Irina Zahharenkova

b. February 23, 1976, Kaliningrad, Russia
Member of the Association of Estonian Professional Musicians

Irina Zahharenkova began her musical studies with her mother at age of four. At 13, she moved with her family to Tallinn, Estonia, where she in 1995–2000 studied piano at the Georg Ots Tallinn Music School with Professor Mare Ots. In 1995–2000 she studied piano at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre with Professor Lilian Semper and harpsichord with Professor Maris Valk-Falk, obtaining a master’s degree in 2003. She entered the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki as an exchange student in 2002, and as a degree student in 2003, studying in the piano class of Dr. Hui-Ying Liu-Tawaststjerna and taking lessons on fortepiano with Pekka Vapaavuori. She has participated in numerous workshops and master-classes, among the others with Stephen Kovacevich, Angela Hewitt, András Schiff, Victor Merzhanov, Malcolm Bilson, Huguette Dreyfus and Pierre Hantaï.

As an extremely versatile musician, Irina Zahharenkova frequently gives solo recitals on the piano and harpsichord, performs at chamber music concerts and as a soloist with orchestras. Zahharenkova’s repertoire encompasses a wide range of musical styles from Baroque to contemporary. To her favorite music styles belong Baroque, classics, French impressionism and 20th century music, especially works of György Ligeti.

Irina Zahharenkova has performed at numerous festivals in Italy, Germany, Finland, Norway, Estonia, and held recitals with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre National de Lorraine, and many others.

In 2010, Zahharenkova had her debut DVD Keyboard Juggleress released by Estonian Record Productions, recorded live at Glasperlenspiel Festival in Tartu, Estonia, where she gave a recital playing harpsichord, fortepiano and modern piano. Her music has publihsed also on two other solo albums: Bach`s Goldberg Variations (2010) and Scarlatti Sonatas (2012).

Irina Zahharenkova has been awarded the Annual Prize of the Endowment for Music of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia (2020).

Irina Zahharenkova has been awarded numerous prizes:
2003 – II Prize and Special Prize for the best interpretation of M.K. Ciurlionis’s works at the M.K. Ciurlionis International Piano Competition in Vilnius, Lithuania
2004 – I Prize, Audience Prize and Special Prize for the best interpretation of the compulsory contemporary piece at the Premio Jaén International Piano Competition in Jaén, Spain
2004 – III Prize at the International Fortepiano Competition of the Festival van Vlaanderen in Bruges, Belgium
2005 – II Prize and two Special Prizes (the best interpretation of the compulsory contemporary piece and that of a French work) at the Epinal International Piano Competition in Epinal, France
2005 – III Prize and Special Prize for the best interpretation of compulsory contemporary piece at the Prague Spring International Harpsichord Competition in Prague, Czech Republic
2005 – III Prize at Geneva International Piano Competition in Geneva, Switzerland
2006 – I Prize and Audience Prize at the J. S. Bach International Piano Competition in Leipzig, Germany
2006 – I Prize and two Special Prizes (the best interpretation of a Mozart Piano Sonata and that of a work by A. Casagrande) at the A. Casagrande International Piano Competition in Terni, Italy
2006 – IV Prize at Villa-Lobos International Piano Competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil
2005 – I Prize and Special Prize for the best interpretation of Enescu’s Piano Sonata at the G. Enescu International Piano Competition in Bucharest, Romania
2007 – Winner of Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award

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