Borletti-Buitoni Trust
BBT Artists Rewarding Musical Excellence
Irina Zahharenkova
BBT Fellowship 2007

Irina Zahharenkova - Biography

Irina Zahharenkova was supported by BBT between 2007 and 2012.

Irina Zahharenkova is one of the most outstanding keyboard performers of her generation to emerge from Estonia today. She has won first prizes in Leipzig’s Johann Sebastian Bach Competition (2006), Italy’s Alessandro Casagrande Competition (2006), Romania’s Georges Enesco Competition (2005), and Spain’s Premio Jaen Competition (2004). In 2008 she was a prize-winner in Arthur Rubinstein Piano Masters Competition in Tel Aviv, Israel. Zahharenkova obtained her Master of Music degree at the Estonian Academy of Music with Lilian Semper and at the Sibelius Academy in Finland with Hui-Ying Liu-Tawaststjerna. In addition to piano she explored early keyboards, studying harpsichord with Maris Valk-Falk and fortepiano with Pekka Vapaavuori. Irina Zahharenkova has also been a laureate at the Prague Spring competition in Czech Republic (2005) as a harpsichordist and at Bruges’ Festival van Vlaanderen competition (2004) as fortepianist. She was a winner of a 2007 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship. Performing frequently in solo piano and harpsichord recitals in Europe and Japan, she has played – among others – at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr in Germany, Spoleto Festival in Italy, Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in Finland and Bergen International Festival in Norway. As soloist she has appeared with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Israel Philarmonic, Helsinki City Orchestra, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Estonian State Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Finlandia and others, played with such conductors as Juha Kangas, Dmitri Aleksejev, Leif Segerstam and Patrick Gallois. Her repertoire encompasses a wide range of musical styles from baroque to contemporary. Apart from concert activities Irina Zahharenkova teaches piano in Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. In 2010 Zahharenkova’s debut DVD was released by Estonian Record Productions, recorded live at Glasperlenspiel Festival in Tartu, Estonia, where she gave a recital playing harpsichord, fortepiano and modern piano.

Last updated: August 2010

I would like to express my deep gratitude to BBtrust for giving me the Fellowship Award. It has been an extremely developing experience, which influenced my professional life and gave me a lot of encouragement. For this great support, so important for me as a musician, I am very thankful.

Irina Zahharenkova

Photographs by Pette Rissanen