Oxana Yablonskaya was born in Moscow. As an adolescent she attended The Moscow Central School for the Gifted under the tutelage of Anaida Sumbatyan (who also taught Vladimir Ashkenazy) with whom she worked with until the age of 16. She later studied at the Conservatory of Moscow with the legendary Aleksandre Goldenweiser. At 22, she began a professional relationship with Tatiana Nikolayeva in the Doctorate Program, later acting as her assistant at the Moscow Conservatory. Following graduation with high honors, she was introduced to the Western World in Paris at the Jacques Long-Thibaud Competition in 1963, the Rio de Janeiro Competition in 1965, and the Vienna Beethoven Competition in 1969. She won top prizes in all three competitions, and received numerous invitations for return engagements, but unable to due to cold war.
While still in the USSR, Ms. Yablonskaya performed Shostakovich's Piano Concerto #1 with the Moscow Philharmonic under conductor Yury Simonov at the Composers Jubilee Concert in the Kremlin. She was the first performer to play Rodion Shchedrin's "Basso Ostinato," which became her signature piece. Her status as a consummate professional was heightened by many prominent Soviet and foreign composers dedicating their music to her.
Despite the reputation she had earned within the Soviet Union and being a prize winner of three international competitions, she was never permitted to play outside the Eastern Bloc. Yet, she recorded for the Melodya label and had earned the prestigious title of Soloist of the Moscow Philharmonic. The title put her in the company of elite artists such as Gilels, Richter, Rostropovich, Oistrakh and Kogan. Outstanding solo performances with the Bolshoi Orchestra, the Moscow Stars series, and the Shostokovich 65th Birthday Celebration Concert were confirmations of her remarkable talent.
In 1975, distressed over constant restraints on her personal and artistic freedom, she applied for a U.S. visa. Her actions resulted in a loss of her position as a professor at the Moscow Conservatory. She inherently was deprived of all concert engagements. She waited more than two years for a visa and finally, she was allowed to leave the country with her father and young son due to the diligence and petitioning by Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Richard Rodgers, Katherine Hepburn, Bar Ilan, and over 45 famous writers, musicians, senators, and actors.
Ms. Yablonskaya arrived in New York in 1977, unknown, unheralded, and have not touched a piano in more than two years. She made her first New York appearance in a recital at the Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center only four months later, and received laudatory acclaim from the press. Her Carnegie Hall debut recital the following October was attended by a capacity crowd, and she has since taken her place among the major pianists of the world.
Once considered 'The best kept secret of the Soviet Union,' Ms. Yablonskaya has now performed in more than 40 countries.
Apart from Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, she has performed in the Royal Albert Hall in London, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Royal Concergebouw, Amsterdam, Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, Great Hall of St. Petersburgh Philharmonic, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Sheldonyan Theatre and Holywell Music Room in Oxford, England and many more.
In recent years, Ms. Yablonskaya has collaborated with her son, renowned cellist/conductor, Dmitry Yablonsky. Their concerts have enjoyed vast public and critical acclaim. The New York Times called their Carnegie Hall debut, "A vibrant dialog." Their recordings together include duo performances for cello and piano as well as Khachaturian and Glasunov piano concertos recorded with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Brahms, Liszt 1st concertos and Chopin 1st and 2nd Concertos with Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and Mr. Yablonsky conducting.
In addition to her success as a concert pianist and recording artist, Ms. Yablonskaya has held the position of Professor of Piano at The Julliard School in New York City. She has lectured numerous master classes at many distinguished music schools, academies, conservatories and festivals throughout the world such as Newport and Bowdin in USA, Flaine and Tours in France, Lago Maggiore in Switzerlandand Oxford Philomusica in England. Dr.Yablonskaya is a Co-Founder of Puigcerda Musica Clasica International Festival in Spain since 1998.
Ms. Yablonskaya also serves as jury of many international piano competitions such as Leeds in England, Franz Liszt in the Netherlands, Prokofiev in St. Petersburg, Russia, Hamamatsu in Japan, competitions in Taiwan, Andorra, at the 2005 Seiler International Piano Competition and Vladimir Horowitz International Piano Competition.
Among her numerous recordings, Ms. Yablonskaya's Liszt / Schubert CD won the Grand Prix du Disque from the International Liszt Society in Budapest. In the December 1995 review of her Tchaikovsky CD, the American Record Guide wrote, "Oxana Yablonskaya is an artist who deserves to be heard and in any repertory she chooses."