OLGA STEZHKO, piano
Since making her debut as a concert pianist on the stage of the Minsk National Opera House at the age of eight, Olga Stezhko has been performing internationally to great acclaim at venues such as Wigmore Hall, The Barbican and The Southbank Centre in London; Minsk Philharmonic Hall; Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria in Santander; Salle Cortot and Saint-Étienne Opera Theatre in France and Carnegie Hall, New York, both as a soloist and in recital. Her interpretations have been lauded as “luminous” by The Independent and The Times hailed Olga’s “great skill and sensitivity”. Classical Source described the pianist as a “supremely delicate master of her instrument” and noted Olga’s “extraordinary presence” at her Wigmore Hall recital. Recent highlights include performances at Wigmore Hall, St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Barbican in London; Bridgewater Hall in Manchester as well as many other appearances at concert halls in the UK, Sweden, Belarus and Italy.
Olga Stezhko was born in Minsk, Belarus. She started playing piano at the age of five and entered the Republican Music College of Minsk the following year. She studied there with the famous Belarusian pianists, Oleg Krimer and Evgeny Pukst, graduating with distinction in 2002. That year Olga was awarded one of only a handful of scholarships to study at the United World College of the Adriatic in Italy, where her teachers included Alberto Miodini and the legendary Trio di Trieste, who sparked her interest in chamber music. As an avid chamber musician, Olga Stezhko has performed at festivals around Europe within various chamber groups which included such renowned musicians as cellist Ivan Monighetti and violinist Peter Cropper of the Lindsay String Quartet. In 2004 Olga was granted a scholarship to study under Prof. Ian Fountain at the Royal Academy of Music in London, completing a Masters degree in Music with distinction and receiving both the Lloyd Hartley Prize and Walter MacFarran Prize for Postgraduate Pianists in 2010. During her time at the Royal Academy of Music, Olga Stezhko received some of the most prestigious UK scholarships including the Myra Hess Award from the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund, the Philharmonia Orchestra/Martin Musical Scholarship Fund Award and the Tobias Matthay Fellowship from the RAM, as well as gaining private sponsorship from Massimo Prelz Oltramonti.
Olga Stezhko has won many international piano competitions, prizes and awards including the Grand Prix at the First ‘Halina Czerny-Stefanska In Memoriam’ International Piano Competition in Poland, First Prize at the Nikolai Rubinstein International Piano Competition in France and Third Prize at the Prix Amadèo de Piano International Piano Competition in Germany. She was also selected for the Tillett Trust Young Artists' Platform scheme and the prestigious Park Lane Group Young Artists Series, UK. During the course of her performing career, Olga Stezhko’s style has further developed under the tuition of the late Halina Czerny-Stefanska, Lilya Zilberstein, Garrick Ohlsson, Claudio Martinez-Mehner and Richard Goode.
Her musical interests range from core classical repertoire to contemporary composers, whilst her main passion is for the works of the early 20th century composers, such as Scriabin, Prokofiev and Debussy. She also enjoys working on multimedia projects that combine music, film, literature and lighting design within one thematic arc. In her spare time, Olga keeps up to date on current advances in the fields of physics and cosmology.
Olga Stezhko's recital album "Eta Carinae" featuring music by Scriabin and Busoni was released worldwide in May 2014 and described by Bryce Morrison of the Gramophone Magazine as "an outstanding debut".