Tamara Smolyar represents the finest traditions of the famous Russian piano school and comes from a family with a musical background, which spans over four generations. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Tamara began her formal piano lessons at the age of four. She studied with professors O.Orlova (a pupil of K.Mikhailov), I. Ryabov (pupil of J.Zaak), and E. Rzhanov (pupil of J.Fliere).
Tamara graduated from the Kiev State College of Music and the Kiev State Conservatorium of Music with High Honours. She participated in masterclasses with world famous pianists E. Malinin, A. Nasedkin, L. Berman,T. Nikolaeva, T. Kravchenko, N. Topilin, V. Sechkin,V. Neilson.
In the former USSR, Tamara performed nationwide in solo, concerto and chamber music recitals as well as on radio and television. She is a winner of First Chamber Music Competition (Ukraine) and also was awarded the title of Best Accompanist of Ukraine and USSR. In 1994, Tamara gained her Master in Music (Performance) from the University of Melbourne, where she studied with A Semetsky (pupil of E. Gilels) and Professor R. Farren-Price.
Since arriving in Australia in 1990, Tamara has been in constant demand as a teacher, lecturer, adjudicator, and performer. Tamara has numerous CDs, Radio and TV recordings for national and international broadcasters. With her recitals, concerto and chamber music performances she graced many prominent venues across Australia, Asia, Russia and Europe. Her wide repertoire comprises pieces of many styles and this has led to a number of composers writing music for her as a soloist and a chamber music performer.
Tamara played with many internationally renowned musicians and conductors from Australia, Germany, France, Russia, Israel, New Zealand, Japan, UK, Switzeland, Czechoslovakia, and the USA. She has given masterclasses at various music schools, colleges and universities in Russia, Australia, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and Romania. In recent years Tamara performed at the Symposium of the International Musicological Society, International Double Reed Society, International Bucharest Contemporary Music Festival, Yamaha Concert Series, ”Steinway Spectacular” Concert Series.
Over more than twenty five years of teaching experience Tamara has been fostering and developing the talents of the musicians under her tutelage to a high level of music performance. She instils in her students a solid technique and opens their ears to the vast scope of the piano literature.
Tamara’s aspiration is that students develop as musicians and also become innovative studio teachers and leaders in their profession. The experience she offers to students leads them to performative, academic and vocationally-based outcomes that aim to encourage flexibility to the musical marketplace. The success of her approach is evidenced by the fact that a number of Tamara’s former students now hold positions as pianists and teachers both nationally and internationally.
At present, Tamara is Senior Lecturer in Music Performance and Coordinator of Piano/Keyboard at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music.