Alexandra Karastoyanova-Hermentin was born in 1968 in Moscow and is a renowned Austrian pianist and composer. In 2007, the premiere of her violin concerto Mahagony was performed in Carnegie Hall with David Bowlin as soloist and the Bulgarian Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, directed by Stefan Linev. In 2009 the Chicago Symphony Orchestra gave the premiere of her work Kastena in the Chamber Series at the Art Institute Chicago.
Premieres of her works have been held in: Musikverein, Wiener Konzerthaus, Merkin Concert Hall New York, Austrian Culture Forum New York, Chicago Cultural Centre, Parliament of Canada, Villa Massimo, Nordic House Faroe Islands, Flagey Brussels, Megaron Athene, State Opera Donetsk, Sibelius Academy, Palacio da Justica Manaus, Komitas Chamber House Yerevan und Klaus-von-Bismarck Köln, as well as at numerous Festivals: Aspekte Salzburg, Klangspuren, Kiev-MusicFest, ppIANISSIMO Sofia, International Review of Composers Belgrade.
For the Mozart Year 2006, she was commissioned to compose the piece Annäherung, which was presented as a part of the VIVA! Mozart exhibition in Salzburg museum, with over 219,000 visitors.
Interpreters of her works include such names as Johannes Kalitzke, David Fulmer, Katinka Kleijn, Artem Nyzhnyk, Hayk Melikyan, Alexander Janiczek, Per Rundberg, Dimo Dimov, Orchestras and Ensembles such as ICE – International Contemporary Ensemble New York, RSO Wien, Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg, Pazardjik Symphony Orchestra, Zaporozhye Symphony Orchestra, öenm Salzburg, Wiener Collage, die Reihe, Cantus Zagreb. She has received commissions from Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, Wiener Konzerthaus, WDR, ORF, Aspekte Salzburg, Ensemble PHACE, HAMS Competition Chicago.
She was awarded the Austrian state award “Outstanding Artist Award in Music” in 2013 for her composition Elimo. Further Prizes include: Austrian State Scholarship for Composition (2001, 2006, 2010), a subsidy from the City of Vienna, Aaron Copland Fellowship MacDowell Colony/USA, Wiener Symphoniker Stipendium, Theodor-Körner Preis, Winner of the Young Composers Project – ICE, a year’s Scholarship,Salzburg.
Alexandra Karastoyanova-Hermentin studied composition with Boguslaw Schaeffer and piano with Alfons Kontarsky at Mozarteum Salzburg. Before this, she had studied piano with Dimo Dimov and Boyan Vodenitcharov at the State Music Academy in Sofia, and also with Sergei Solodovnik at the Music College Ippolitov-Ivanov in Moscow. She lives in Vienna and since 2002 has been professor of piano, composition and chamber music at the Prayner Conservatory in Vienna.