she was born in Tbilisi Georgia, studied in Moscow, lives in Vienna
she is married to Oleg Kagan
" Elisabeth Leonskaja’s musical development was shaped or influenced to a decisive degree by her collaboration with Sviatoslav Richter. The master recognized her exceptional talent and fostered her development not only through teaching and musical advice, but also by inviting her to play numerous duets with him. A memorable musical event! The musical partnership and personal friendship between Sviatoslav Richter and Elisabeth Leonskaja endured until Richter’s death in the year 1997. In 1978 Elisabeth Leonskaja left the Soviet Union and made her new home in Vienna. Her sensational performance at the Salzburg Festival in 1979 marked the beginning of her steadily blossoming career as a concert pianist in the west.
In addition to her many solo engagements, chamber music remains an important part of her work. She has performed many times with string quartets, such as the Belcea, Borodin Artemis and Jerusalem quartets. She also had a longstanding musical friendship with the Alban Berg Quartet, and their piano quintet recordings are legendary." Numerous recordings bear testimony to the outstanding artistic achievements of this pianist and she has been awarded prizes such as the Caecilia Prize for her Brahms piano sonatas, or the Diapason d´Or for her recordings of works by Liszt. Other significant recordings include the Tchaikovsky Piano Concertos with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Kurt Masur, the Chopin Piano Concertos with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy, and the Shostakovich Piano Concertos with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Leonskaja’s most recent CD recordings appeared on the Berlin based Label eaSonus (www.easonus.com). “Paris”, with works by Ravel, Enescu and Debussy, was named the Solo Recording of the Year 2014 by the ICMA Jury. “Saudade”, an homage to Russian culture with works by Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff, was released in November 2017. A complete recording of Franz Schubert’s piano sonatas in two volumes of four CDs each has been available since April 2016 and May 2019 respectively. A double-CD with variations and sonatas by Robert Schumann followed in January 2020."