"...an 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 (*1968 Moscow) is an austrian composer and pianist. 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 and BVCO under Stefan Linev at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. She worked on the creation of this piece as a Norton Stevens Fellow during her stay  in  the renowned artist residency MacDowell /USA. Bowlin´s ´ latest CD, released by the New Focus Recordings in New York 2019, includes two of her works. Her sympjony orchestra work "Tarsis", nominated for the prestigious Rychenberg Competition (Switzerland) was recorded by the Musikkollegium Winterthur under Pierre-Alain Monot. Her composition „Annäherung“ for chamber orchestra, comissioned by the Government of the Province of Salzburg, was performed by the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg under Johannes Kalitzke and presented in the “Viva!Mozart” exhibition in Salzburg (with more than 219.000 visitors), celebrating Mozart's 250th birthday, and later in the Fine Art Museum of Sejong-Center in Seoul. The opening ceremony of the exhibition has been inaugurated by the President  of Austria Dr. Heinz Fischer.




Performances of her work have been held in renowned halls and concert series, a.o. in Musikverein, Wiener Konzerthaus (Nouvelles Aventures/Ergon, Le Marteau sans maitre/PHACE, 100 Years of the Austrian Composers Society), Chamber Series of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, "Vienna: City of Dreams" - Carnegie Hall & ACFNY, Merkin Concert Hall,  Chicago Cultural Center, Radiokluturhaus Vienna, Parliament of Canada, Fine Art Museum Seoul, Megaron Athens,  State Opera of Doentesk, Nordic House Tórshavn,  Manaus - Palácio da Justiça, Museum of History Ottawa, Komitas Chamber Music House Yerevan,  Großer Saal Mozarteum Salzburg,  Villa Massimo. Flagey Brussel, Schönberg Center Vienna, Bulgarian Concert Hall Sofia, Universitätsaula Salzburg and in Festivals  such as  Aspekte Salzburg (2010, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2021, 2022) Klangspuren, Dialoge Salzburg, Warsaw Autumn, Kiev-Fest, Summartónar Faroe Islands, International Review of Composers Belgrade,  ppIANISSIMO Sofia, Quad Cities Davenport, Sound ways St. Petersburg. Performances and workshops about her music in the music universities:  "10 Jahre Campus Culture" Donau Universität Krems, Mozarteum Salzburg, Anton Bruckner  Privatuniversität, Music University Vienna, MUK Vienna, Schnittke Institute Moscow, Sibelius Academy, Columbia College Chicago, Kent State University, University Bratislava, University Budapest.


Her works have been interpreted among others by conductors Johannes Kalitzke, David Fulmer, Alexander Drcar, Oswald Sallaberger, Lars Mlekusch, Nacho de Paz, Kasper De Roo, Christian Knapp, Christoph Cech, René Staar, Peter Burwik, Huang Ruo, Scott Voyles, Simeon Pironkoff, Gottfried Rabl, Edo Micic, Grigor Palikarov, Berislaw Sipus, Roland Freisitzer,  Wolfgang Danzmayr,  by interprets David Bowlin,  Katinka Kleijn, Alexander Janiczek, Peter Sigl, Dimo Dimov, Per Rundberg,  Artem Nyzhnyk, Jonathan Vinocour, Hayk Melikyan, Wei-Ping LIn, Dina Pysarenko, Tomasz Skweres, Ayano Kataoka, Conor Nelson, Ekaterina Nokkert, as well as by orchestras and ensembles such as the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, ICE International Contemporary Ensemble New York, Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra, Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Zaporozhje, öenm Salzburg,  PHACE, Wiener Collage, Zeitfluss, Stadler Quartett, ERGON/Athene,  Cantus Zagreb, TENM, die Reihe, ensemble XXI.jahrhundert, Da Capo Chamber Players, Nouvelle Cuisine Big Band, Svoboda zvuka, Max Brand ensemble.



"The refined and enigmatic music of Alexandra Karastoyanova-Hermentin..."   "...unique musical wolrd" (I care if you listen)

"Her Works play very fluid with a century-long musical tradition" (mica Austria)



Commissions for compositions include those from the Siemens Music Foundation, Konzerthaus Vienna, WDR - the West Germany Broadcasting, ORF - the Austrian Broadcasting, ICE New York, Aspekte Festival, Ensemble PHACE, Theodor-Körner Stiftung, Government of the Province Salzburg, Wiener Collage, StArt Festival Salzburg, ensemble xx.jahrhundert and as a compulsory work by HAMS International Music Competition Chicago and International Piano Competition "R. Marciano" Vienna.



