Having started her international career at the age of eleven, Hanna Shybayeva transformed from child prodigy into the mature and exciting musician she is today. She has been praised by the press and the audience for her compelling interpretations, captivating energy, great sense of form and rich colour palette. Being devoted to music in every form, Hanna enjoys her solo performances as much as being a collaborative partner in both chamber and vocal music.
Since 2008 she is a core member of the New European Ensemble. In the same year Hanna started the chamber music project Symphonic Intimacy with the Ysaÿe String Trio, showcasing symphonic works from the eighteenth century till the present in arrangements for chamber ensemble, made by the composers themselves or contemporaries.
Born in 1979 into a family of musicians, Hanna began her piano education at the age of six in her birthplace Minsk (Belarus).
In the course of time she won many prizes in Europe and the US, and developed a busy concert schedule with performances in festivals, recitals and in solo concertos with orchestras in Europe, Russia and the US, such as the Philharmonic Orchestra of Belarus, the North Ossetia State Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Belgrad, the Kammerorchester Lünen, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Dortmund, the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra (US) and the Chamber Orchestra Amici della Musica (Belgium).
Hanna was privileged to work with conductors such as Yuri Ziryuk, Gennadi Provatorov, Joachim Simon, Angel Shurev, Lygia O'Riordan, Moshe Atzmon, Marc Russell-Smith, Yaron Traub and Neeme Järvi. She was awarded grants from Unesco/New Names (Moscow), the George Soros Foundation, the Spivakov Foundation (Moscow), the Yuri Egorov Foundation (Amsterdam), Yamaha Music Europe and the Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation of the Netherlands.
At the age of eighteen Hanna left her hometown in search of new possibilities to learn and to explore her talent. After having spend a year travelling throughout Europe, she came to the Netherlands in 1999 to continue her studies with Naum Grubert at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, where she graduated in June 2005 as Master of Music with the highest distinction.
Her first CD-album (2000) was broadcast on the Netherlands’ classical Radio 4, and in 2001 she won the two top prizes at the YPF National Piano Competition in Amsterdam. Shortly afterwards, Philips-Universal released her second CD-album, which was highly praised in the Dutch press. Since then, her numerous performances include appearances at the annual Prinsengracht Concerts & Festval (Amsterdam), the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Vredenburg Utrecht, the Vereeniging Concert Hall in Nijmegen and many other venues, as well as concerts in Germany, Italy, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the US and Canada. In 2008 she participated in a documentary film based on Sergei Prokofiev’s The Unfinished Diaries, produced by Up Front Entertainment Inc. in Canada.
In 2009 she released a CD with Schubert sonatas on the Brilliant Classics label. In 2012 she recorded Rachmaninov’s Etudes-Tableaux (Etcetera/YPF). Her most recent CD Japan Echoes includes works by Toru Takemitsu and Kenneth Hesketh (Teriyaki Records, Italy, 2013).
questions & amswers
Which pieces got you interested in new music?
For me it was Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, preparing my music history exam in Minsk years back and being totally blown back to the walls of the listening library by the energy and rhythm … Second is Gorecki’s Third Symphony. I heard it when I lived already in Holland and I think it brought even back my interest in music in general. For me, being raised with Beethoven and Chopin all my life, it was just strange to feel the same or even stronger emotions while listening to this piece.
What makes playing new music in the New European Ensemble satisfying and worthwhile?
Being brought up as a solo pianist playing with my colleagues of NEuE gives me a feeling of liberation. Spending a lot of time on stage on my own I feel good, but deep inside I also feel that music is meant to be played and created with others. Humans are not meant to be alone, especially when it comes to music making. Playing together and doing crazy stuff that nobody wants to listen to – makes playing in the ensemble great fun (I am a rebellion:-))
which non-classical music do you like?
meet our members
Hanna Shybayeva piano
Rada Ovcharova violin
Mihkel Kerem violin
Emlyn Stam viola
Willem Stam cello
Ryan Linham trumpet
Annamia Larsson horn
Lars Karlin trombone
Felicia van den End flute
Christopher Bouwman oboe
James Meldrum clarinet
Ryanne Hofman bass clarinet
Jose ‘Pepe’ Garcia Rodriguez percussion
Wim Vos percussion
listen & watch
Hanna plays Prokofiev:
third piano concerto
Hanna plays rachmaninov:
etude tableau opus 39/1
Hanna plays schubert:
Piano sonata in a, andantino
rite of spring
Hanna’s non classical top 5
New European Ensemble is supported by Fonds Podiumkunsten (from 2017) and the city of The Hague