''Wanda Landowska worthy successor by her expressive manner,
huge repertoire (from Scarlatti to Ligeti) and breathtaking technique!''
- Christine Ducq, La Revue du Spectacle.fr
''The wonderful harpsichord playing of Irina Zahharenkova,
her playing is rhytmic, inventive and skilful''
- Dominy Clement, MusicWeb International
"Irina Zakharenkova was very impressive /../ we got all the musical colour we might have wished for, but played with the delicacy required to blend with the other musicians."
- David Karlin, Bachtrack
Irina Zahharenkova is one of the most versatile and outstanding keyboard performers to emerge from Estonia.
She has won first prizes in such major international piano competitions such as the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition (Leipzig, Germany - 2006), Alessandro Casagrande International Piano Competition (Terni, Italy - 2006), International Competition George Enescu (Bucharest, Romania - 2005), and Jaén International Piano Contest (Jaén, Spain - 2004).
Irina obtained her Master of Music degree in Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and the Sibelius Academy in Finland. In addition to piano she has studied the harpsichord and fortepiano. As a harpsichordist Irina has been a laureate of the Prague Spring competition in the Czech Republic (2005) and as fortepianist from the Festival van Vlaanderen competition in Bruges, Belgium (2004). In 2007 she received the prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award.
As solo pianist and harpsichordist she has given recitals at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr in Germany, Spoleto Festival in Italy, Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in Finland, Bergen International Festival in Norway and many others and appeared with the YOA Orchestra of the Americas, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Israel Philarmonic Orchestra, Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Finlandia and others.
Irina is very active as a chamber musician as well as teaching in Estonia and Finland. Five CD’s/DVD’s have been released of Irina since 2010.
See also a video made by the Estonian Music Development Centre in 2012
I Prize and Audience Prize. The 2006 J.S. Bach International Piano Competition (Leipzig, Germany)
I Prize and two Special Prizes (the best interpretation of a Mozart Piano Sonata and that of a work by Alessandro Casagrande). The 2006 Alessandro Casagrande International Piano Competition (Terni, Italy)
II Prize and two Special Prizes (the best interpretation of the compulsory contemporary piece and that of a French work).
The 2005 Epinal International Piano Competition (Epinal, France)
III Prize. "Festival van Vlaanderen" International Fortepiano Competition 2004
I Prize, Audience Prize and Special Prize for the best interpretation of the compulsory contemporary piece.
The 2004 Prémio Jaén International Piano Competition (Jaén, Spain)
II Prize and Special Prize for the best interpretation of M. K. Ciurlionis’s works. The 2003 M.K. Ciurlionis International Piano Competition (Vilnius, Lithuania)
IV Prize. Villa-Lobos International Piano Competition 2006 (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
III Prize. Geneva International Piano Competition 2005 (Geneva, Switzerland)
I Prize and Special Prize for the best interpretation of Enesco’s Piano Sonata. The 2005 Georges Enesco International Piano Competition (Bucharest, Romania)
III Prize and Special Prize for the best interpretation of compulsory contemporary piece. "Prague Spring" International Harpsichord Competition 2005 (Prague, Czech Republic)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: all concertos
Ludwig van Beethoven: No 2 in B-flat major, No 3 in C minor, No 4 in G major
Frédéric Chopin: No 1 in E minor, No 2 in F minor
Robert Schumann: Concerto in A minor
Pjotr Tchaikovsky: Concerto No 1 in B-flat minor
Johann Sebastian Bach: 6 Partitas BWV 825–830;English Suite No 2 in A minor BWV 807; French Suite No 3 in B minor BWV 814; 15 Sinfonias BWV 787–801; Goldberg variations BWV 988
Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonatas Op 2 No 1 in F minor, Op 2 No 2 in A major, Op 7 in E-flat major, Op 13 in C minor, Op 14 No 2 in G major, Op 101 in A major, Op 106 in B-flat major Hammerklavier, Op 109 in E major, Op 110 in A-flat major; 32 Variations in C minor WoO 80; 7 Bagatelles Op 33
Johannes Brahms: 3 Intermezzi Op 117; 6 Pieces Op 118; Variations and Fugue on Theme by Händel Op 24; Sonata No 2 in F-sharp minor Op 2
Frédéric Chopin: Scherzo No 4 in E major Op 54; Ballades No 3 in A-flat major Op 47, No 4 in F Minor Op 52; Sonata No 3 in B minor Op 58; 24 Preludes; Nocturns and Mazurkas
Claude Debussy: Suite Bergamasque
George Enescu: Sonata in F-sharp Minor Op 24 No 1; Suite Op 10
Morton Feldman: Triadic memories
Joseph Haydn: 7 Sonatas
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sonatas in C major KV 330, in D major KV 331, in B-flat major KV 333, in D major KV 576; Rondos in D major KV 485 and in A minor KV 511; Adagio in B minor; Variations Lison dormait in C major KV 264; Variations Salve tu, Domine in F major KV 398
Paul Hindemith: Sonata No 1
Sergei Prokofiev: Sonata No 2 in D minor Op 14; Sonata No 8 in B-flat major Op 84; Toccata
Maurice Ravel: Miroirs; Jeu d’eau; Le tombeau de Couperin; Pavane
Domenico Scarlatti: about 20 Sonatas
