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Katarina LoudermilkFounder, Director, Piano

Ekaterina Ryndina Loudermilk

Russian pianist Katarina Ryndina Loudermilk is a co-founder and director of the International Music Academy in Houston, which is revolutionizing the approach to children's music education in Texas. Katarina is highly sought after as a teacher and a speaker in varied musical settings. Together with her husband Matthew they are hands-on directors: working with children and adults, training and mentoring young teachers and presenting at the TMTA conferences, all the while performing as duet partners in Texas and abroad.

Katarina's students repeatedly win prizes in major State, National and International competitions, notably first place at TMTA (the largest competition in Texas), Chopin Youth Competition, the Houston Tuesday Musical Club's Prodigy Competition, Baylor Waco Competition, Clear Lake Symphony Concerto Competition, Houston Young Artists, Texas State Piano Competition, Frydryk Chopin Society of Texas Competition, Music Doing Good and Kawai-SNG International Competition.

Ekaterina and Matthew continue to have an active performing career, both as soloists and duet partners. After six years of marriage they formed their piano duo which garnered immediate recognition, receiving First Prize at the Alexander & Buono Competition in 2014. They have done numerous performances on KUHF Radio, (Listen here, listen here ) and their Schubert Fantasy was featured on Houston’s PBS television station. In the summer of 2015 they were invited to tour China with their Rachmaninov program.

Born in Moscow, Ekaterina started lessons at age 6 and had her Russian debut in the Bolshoi Hall of the Moscow Conservatory at 13. She has since performed throughout Russia and Europe including appearances at the National Art Museum and Rudolfino Hall in Prague and the Maliy Hall of the Russian Music Academy. Ekaterina was the youngest student chosen to represent Russia in the Mlada Praha festival of 1996, featuring promising young artists from all over the world. In 2000, Ekaterina was awarded second prize in the International Music Competition of Val Tidone in Italy. In 2002, she graduated from the Gnessins' Music Academy, the same conservatory that gave the world Evgeny Kissin.

Following her meeting with Dr. Robert Roux during the Prague International Piano Master Classes, Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music invited Ekaterina to study with Dr. Roux as a President’s Scholar in 2002. While at Rice, Ekaterina earned third prize in the Ruth Burr Tuesday Musical Club competition and took the Special Award for the Performance of 20th Century Music in the Entergy Young Texas Artists Music Competition of 2003, with her interpretation of Ravel.

“Several teachers have had a great influence on my musical life: Galina Zhuravleva, famous Russian pedagogue for children, who made me a pianist; Lisa Ginsburg, daughter of the acclaimed Russian pianist Grigory Ginsburg, who changed my playing and equipped me with all the technique I need to express what I want; Dr. Robert Roux, my teacher at Rice, for whom I moved to this country, who changed the way I hear music; and Maria Gambarian, my teacher at Gnessins, who is my personal and professional inspiration. A 97-year-old Armenian pianist, Maria is one of the few remaining pianists from the generation of Old Masters. Their quest for originality versus uniformity, strong expression above perfection has inspired me. I'm determined to carry their torch through my playing and teaching, without yielding to the pressure of the digital, competition-obsessed music scene of today.”