Pianist Dina Yoffe has played concerts with orchestras such as the Israel Philharmonic, the Moscow Philharmonic and the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, but she’ll perform in a more intimate setting for a Chopin Society of Atlanta recital at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center during the intermediate Saturday of Sukkot at 7 p.m. Oct. 7.

Yoffe has been renowned on the international classical music scene since at least 1975, when she finished second in the Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw. The graduate of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music in Moscow also is a past winner of an international Schumann competition in Zwickau, Germany.

But her onstage success did not protect her from the same oppression as other Jews living in the Soviet Union.

From 1979 to 1987, she and her husband, Michal Vaiman, a champion of international violin competitions, were not allowed to travel abroad. When they joined the Jewish exodus with their then-11-year-old son after the Iron Curtain dropped in 1989, the Soviet authorities would not let them bring their instruments with them to Israel.

But that setback did not stop her career. In addition to performing in festivals and individual concerts, she has led master classes in venues around the world and has been a guest professor at the Summit Music Festival in New York since 2000.

She told interviewer Bozena Zaremba that when it comes to Chopin, the composer himself is the best teacher: “Think about the music. Think about the meaning of this music. For me this is most important. What I teach them is what I want from myself: Be yourself, be natural, be honest.”


Who: Dina Yoffe

What: Piano recital

Where: Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7

Tickets: $25 general public, $20 seniors, $5 students; chopinatlanta.org