Alexandra Karastoyanova-Hermentin

Alexandra Karastoyanova-Hermentin / Piano Festival "Clavis"

" opulent pleasure of sound..." - as described by the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" on the composer, who was awarded the Austrian State Prize "Outstanding Artist Award - Musik 2013" by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, for her composition "Elimo"

Alexandra Karastoyanova-Hermentin is an Austrian composer and pianist of Russo-Bulgarian descent (* Moscow). The interplay between what is familiar and what is distant, virtuosity and delight in experiment without negating playability and “listenability” are constitutive of the works by the austrian composer and pianist Alexandra Karastoyanova-Hermentin.

In 2007, her violin concerto “Mahagony” was premiered by David Bowlin in the Carnegie Hall.  Her work „Annäherung“ for chamber orchestra, comissioned by the Government of the Province of Salzburg, was presented in the “Viva!Mozart” exhibition in Salzburg (with more than 219.000 visitors), celebrating Mozart's 250th birthday. The opening ceremony has been inaugurated by President Dr. Heinz Fischer.

Performances of her work have been organized by the Carnegie Hall, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Chamber Series), the Konzerthaus Vienna and presented at such venues as  Musikverein, Merkin Hall New York, Parliament of Canada, Nordic House Torshavn, Flagey Brussel, Sibelius Akademy, Museum of History Ottawa, Megaron Athene, Komitas Chamber Music House Yerevan, Palácio da Justiça Manaus.


Her works have been interpreted among others by Johannes Kalitzke, David Bowlin,  Katinka Kleijn, Artem Nyzhnyk, Hayk Melikyan, Per Rundberg, Dina Pysarenko as well as by Radiosymphony Orchestra Vienna, ICE International Contemporary Ensemble New York, Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra, Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Zaporozhje.

Commissions for compositions include those from the Siemens Music Foundation, Konzerthaus Vienna, the West Germany Broadcasting, the Austrian Broadcasting, and as a compulsory work by HAMS International Music Competition Chicago, R. Marciano Piano Competition.

Karastoyanova-Hermentin´s music has been recognized with numerous awards including the Austrian State “Outstanding Artist Award 2013 Musik”, as a reward of her “excellent compositions work”, given to one musician nationwide; three times the Austrian State Year-long Grant, the  Vienna Symphony Orchestra Grant, The year-long Annual Grant of the Province Salzburg, given to one composer, the Presidental Theodor-Körner Award, "Aaron Copland" fellowship for the prestigious residence MacDowell Colony/USA, The Promotional Prize of City Vienna for her “special performance in the field of music”.

Performances of her music have been broadcast by West German Broadcasting, WMFT Chicago and released on CDs under the labels Austrian Broadcasting, Capriccio, Baby Independents, Gramola, Mozarteum Orchestra.

As a pianist she has performed as a soloist and chamber musician both in the field of classical music and in many performances of new music, as a soloist with the Mozarteumorchestra Salzburg a.o. She also was a guest performer in many festivals for New Music such as Aspekte Salzburg, Hörgänge Wien (Konzerthaus), Sofia summer, Skopsko leto. Recently she is professor in piano, composition, chamber music and music theory at the Prayner Conservatory Vienna, regularly teaches masterclasses in piano and composition and serves as a juror at international competitions (Wien Modern 2018, Valletta Piano Competition, Feurich Piano Competition).

Born 1968  in Moscow, into a musician family, Mrs. Karastoyanova-Hermentin holds a master´s degree in Composition at the University Mozarteum Salzburg by Boguslaw Schaffer and master´s degree in  Piano  at State Music Academy in Sofia  (with Dimo Dimov and Boyan Vodenitcharov), both achieving First-class honours. She also studied piano with Alfons Kontarsky (1994-1998) at the University Mozarteum and with Sergei Solodovnick at the  Music College „Ippolitov-Ivanov“ in Moscow. Ms. Karastoyanova-Hermentin got specialised with  Kar-Ulrich Schnabel, Marcello Abbado, Oxana Yablonskaya. Ms. Karastoyanova-Hermentin resides in Vienna.