, curious mind, and young heart marks that spirit of the bold and brave horizon, where we all stay young forever. And that is how we will remember her.
The memorial is planned for Monday January 17th from 4-6pm ET. The service will begin at 4:30pm and will be live-streamed for those that cannot make it in-person. Nina’s family is organizing efforts to preserve her legacy, and will reach out to her friends to share the information.