Robert Schumann: Kreisleriana Op 16; Sonata No 1 in F-sharp minor; Etudes Symphoniques
Dmitri Shostakovitch: Sonata No 2 in B minor
Isaac Albéniz: Pieces from Iberia
Arnold Schönberg: 3 Pieces Op 11
Anton Webern: Variations Op 27
György Ligeti: Etudes
Johann Sebastian Bach: in D minor BWV 1052, in E Major BWV 1053, in D major BWV 1054, in A major BWV 1055, in F minor BWV 1056
Bohuslav Martinů: Concerto for harpsichord and chamber orchestra
Francis Poulenc: Concert Champêtre
Peeter Vähi: Concerto piccolo
William Byrd: Pavanes and Galiardas; The Carman’s Whistle, The Bells, John Come Kisse Me Now, Fantasies, Tregian’s Ground, Sellenger’s Ground
John Bull: Pavanes and Galiardas
Johann Pachelbel: Suite in E major; Toccata and Fugue in B-flat major; Aria and 6 Variations in A minor from Hexachordum Apollini
Jacques Champion de Chambonnières: Pieces
Louis Couperin: Pieces
François Couperin: 5 Suites; Preludes from L’Art de toucher le clavecin
Johann Jakob Froberger: Suite in A minor; Toccatas
Jean-Henri d’Anglebert: Suites
Johann Sebastian Bach: 15 Sinfonias BWV 787–801; Italian Concerto BWV 971; Partitas No 2 in C minor BWV 826 and No 6 in E minor BWV 830; Capriccio On the Departure of His dearly Beloved Brother BWV 992; English Suite No 2 in A minor BWV 807
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Variations Folie d’Espagne
Wilhelm Friedemann Bach: Sonata No 6 in E-flat major
Girolamo Frescobaldi: Toccatas
Baldassare Galuppi: Sonatas
Orlando Gibbons: The Woods So Wilde, Pieces
Georg Friedrich Händel: Suite in F major
Jean-Philippe Rameau: Suite in A minor
Domenico Scarlatti: about 30 Sonatas
Thomas Tallis: Felix Namque
Padre Antonio Soler: Sonatas
György Ligeti: Hungarian rock; Continuum
Programme 1: "Born in 1685"
Händel Suite HWV427
Bach Partita nr.2 C Minor
Alberti Sonata D Major
Programmes 2.1-2.3: “Images de France”
2.1 Rameau Suite A minor
Debussy Images II
2.2 Bach French Suite G Major
Debussy Suite Bergamasque
Ravel Gaspard de la nuit
2.3 Rameau Suite D Major
Chopin Sonata B Minor op.58
Programme 3: “B&B&B”
Beethoven 32 Variations C Minor WoO80
Bach Partita nr.6 E Minor
Brahms 3 Intermezzos op.117
Beethoven Sonata nr.17 D Minor
Programme 4: “Schubert and Schumann”
Schubert Sonata B flat Major
Schumann Fantasie op.17
Programme 5: “Bridges of St. Petersburg”
Shostakovich Second Sonata
Tchaikovsky Grande Sonata
Programme 6: "Johann Sebastian Bach and Sons" with flutist Oksana Sinkova
C.P.E. Bach - 12 variations on "La Folie d'Espagne" for harpsichord, H 263
W.F. Bach - Sonata e minor for flute and harpsichord, F 54
C.P.E. Bach - Sonata A Major for harpsichord, W55/4
J.C.F. Bach - Sonata d minor for flute and harpsichord, HW VIII/3.1
J.S. Bach - Partita no 2 c minor for harpsichord, BWV 826
C.P.E.Bach - Sonata g minor for flute and harpsichord, H 542.5
Choice of media reviews about the performances of Irina Zahharenkova:
''Irina Zakharenkova was very impressive in doing so: we got all the musical colour we might have wished for, but played with the delicacy required to blend with the other musicians rather than fight against them.''
- By David Karlin, Bachtrack
"This young pianist, born in 1976, is the tenth woman that wins this competition and the first Estonian who does it. /.../ The Jury of the competition, under the chairmanship of Guillermo González, has awarded her with the first prize because of her performance of Chopin’s Concierto número 1 en mi menor, Opus 11. This first prize consists on € 18,000, a three concerts tour in Andalusia, and a gold medal. The Estonian pianist has also received another two of the six awards of the competition. She has been awarded with the ‘Música Contemporánea’ prize (€ 3000) for her performance of Marina, by Eneko Vadillo Pérez; and she has received the ‘Trofeo del Público’ award, given by the public that attended the final."
- Goldberg, Spain
''Joining the orchestra was Irina Zahharenkova, a young Estonian pianist /.../ she produced wave after wave of colorful, seamless sound. Some phrases swelled and then retracted; others cascaded delicately down the scale. All of them were thoughtfully shaped in one way or another.''
- By Nathan Jones, Raleigh, CVNC, an Online Arts Journal in NC
''The wonderful harpsichord playing of Irina Zahharenkova , her playing is rhythmic, inventive and skilful "
- Dominy Clements , MusicWeb International
"Irina seems to be one of our best-kept secrets /.../ She deserves to be more widely recognized"
- Susan Rivers, Chief Executive Borletti-Buitoni Trust.
"Irina Zahharenkova si è rivelata una pianista di grande originalità, che alla solidità pianistica unisce una espressività musicalmente matura e in grado di suscitare emozioni. Un pianismo ‘dalle tinte nordiche’ di grande intensità comunicativa."
- RAI, Filodiffusione, Italia
''Elle est la digne héritière d’une Wanda Landowska par son jeu expressif, par son vaste répertoire (en gros de Scarlatti à Ligeti) et une technique époustouflante!''
- Christine Ducq, La Revue du Spectacle.fr
"Tasaisen varmojen jousiteosten yli nousi Irina Zahharenkovan pianismi, joka loi iltaan valoa ja oikeaa musiikin puhetta. ...Zahharenkova todisti, että piano voi puhutella myös kauneuden ulottuvuudella. "
- Ilmo Pokkinen, Länsi-Savo
"Это гипноз, несомненно ..Как она харизматична, уверенна /.../ “естественная природная музыкальность” "
- Yan Smirnitski, Moskovski Komsomolets