Maxim Lubarsky

Assistant Professor
Affiliated Departments

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A native of Odessa, Ukraine, Maxim Lubarsky started his career as a classical pianist. When he was 7 years old, he began his musical education at the famous Stolyarsky School of Music, where his father, a member of the piano faculty and renowned pianist, was his teacher and mentor. He later received a master’s degree from the Odessa State Conservatory, where professor Evilina Kovalenko was his piano instructor. During his last years in school, Lubarsky acquired a love for jazz music and founded his first group, Art Session, with whom he toured, played numerous venues in the Ukraine, and won first place in a number of competitions. While playing and touring with Art Session, he continued his classical career, playing solo recitals and performing with the Odessa State Symphony Orchestra. During his years at the conservatory, he was a highly recognized pianist and toured and recorded with numerous projects in Israel, France, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Greece, and the U.S.

After graduating from the conservatory, Lubarsky decided to pursue jazz education, which brought him to Berklee College of Music, where he studied with such renowned musicians as Joanne Brackeen, Danilo Pérez, Hal Crook, and Joe Lovano, to name a few. At Berklee, he was a scholarship recipient and recipient of the Berklee Technics Piano Award in 2002. He continues an active performing career with numerous musicians in Boston and New York, as well as international performances and master classes. He has been a faculty member in the Piano Department at Berklee since 2013.

Career Highlights
  • Recordings include "I’ll Be Around"with the Macayù Jazz Chamber Trio; "Intimately," "Musical Journey," and "C’est Si Bon," live at the Berklee Performance Center
  • Performances include St. Petersburg Music Festival, Spoleto Festival, Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival, Diacetum Festival, and Usadba Jazz Festival, among many others
  • Projects and recordings with Terri Lyne Carrington, Dave Samuels, Greg Osby, E.J. Strickland, Gabrielle Goodman, Dave Liebman, and Tiger Okoshi
  • Toured with Gabrielle Goodman as pianist and music director
  • Leader of Macayú Jazz Chamber Trio and Maxim Lubarsky Quartet
  • Taught master classes in China, South Africa, and Russia 
  • M.A., Odessa State Conservatory, piano performance, accompaniment, chamber ensemble, and pedagogy
  • A.D., Berklee College of Music, jazz performance 
  • Stolyarsky School of Music
In Their Own Words

"I want my students to learn to express themselves through the language of music, learn to be free and creative, and have all the necessary tools to do so. That involves understanding the process of creativity and improvisation in its foundation as well as learning and understanding the jazz language (or other styles they might be interested in)."

"I find that a lot of students struggle with execution of their ideas, rhythmic clarity, sound quality, and control. And that’s what often makes the difference between an okay pianist and a great one. I try to focus on the art of playing the piano: the quality of playing and piano technique, helping students to recognize their shortcomings and understand how to work on improving or fixing them. As Stephen Nachmanovitch wrote, 'To create, we need both technique and freedom from technique.' Being able to improvise means having a fluent command of the piano to be able to execute the ideas with the most quality and precision, and to be expressive without having any limitations or having to think about how to do it. "

"Having studied intensely and performed both classical and jazz music, as well as having extensive experience in a variety of styles, gives me an opportunity to help students understand music in a more comprehensive way and to develop stronger technique and piano artistry along with a deep understanding of jazz language, style awareness, and the art of improvisation. I strongly encourage students to go out of their style preferences and expose themselves to a wide variety of music and genres. I strongly believe that a real musician cannot be limited to any particular style or genre, and has to seek to understand music in a more complete way."