Svetlana Karpunkina was born in Dushanbe, Tadjikistan. Her first formal involvement with music was at the age of six, when she began studying violin at the Republic’s special music school for gifted children. However, when she was ten, she changed her instrument to the piano and only two years later won the Bach Prize in a Republic-wide competition. At thirteen years of age, Svetlana successfully appeared as soloist with the symphonic orchestra of Dushanbe, performing the Mendelssohn G minor Piano Concerto.

At the age of fourteen, Svetlana began studies at the Music College of Moscow (1986-90) with Sobolev and Egiazarova. She later developed her piano study at the Nizhny Novgorod Conservatory with Bertha Marantz and then continued studies as soloist, accompanist and chamber musician at the Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in Moscow with the legendary Victor Merzhanov. There, in 1997, she was awarded the diploma of Master’s Degree with Excellence and Distinction. Svetlana then undertook advanced performance studies at the Moscow Conservatoire, later studying at the Basle Music Academy.

In 1998, she moved to Germany, with the aid of DAAD (The German Academic Donation), and Masefield Scholarships, to study at the Music Universities (Musikhochschulen) of Hamburg, Nuremberg and Cologne. She studied with Professors Banfield, Manz, and Valdma, achieving her Doctoral Performance degree (Konzertexamen).

Subsequently, through Géza Anda and Cornelia Gerber Foundation Scholarships, she attended a postgraduate programme at the Music Academy of Basle under the pianist Rudolf Buchbinder. From October 2005 to November 2007 she had an award from the International Artists’ Programme of the Stuttgart Academy Schloss Solitude, where she participated as soloist in different contexts.

Svetlana Karpunkina has participated in the Master Classes of Buchbinder, Francesch, Manz, Naumov, and Valdma and has performed in Australia, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the USA. She has been a Laureate in nine International Piano Competitions across the world, being awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes, Special Prizes, and Diplomas. In fact, Svetlana has been described as ‘an extraordinarily talented pianist’, and also as ‘a leading Russian pianist’.

Svetlana has participated in Music Festivals in Germany and Croatia, and performed as soloist with German, Swiss and Bulgarian orchestras. She has also appeared as recitalist across Europe, and in various venues in Greece. Since 2004 she has performed with the violinist Marc Komonko in a Duo throughout Europe under the Management of the Andreas Braun Concert Agency of Cologne.

Until summer 2004, Svetlana Karpunkina taught at the Music School and Music Academy of Basle, and until summer 2005, she was assistant at Arbo Valdma's piano class at the Music University of Cologne (Musikhochschule).

Since summer 2006 she has been living in Greece and has been active there as a concert pianist, as well as giving piano master classes and workshops. Since 2017 she has been teaching piano at Philippos Nakas Conservatory.

Svetlana Karpunkina

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