Helen Kashap is a Canadian-American classical pianist, academic, and pedagogue based in New York City and Paris, France.
As a young person, Kashap was heavily involved in the theatre, working in various community and semi professional theatre companies including Gateway Players, Gateway Summer Players, and Persephone Theatre. She held several major roles and spent her summers at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, USA. There, she gleaned prizes and scholarships including the 'Rising' Talent' award and 'Outstanding Achievement in Piano'. Her other love was music.
Growing up in a musical family, Helen always had an affinity for the piano. From the early age of eight, Kashap was winning local and provincial competitions in Canada and performing in public recitals. Her dedication to music at a young age afforded her public performance opportunities as well as study opportunities in Canada, the United States, France, and Spain. Earning the Grand prize at the Canadian Kinsmen Competition, and top prizes at the Canadian Music Competition, the International Interlochen Arts Festival Concerto Competition, and various Provincial music festivals, Kashap's piano career earned her a spot and a top scholarship at the Interlochen Arts Academy in the United States.
In 2005, Kashap moved to the United States to study full-time at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan where she graduated with High Honors, a specialization in Piano Performance, and the top academic awards in English and Political Science.
Kashap spent the next ten years developing a successful career as a classical concert pianist. At McGill University's Schulich School of Music in Montreal, Quebec, where Kashap pursued her Bachelor of Music degree, she was awarded the highest academic and music honor, the 'Schulich Scholarship'. During her last year at McGill she was also awarded the prestigious Lubka and Kolessa Piano Prize, an award given to an outstanding pianist entering his/her final year of study.
While pursuing her studies at McGill, Kashap embarked on a professional performing career, making her orchestral debut with the Saskatoon Symphony in 2011 alongside her parents in the violin section. Kashap was seen three weeks later in a performance of Franz Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Regina Symphony Orchestra. Both performances garnered standing ovations and "thunderous applause" (Regina Leader-Post)
After graduating from McGill, Kashap continued to perform as a soloist with Canadian orchestras, held an arts residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and recorded her first album under sponsorship from FACTOR Canada. Additional music studies have been undertaken at the Banff Center for the Arts, the Aspen Music Festival, Toronto Summer Music, Gijon International Piano Festival (Spain), Amalfi Coast Keyboard Festival (Italy), and at Music at Chateau d'Aix (France). Kashap has won top prizes at the Canadian Music Competition, the National Knigge Competition, WMTA Piano Competition, Canadian Kinsmen Competition, North Bay Symphony Concerto Competition, Saskatchewan Provincial Music Festival, and the Saskatchewan Symphony Concerto Competition. Her work has been generously supported by scholarships and grants from the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the Ontario Arts Council, the Williamson Foundation for the Arts, and the Canada Council for the Arts.
In 2012, Kashap was awarded the top prize from the Canada Council for the Arts, a Major award ($24,000) given annually to a select number of Canada's most promising emerging artists. This prompted Kashap to return to the United States and complete her Master of Music degree in 2014 at the Cleveland Institute of Music in Cleveland, Ohio. Kashap was awarded this prestigious grant for a second consecutive year, enabling her to graduate Magna Cum Laude from CIM as a recipient of the Cleveland Musical Arts Club Scholarship.
While pursuing her degree in Cleveland, Kashap was scouted by a talent agent and signed as a model/actress at Cleveland's premier Talent Agency 'The Talent Group'. In between schoolwork, practicing, and performing, she spent her time auditioning for television shows, films, and print ad campaigns.
Upon graduating, Kashap moved to New York City to re-immerse herself in the world of acting via a year-long theater intensive at the HB Studio in Greenwhich Village. To further develop her craft, Helen continued her training at the Stella Adler Conservatory, Upright Citizens Brigade, William Esper Studio, Penny Templeton Studio, Terry Schreiber Studio, and with on-camera coaches Todd Thaler and Ted Sluberski. Throughout, Kashap dedicated herself to her work with Fitzmaurice Master vocal coach Ilse Pfeifer and Alexander Technique teacher Martha Bernard.
An exclusive Steinway educational partner, Kashap taught on the Faculty of Music at the 92nd Street Y and maintained a robust private teaching studio based in New York City. With over ten years of pedagogical experience, Helen is a passionate teacher and is committed to developing her students musical interests and gifts.
In 2020, Kashap moved abroad to pursue her second Master's degree at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. There, Kashap's research centred around the lack of women in senior leadership roles in the arts, as well as re-discovering the 'drama' inherent in Mozart's piano concerti.
Upon graduating from Oxford, Kashap moved to Paris to pursue her MBA degree at the International School of Management. Currently operating her music studio in New York City remotely, Kashap continues to devote herself to the process of discovery with her piano students as she forges a new path ahead.
An exclusive Steinway Educational Partner, Kashap has been teaching professionally for over ten years. What began as a small project with just a few students as a way to further define her own musical ideas, grew into a robust teaching career with a vibrant private music studio in Manhattan and a position on the esteemed faculty at New York’s 92nd Street Y.
Fascinated by the intersection of physiological, intellectual, and musical development, Kashap has woven her study of the Alexander technique, theatrical training, and her years spent working with master pedagogues into a distinctive teaching style. At once warm and personal, her passion for the piano is manifest in the depth of inquiry and curiosity she encourages her students to bring to their musical studies.
An avid student of music theory and musicianship herself, having completed the RCM Theory papers and studied these topics rigorously at both McGill’s Schulich School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music, Helen teaches core courses in both subjects and infuses her practical lessons with this awareness.
Believing that every student has the capacity for musical growth, Kashap embraces the idea that music lessons are about much more than just the music itself. The student, through his/her exchange with this experience, cultivates discipline, commitment, focus, curiosity, a love of music, and a depth of inquiry. It is with joy that Helen continues her devotion to music pedagogy.
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