“Reading his letters, one can see how he was reacting to emotional stress,” she said. “He wrote this Romance that is dedicated to her, and the music is so sad.”
Cholakyan uses storytelling in her teaching, said Seyeon Ahn, one of Cholakyan’s piano students.
“The way she teaches, she demonstrates — plays it herself and explains as she is playing, and she describes the lesson as she plays,” Ahn said. “The best thing about her is she is very imaginative. As she is demonstrating, she makes up a story. You need a story to play anything for yourself that makes sense to you and goes along with the music.”
Born in the Soviet Union, Cholakyan received her music education at the Tchaikovsky School for Gifted Children and later moved to Moscow and studied at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. She came to the United States with her parents in 1988, and has lived in La Crescenta since 1992.