Helen Kashap is a Canadian-American actress and classical pianist based in New York City.
The child of two professional musicians, Kashap began her artistic training at the age of four. Showing an early aptitude for the stage, Helen was cast in her first theater production two years later and went on to play several major roles in community and professional theater (Gateway Players, Gateway Summer Players, Persephone Theater), throughout her early years. Notably, Kashap gained critical acclaim in the role of 'Tootie' in Gateway Theater's production of Meet Me in St. Louis, for which director Dennis Beerling told a newspaper, “The one who’s going to steal the show is my ten year old, Tootie” (Saskatoon Star Phoenix, 1998).
As a youth, Kashap trained at the Persephone Theatre School in Canada and pursued competitive gymnastics, classical piano, and dance alongside her theatrical training. Spending her summers studying at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, Kashap garnered several prizes and scholarships in music and theater including the 'Rising Talent' and 'Outstanding Achievement in Piano' awards from the Interlochen Arts Festival, and top prizes at the Canadian Kinsmen Competition, The Interlochen Arts Festival Concerto Competition, and the Saskatchewan Music Festival.
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. Kashap continues to work with Alexander and Fitzmaurice technique coaches in New York City and Paris and to hone her craft and immerse herself in the study of theater.
An exclusive Steinway educational partner, Kashap is on the Faculty of Music at the 92nd Street Y and maintains 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.
At present, Helen is currently pursuing further research at the University of Oxford while studying piano privately with her mentor Paul Roberts of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London.