Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Rita Shklar (nee Grad) has enjoyed a successful career as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher. She has performed extensively in the United States, Russia, Hungary and Italy.  Following her televised debut as a soloist with the St. Petersburg Youth Philharmonic at the age of 13, Ms. Shklar earned her B.M. degree from the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory College in St. Petersburg. She then attended Longy School of Music in Massachusetts for graduate studies in Piano Performance. After moving to NJ and completing her graduate studies at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, she was awarded an M.M. degree. Among her teachers were Theodore Lettvin, Victor Rosenbaum, Joseph Lebed’ and  Oleg Malov. Ms. Shklar participated in master classes with such legendary pianists as Menahem Pressler, Claude Franck, Nathan Perelman and Grigory Sokolov.

Devoted to teaching and to her students, Ms. Shklar is a master faculty at the Westminster Conservatory, where she has been teaching piano and chamber music since 1994. She has been on the faculty of the Westminster Choir College Continuing Education Pedagogy Certificate Program since 2002.  She was in charge of the Young Artist Program designed for gifted students from 1994 to 1998. From 2002 to 2006 Ms. Shklar was on the music faculty at the College of New Jersey. A resident of Princeton, she has frequently served as an adjudicator for competitions, festivals and the New Jersey Governor’s School. She has given master classes in the United States and Germany.

Ms. Shklar’s students are recipients of top prizes at prestigious international, national, state and local competitions including: the Marian Garcia International Competition, the Eastman International Young Artists Competition, the Steinway Society Scholarship Competition, the Bart Pittman Competition for high school seniors, the New Jersey Music Teachers Association Young Musicians Competition, the Cecilian Music Club Young Artists Competition, the Princeton Festival Piano Competition (junior, senior and open divisions),

Rita Shklar

the Westminster Conservatory Concerto and Scholarship Competitions, the Music Club of Princeton Scholarship Competition, and many others. Her students’ frequent performances include such venues as Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall), Lincoln Center (Alice Tully Hall), Merkin Concert Hall at the Kauffman Center in New York, Kimmel Arts Center in Philadelphia and Seiji Ozawa Hall in Tanglewood. Many of her students have gone on to study at the most prestigious universities and music schools.

Ms. Shklar has received numerous awards for her outstanding teaching including, among others, Destinguished Pedagogy Award presented by the International Music and Arts Society in New York City at Carnegie Hall in 2013, the Cecilian Distinguished Pedagogy Award that she received in 2003 at Alice Tully Hall  in New York,  “ Golden Circle of Teachers” award presented by the Andrew deGrado Competition,  Certificates of Excellence in Teaching awarded by American Concert Alliance, American Fine Arts Festival and Music-Fest organization.