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2.09 Hopner House at 7 PM
Duo Vlorent Xhafaj (cello, Albania/France) and

Irina Zahharenkova (piano, Estonia/Finland)
Programme: Schumann, Saint-Saëns, Sibelius etc
Tickets 12€/8€


began his cello studies at the age of 6. At the age of sixteen, he won the 1st prize at the “Young Talents” competition and went to France a few weeks after that, continuing his studies under the guidance of V. Marin-Queyras at the Regional Conservatoire in Paris, which he graduated in 2003 with an award-winning diploma. During the same period, he took master classes from recognized musicians which included the Alban Berg Quartet, Philippe Muller, Enrico Dindo, Tilmann Wick, Miklos Perenyi, Mario Brunello. In 2004 he was accepted into the class of Anne Gastinel at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon, where he finished with a master’s degree and a first prize in cello and chamber music. He was a member of the world’s best youth orchestras, such as Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, Lucerne Festival Orchestra Jugend, as principal cello in 2007 and 2009, playing with conductors like Valery Gergiev, Pierre Boulez, Herbert Blomstedt, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sir Neville Marriner etc. As a chamber musician V. Xhafaj has performed in such concert halls as Ircam (Paris), Philarmonie (Koln), KKL (Luzern), Salle Molière (Lyon), Cité de la Musique (Paris), Palais des Congres (Strasbourg), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Teatro Coliseo (Buenos Aires), Teatro Bradesco (Sao Paulo) etc. His chamber music partners include Tedi Papavrami, Boris Brovtsyn, Francois-Frederic Guy, Ilya Gringolts, Akiko Suwanai, Nikita Boriso Glebsky, Alexander Kobrin etc. V. Xhafaj plays regularly with such groups as the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Chamber Orchestra of the Auvergne, the Orchestra of the Opéra de Lyon and the Orchestra of the Suisse Romande, Royal Philarmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philarmonique de Strasbourg. He is supported by the Societe Generale Patronage Musical.

began her musical studies with her mother at the age of four. She graduated from the Georg Ots Tallinn Music School and the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (Master of Music, 2003), where her piano teachers were Prof. Mare Ots and Lilian Semper. She entered the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki as an exchange student in 2002 and then as a degree student in 2003, studying in the piano class of Dr. Hui-Ying Liu- Tawaststjerna. Irina has also participated in the master classes of András Schiff, Victor Merzhanov, Stephen Kovacevich and Angela Hewitt. In addition to the piano she has pursued advanced courses in harpsichord (degree from EAMT, Prof. Maris Valk-Falk), organ, chemistry, as well as Estonian and Finnish philology. Irina has won first prizes in many major international piano competitions such as the Johann Sebastian Bach Competition (Leipzig, 2006), Alessandro Casagrande Competition (Italy, 2006) and Georges Enescu Competition (Romania, 2005). Irina Zahharenkova has also been a laureate as a harpsichordist in the Prague Spring Competition in the Czech Republic (2005) and in the Festival van Vlaanderen competition
in Belgium (2004) as a fortepianist. An extremely versatile musician, Irina frequently performs on the piano and harpsichord in solo recitals, chamber music concerts and as a soloist with orchestras.


September 2, 2018
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Music Trust PLMF
+372 53302993
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