Olga Stezhko is an award-winning concert pianist and critically acclaimed recording artist. Her striking and idiosyncratic programmes often explore hidden connections between music, science and history across the past four centuries. Olga also specialises in the early 20th century repertoire and she is particularly distinguished in Scriabin and Debussy.
Acclaimed by Classical Source in a Wigmore Hall review as ‘a supremely delicate master of her instrument’ who possesses ‘an extraordinary presence’, she has performed worldwide from Barbican Hall in London to Salle Cortot in Paris to Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Recent highlights include performances in Bridgewater Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Palermo Classica Festival, the Ulverston International Music Festival and a tour in Norway where Olga premiered her multimedia project ‘Red, Green, Blue’ and ‘Blooming’ by Norwegian composer Kari Beate Tandberg.
‘Blooming’, a new work for piano, chamber orchestra and narrator was commissioned by Insimul Sinfonietta and premiered at the Stavanger International Festival for Literature and Freedom of Expression in September 2023.
The piece was first conceived as a musical reaction to the book ‘The Unwomanly Face of War’ by exiled Belarusian Nobel Prize laureate Svetlana Alexievich. Through the course of its development and collaborative work, ‘Blooming’ gradually evolved into a powerful statement of collective resilience and solidarity against the abuse of power around the world. It also specifically draws attention to Olga's native Belarus, whose people suffer from the ongoing brutal repressions following the fraudulent presidential election and the unprecedented democratic protests in 2020.
Olga Stezhko is the winner of many international competitions and awards including the Grand Prix at the ‘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.
Born in Minsk, Belarus, Olga Stezhko is based in London, where she completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees with distinction at the Royal Academy of Music under Prof. Ian Fountain. Her studies were supported by some of the UK most prestigious scholarships including the Myra Hess Scholarship and the Philharmonia Orchestra/Martin Musical Scholarship Fund Award.
Prior to coming to London, Olga graduated from the Republican Music College in Minsk in the class of the famous Belarusian pianists Oleg Krimer and Evgeny Pukst and was awarded a music scholarship to study at the United World College of the Adriatic in Italy. Amongst her teachers were Trio di Parma and the legendary Trio di Trieste, who sparked her interest in chamber music.
As an avid chamber musician, Olga has performed at international festivals within various groups including the renowned cellist Ivan Monighetti and the late Peter Cropper of the Lindsay String Quartet. She is a member of the critically acclaimed Marsyas Trio (flute, cello, piano), whose recent engagements include performances at the Spitalfields Music Festival, St John’s Smith Square series, St David's Cathedral Festival and a North American tour, which showcased music by British and American women composers.
In 2022-2024 the Marsyas Trio will be working regularly at the University of Cambridge, through Artist By-Fellowships at Churchill College. They are also the current FUAM Ensemble in Residence at the University of Leeds.
Olga Stezhko's specialism is the early and mid-20th century repertoire, and she is particularly distinguished in Scriabin and Debussy. Olga’s debut album ‘Eta Carinae’ (2014, Luminum Records) combined her passion for astrophysics with music by Scriabin and Busoni. The record was praised by the Gramophone Magazine as ‘an outstanding debut’ and ‘not a record for the faint-hearted but rather for those who enjoy dark and menacing regions of the mind’.
Her second all-Debussy album ‘Et la lune descend’ (2018, Palermo Classica) marked the centenary of the composer’s death and received unanimous critical acclaim in the publications including the BBC Music Magazine and the Arts Desk. International Piano Magazine described Olga Stezhko as a pianist who ‘communicates that excitement of discovery throughout’ and gives Debussy’s works ‘a subtle, fluent performance catching their delicious restraint beautifully’.
Olga Stezhko is very grateful to Massimo Prelz Oltramonti, Rory and Noelle Colfer, Tim and Daška Hatton, Help Musicians UK, Philharmonia Orchestra/Martin Musical Scholarship Fund, the Kirckman Concert Society, the Tillett Trust, the Solti Foundation, the Park Lane Group and the Royal Academy of Music for their generous support.
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