Pianist and creator of “The Nutcracker and I”, Alexandra Dariescu stands out as an original voice whose fundamental values are shining a light on gender equality in both her concerto and recital programming as well as championing lesser-known works, advocating for diversity and inclusion.
Dariescu has performed with such orchestras as London and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Oslo Philharmonic, European Union Youth Orchestra, Utah Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec and Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, among others. Conductors she worked with include Jiří Bělohlávek, Alexandre Bloch, Michael Francis, Fabien Gabel, Ben Gernon, Cristian Măcelaru, Jun Märkl, Vasily Petrenko, André de Ridder, Clemens Schuldt, Alexander Shelley and John Storgärds. Dariescu made her debut at Carnegie Hall in 2011 and has since appeared in some of the most well-known concert halls around the world, including Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Musikverein, Konzerthaus and Staatsoper Vienna, Staatsoper Berlin, Wigmore Hall, Barbican London, BOZAR Brussels, Kaufman Music Centre New York, Dubai Opera, Musashino Hall Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai Grand Theaters.
A true visionary, Dariescu gives the US premiere of the newly discovered Piano Concerto by George Enescu coupled with Clara Schumann’s Concerto for her debut with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this season. For her Houston Symphony Orchestra debut, Dariescu gives the US premiere of Nadia Boulanger’s Fantaisie coupled with Cesar Franck’s Symphonic Variations. Further debuts in the 21/22 season include Basel Chamber Orchestra at the Enescu Festival, Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra and Lapland Chamber Orchestra (Clara Schumann Concerto) and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra in the Finnish premiere of Nadia Boulanger’s Fantaisie. Dariescu also gives the German and Polish premieres of George Enescu’s Concerto with the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen and the Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie. As Artist in residence at the Teo-Otto Theater Remscheid, Dariescu will present Grieg Piano Concerto with the Bergische Symphoniker, a solo recital and three performances of her highly acclaimed production of The Nutcracker and I, which will continue touring, appearing at Schloss Elmau, Aldeburgh, Leeds Town Hall and Parktheater Iserlohn. Dariescu will also be returning to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and make another US debut with Winston Salem Symphony. In recital, Dariescu juxtaposes Paris in the 1920s with today’s musical scene in a fascinating journey featuring Camille Pepin, Lili Boulanger, Germaine Tailleferre alongside Debussy and Ravel.
Dariescu took the world by storm in 2017 with her incredibly successful production of “The Nutcracker and I”, a ground-breaking multimedia performance for piano solo with dance and digital animation, which has since enjoyed international acclaim and has drawn young audiences into concert halls across Europe, Australia, China, the Emirates and the US, realising Dariescu’s vision of building bridges and making classical music more accessible to the wider public. In the 20/21 season Dariescu also premiered the revised Covid-safe version of the project, “The Nutcracker – reimagined” for solo piano, brass ensemble, narrator and dance at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, making it one of the few Christmas concerts to happen in 2020.
Dariescu’s discography includes her Trilogy of Preludes on Champs Hill Records with complete preludes by Boulanger/Messiaen/Faure, Chopin/Dutilleux and Shostakovich/Szymanowski as well as recordings of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Darrell Ang (Signum Records) and “Mesmerism” (NMC Records), which is a concerto written especially for Dariescu by award-winning British composer Emily Howard, in addition to the critically acclaimed audio book “The Nutcracker and I”.
Alexandra has been mentored by Sir András Schiff and Imogen Cooper. After graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music with the Gold Medal, where she studied with Nelson Goerner, Alexander Melnikov, Mark Ray and Dina Parakhina, Alexandra pursued her Masters at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Ronan O’Hora. A former artist of the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT), Alexandra was a Laureate at the Verbier Festival Academy and received the UK’s Women of the Future Award in the Arts and Culture category. In 2017 Alexandra was appointed patron of Music in Lyddington, Cultural Ambassador of Romania and Honorary Associate Artist of the Royal Northern College of Music. In spring 2018, Alexandra received the “Officer of the Romanian Crown” from the Royal Family and was selected as a Young European Leader by Friends of Europe. In 2020, she received the Order ‘Cultural Merit’ in the rank of Knight by the Romanian President.