has been Artistic Director of the Cantabile Youth Singers since
2004 and oversees all educational and performance aspects of the program, in
addition to conducting the top choirs, Ensemble and Vocalise. A native of St.
Petersburg, Russia, Ms. Sharkova arrived in the Bay Area in 1998 to join the
music faculty at San Jose State University where she served as Director of
Choral Activities, conducting three choirs and teaching classes in voice,
choral conducting, and music education until spring 2006.

Elena has
conducted professional, university, youth and community choirs and orchestras
in North America, England, Western Europe, Russia, Baltic republics,
Scandinavia, Middle East, and Asia. In the US, Ms. Sharkova appeared as guest
conductor at several prestigious venues such as New York City’s Lincoln Center
and Carnegie Hall, Chicago Orchestra Hall, San Francisco’s Davies Hall,
Washington DC Kennedy Center and Segestrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa.

In her 13th
year as Artistic Director of Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale (formerly
San Jose State University Chorale), Elena prepares and conducts the chorus in
five programs each season at the California Theatre in San Jose.

Born and
raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, Ms. Sharkova received a Bachelor’s Degree in
music education and piano and subsequently a graduate degree in conducting from
the St. Petersburg Rimski-Korsakov State Conservatoire. Upon graduation, she
was appointed Chair of the Choral Department of the Preparatory Music School at
the conservatory. There she conducted four children’s choruses (ages 3 to 19)
and taught the innovative Ogorodnov Method to graduate conducting students.
Elena is delighted to be working with young voices again, this time in North
America! In demand nationally and internationally as guest conductor,
clinician, master teacher, and adjudicator, Ms. Sharkova is a champion of
Russian choral music: she has lectured extensively on its traditions and
performances practices and premiered several contemporary Russian major choral

With Cantabile Youth Singers, she made her 2005 Carnegie
Hall debut and returned to the famed stage in June 2010 as guest conductor for
the Manhattan Concert Productions National Youth Choir Festival. Ms. Sharkova’s
most recent conducting engagements include the 2011 Music Educators National
Conference Honor Choir, 2011 Somerset International Treble Choir Festival
(England), Texas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oregon, Missouri and Oklahoma All-State
Honor Choirs. Recently named Artistic Director of 2012 Windy City Youth Choral
Festival, Ms. Sharkova will lead 300 young singers in 3 days of rehearsals and
a final performance on stage of Chicago’s Orchestral Hall.

Elena lives in San Jose with her wine-maker husband, Tony
Craig, and their eight-year-old son Sasha who is also a third-year chorister in
Cantabile’s Prep Choir.