Brazilian born Vera Astrachan studied with Arnaldo Estrella in Rio de Janeiro and graduated at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where she was awarded the “Gold Medal”. After graduation, Vera pursued further training with Hans Graf and Bruno Seidlhofer in Vienna and, sponsored by The British Council, with Ilona Kabos in London. Later, in Berkeley, she studied Theory of Composition with Joaquin Nin-Culmell.
After her first performance in Vienna the Kurier newspaper published a review which said “… there are certainly few pianists of her generation that know how to play Beethoven as well as Vera Astrachan”.
Ms. Astrachan has received several awards, among which were First Place at the Backhaus Competition, dedicated to Beethoven´s works, the Jeunesses Musicales Award in Berlin, and APCA’s Best Soloist of the Year (1978).
Ms. Astrachan has performed in several European and North American cities, including Vienna, Paris, London, Lisbon, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. In San Francisco, she performed with “The Contemporary Music Players”, conducted by Jean Louis LeRoux. In Brazil, Ms. Astrachan has been regularly invited to play as a soloist with major orchestras, collaborating with conductors such as Eleazar de Carvalho, Camargo Guarnieri, Isaac Karabtchevsky, John Neschling, Roberto Tibiriçá, Celso Antunes, Claudio Cruz and João Carlos Martins. As a recitalist, Ms. Astrachan has been performing at the most renowned Brazilian concert venues.
In addition to her solo recitals and her performances with orchestras, Ms. Astrachan has dedicated herself to the art of Chamber Music. Ms. Astrachan accompanied important musicians like clarinetist Alain Damiens and violinist Elisa Fukuda. She has also played with several string quartets.
Ms. Astrachan has performed in various premiere productions in Brazil: Sonata nº 4 by Francisco Mignone, (the theme of her M.A. at the University of São Paulo – USP), Variações Sobre um Tema Popular Brasileiro, for piano and orchestra, by Lorenzo Fernandez, Les Djinns for piano and orchestra, by César Franck and the Symphony nº2, The Age of Anxiety, for piano and orchestra, by Leonard Bernstein.
Ms. Astrachan’s discography includes a CD with works by Schumann and Ravel, and a CD with César Franck’s and Camargo Guarnieri’s works (the “Fukuda – Astrachan Duo”).
In recent years, Ms. Astrachan has performed as a soloist with several orchestras and launched the Connecticut Chopin Society series in 2016. In 2018 as part of the celebrations of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, she played his symphony nº 2 for piano and orchestra, “The Age of Anxiety”, at Sala Cecília Meireles in Rio de Janeiro.