Elena Bulgakova Abel
Elena Abel, a pianist, has taught music at all levels in Russia, Mexico, and the United States. A gifted performer and dedicated musician, she has soloed in Russia, Germany, Holland, Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.
Born in Russia, Elena began piano study at age five, taking lessons in her home. At age eight she was accepted as a piano student at a special music school run as a branch of the Rachmaninoff College. She presented her first recital at the school within a year of enrolling.
Elena was accepted as a regular student at RC at age fifteen and three years later graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in music theory and piano. She continued her education at one of the leading conservatories in Russia, completing a master's degree in musicology while continuing lessons on piano.
During her study at the conservatory, Bulgakova was invited to teach theory and piano at RC and enjoyed considerable success as a teacher for the next decade. It was a time of intense professional development and growth in which she explored educational issues; developed her skills in musical analysis, history, and teaching; and attended many musical and educational conferences in Russia.
In 1992 Bulgakova was invited to start a music department at the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary in Zaoksky, Russia. Within four years, she helped develop a full music program, became dean of the department, and gained accreditation for three music degree programs through Andrews University in the United States. In addition to leading the program, she taught piano, music history, music theory, music education, and music appreciation. She also continued to perform as a soloist and accompanied the seminary choir on a regular basis and for a special CD they recorded.
While performing as a pianist in Utrecht, Holland, for the General Conference Session in 1995, Bulgakova was invited to teach at the University of Montemorelos in Mexico. For the next seven years, she chaired the piano program at UM, gave lessons, taught classes, and traveled throughout Mexico, Canada, Germany, and the U.S., performing as a soloist, recitalist, and accompanist for UM soloists and the school choir. Before she left UM, she received an award from the alumni association and was feted by both the university and the University Church for her dedicated and inspiring contribution to the school and its church.
In 2003 she married Lee Abel and moved to Myrtle Creek, Oregon, where she gave piano lessons at Roseburg Junior Academy. In 2004 she was invited to teach master classes at Southern Oregon University in Ashland and in 2006 gave a seminar/clinic on the development of piano technique for the Oregon Music Teachers Association in Roseburg.
Source: Information provided by Elena Bulgakova Abel, 2007.