Karastoyanova-Hermentin´s music has been recognized with numerous awards including the Austrian State PRIZE  “Outstanding Artist Award 2013 Musik”  of the Austrian Federal Chancellery, as a reward of her excellent compositions work (ensemble piece "Elimo"),  given to one musician nationwide and awarded through the Austrian Federal Minister Dr. Claudia Schmid. The outstanding artist award, until 2009 a promotion award, is an award for outstanding achievements in various art disciplines to artists of the younger and middle generations. The prize is awarded to artists who can present a meaningful oeuvre and whose works are of national artistic significance."Mit “Elimo“ hat Alexandra Karastoyanova-Hermentin Musik geschaffen, für die zutrifft, was die Dichterin Ingeborg Bachmann für die Poesie eingefordert hat: "Scharf von Erkenntnis und bitter von Sehnsucht"         (Dr. Dr. Gerhard Gensch, Donau Universität Krems).

2022 she is awarded the Prize of the City of Vienna the year-long Arbeitsstipendium für Komposition.


For her "special performance in the field of music" she was awarded 2007 The Promotion Prize of the City Vienna. She won three times the Austrian State Year-long Grant (2001, 2006, 2010). 2006 she won the  Vienna Symphony Orchestra Composition Grant, 2004 - The Composers Grant of the Federal Chancellery.  2002  she was the recipient of The year-long Annual Grant for Composition of the Province Salzburg, given to one composer.  Ms. Karastoyanova-Hermentin was awarded the Norton Stevens Fellowship for the prestigious residence MacDowell Colony/USA and The Theodor-Körner Award for Art and Science (2005). She is  the Winner of the Young Composers Project of the  International Contemporary Ensemble - ICE (2003). 

Her orchestra work "TARSIS" was nominated 2019 for the Rychenberg Competition and recorded by the Musikkollegium Winterthur under Pierre-Alain Monot. Most recently she is awarded The year-long  Prize of the Governement of the  City Vienna -  das Arbeitsstipendium  für Komposition  2022. 


 "Alexandra Karastoyanova-Hermentin is among the composing voices of our time who really have something essential to say"   (Drehpunkt Kultur)


Performances of her music have been broadcast by West German Broadcasting, WMFT Chicago „Live from Studio One“,  RBB Brandenburg, Bulgarian State Radio, Macedonian State Radio and released on CDs under the labels Austrian Broadcasting (Portrait CD ORF "ZeitTon"), Capriccio (RSO Vienna),  "Black and white statements" Gramola/Seda Röder, "Bird as Prophet" - New Focus Recordings/USA 2019, "Klavierkonzert" - Mozarteum Orchestra, HAMS Competition Winner for Viola/USA, "Viva!Mozart-Suite"/Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg and as a pianist - Carmina Burana - K.Orff (for two pianos, choir, percussion and soloist.


She has performed as a pianist  both in the field of classical music and in many performances of new music, a.o. as a soloist with the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg (Mozart´s piano concerto  KV 490). She also was a guest performer in the New Music festivals such as Aspekte Salzburg, Hörgänge Wien (Konzerthaus Vienna), Sofia Summer (Bulgaria Hall), Skopsko leto, Nacht der Komponisten Salzburg, Austrian Culture Days /Sofia, premiered works of Austrian composers, including "Endymion" by Ludwig Nussbichler (Mozarteum Orchestra, Johannes Kalitzke), Christian Ofenbauer.  

Karastoyanova-Hermentin regularly teaches masterclasses in piano and composition and serves as a juror at international competitions (Feurich Piano Competition, Valletta Piano Competition, Komponistinnen Preis der Grünen Wien & Wien Modern), DMMA/Ukraine, Matasovsky Kompositionswettbewerb, Sofia Symphonic Summit, Vienna Summer Music Festival, SYN(es)THESIS (composition and film scoring) Sofia. Ms. Karastoyanova-Hermentin  has also been on the advisory board of the Austrian Composer Union and mentor in the Mentoring program of the Austrian Federal Chancellery.


Born 1968  in Moscow, into a musician family, Mrs. Karastoyanova-Hermentin holds a master´s degree in Composition at the University Mozarteum Salzburg (with Boguslaw Schaeffer) 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, with Dimitar Tsanev at the Music College "L. Pipkov" in Sofia and with Sergei Solodovnik at the  Music College „Ippolitov-Ivanov“ (1983-1985) in Moscow and got specialised in piano with  Karl-Ulrich Schnabel, Marcello Abbado, Oxana Yablonskaya and Alexej Ljubimov. Alexandra Karastoyanova-Hermentin resides in Vienna.