“Raluca Stirbat is – in my opinion – the ideal performer. A magician whose finger can make the piano keys sing. She has such a sensitive nature that she appears to reinvent the music as she plays.” (Valentin Timaru – composer, Romania)
Raluca Stirbat was born in Iaşi, and began taking piano lessons at the tender age of six. She debuted as a concert pianist with Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D Major at the age of ten. From this point on, Raluca Stirbat was considered to be a wunderkind and has performed with all the major orchestras in Romania. After a year studying at the George Enescu music academy in Iaşi, she attended the University of Music in Vienna to study with Prof. Jürg von Vintschger, where she completed her M.A. in concert piano.
Soon the portals of major concert stages opened to her (Vienna Konzerthaus, Vienna Musikverein, Stefaniensaal in Graz or Mozarteum Salzburg, Salle Bozar in Brussels). Raluca Stirbat has won several national and international competitions (including Sanremo Classico in Sanremo and Stefano Marizza in Italy, Virtuosi per musica di pianoforte in the Czech Republic, or the Golden Lyre in the Ciprian Porumbescu competition in Romania). Her fame is underscored by a large number of recordings, as for the Swiss radio station DRS, Music Minus One (USA), Gramola and ORF (Vienna), Hungaroton (Budapest). Moreover, she has recorded all of George Enescu’s songs in collaboration with the ORF.
The list of her artistic activities as a soloist and chamber music partner is as impressive as the orchestral concerts which have taken Raluca Stirbat on tours of continental Europe, as well as Great Britain, Canada and Asia, and have made her a welcome guest at various festivals. 2015 she made her successful American debut at the International Piano Festival in Miami.
Raluca Știrbăț released an album (3 CDs) with the Complete Piano Works for Solo Piano (Hänssler classic, 2015), which includes for the first time Enescu’s works for piano in their entirety (Best Album of the Year by Radio România Muzical and special prize „In memoriam Iosif Sava” by Radio România Cultural).
In addition, the pianist is also intensively involved in musicology. She acquired her doctorate with a dissertation on The Piano Works of George Enescu and is currently working on two books about the life and works of the Romanian composer. Raluca Stirbat is also the founder and president of the International George Enescu Society in Vienna, and she realised (together with Prof. Larisa Schippel and Julia Richter) the German translation of the volume Capodopere enesciene by Pascal Bentoiu (George Enescu. Meisterwerke, Frank & Timme, Berlin, 2015). In 2016 Raluca Știrbăț initiated, prefaced and prepared for the press the new Urtext-Edition of the Complete Piano Works for Solo Piano by George Enescu (vol. 1, Grafoart, Bucharest, 2016).
Raluca Stirbat initiated the international campaign to Save Enescu’s House in Mihăileni, Romania, whose goal is to save the house of the great Romanian composer and found an international music academy there. For her extraordinary artistic work as well as social commitment, Raluca Stirbat has been named Integration Ambassador by the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Austria (March 2013) and as honorary member of the Pro Patrimonio Foundation (November 2014).