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Olga Amelkina-Vera Biography
Olga Amelkina-Vera Biography

Olga Amelkina-Vera Headshot
Olga Amelkina-Vera

Private Guitar Lessons

Composition, Theory, History, Composition

oamelkina@collin.edu

Guitarist and composer Olga Amelkina-Vera grew up in Belarus and moved to the United States in 1997. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree Summa Cum Laude from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in guitar performance with a related field in music history from the University of North Texas, and a Masters degree in composition from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Olga'sworks have been called “the discovery of the evening” (Sarasota Herald-Tribune),  “brilliant” (The Royal Gazette), “incandescent” and “hypnotic” (Fort Worth Star Telegram).  While at SMU, Olga studied with composers Xi Wang, Lane Harder, Robert Frank, and Kevin Hanlon. Her thesis composition, Submerged Worlds for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion, was premiered by SYZYGY, SMU's new music ensemble. Olga was chosen as the Irving Symphony Orchestra SMU student composer-in-residence for the 2016-2017 season. This honor included a performance of one of her orchestral works on the ISO concert series finale. Her comic micro-opera All That Glitters was premiered at SMU in 2015.

Olga won first prize in the 2013 Japan Guitar Ensemble Composition Competition for her quartet Cattywampus Rompus (Texas Tarantella) and was interviewed in Gendai Guitar during her trip to Tokyo. She was the first prize winner of the Austin Classical Guitar Society Composition Competition in 2009 and 2012 for her guitar quartets Ninochka and Nebulae. Her compositions are published by Productions d’Oz, including two works selected for the Frank Koonce Series. Olga’s guitar works are regularly performed and recorded by Matt Palmer, Adam Holzman, Thibaut Garcia, Kithara Duo, Valerie Hartzell, and many other professional and student ensembles and soloists. She is in demand as a conductor, frequently getting invitations to conduct guitar orchestras throughout the country, and working with large and chamber ensembles at music festivals.

As a performer, Olga maintains a busy touring and teaching schedule as a soloist and with Kithara Duo, her guitar duo with Fernand Vera. The duo was formed in 2002; since then, they have been performing nationally as well as in Europe and South America. Kithara Duo’s critically acclaimed recordings Beings (2011) and Lingua Franca (2015) feature some of Olga’s original compositions and transcriptions for guitar duo.  Kithara Duo have been invited to perform and teach at the Guitar Foundation of America Convention and Competition, East Carolina University Guitar Festival, Troy University Guitar Festival, University of Milwaukee, Guitar Sarasota, Texas A&M International Guitar Symposium, Lone Star Guitar Festival, Clark University, Chapman University, and many other venues.

Olga is a passionate and devoted teacher. She was named Associate Faculty of the Year in 2013 by Collin College in Plano, Texas. She is now full-time faculty at Collin College, where she teaches music history, theory, composition, and guitar.  For more information, please visit kitharaduo.com, www.olgaamelkinavera.com, and facebook.com/kitharaduo.