Praised for its “transparent, stylish and homogenous” playing and “elegant, in-depth” interpretations, the Stefan Zweig Trio is quickly establishing itself as one of the most exciting up-and-coming ensembles of today.
Based in Vienna, the trio was established in 2012 and unites three passionate chamber musicians with a broad range of experience. The members of the group are graduates of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and the Paris Conservatoire, and are laureates of major international competitions including ARD, Sendai, and the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition.
The ensemble is a member of the European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA) and enjoys regular artistic guidance from notable musicians such as Johannes Meissl, Avedis Kouyoumdjian, Hatto Beyerle and Miguel Da Silva.
In January 2015 the Stefan Zweig Trio made its London debut at the Wigmore Hall with a recital within the annual ECMA showcase and the following month they went on to win the first prize and the audience prize at the 6th International Joseph Haydn Competition in Vienna. Highlights of the past season included recitals at the reputed Kammermusik Hannover Concert Society and the Nürtingen Master Series, as well as a debut recital at the Musikverein in Vienna.
Through the trio’s choice of name, the three musicians sought to underline their affinity for the longstanding musical tradition of Vienna and the vivid emotional oeuvre of Stefan Zweig.
Japanese violinist Kei Shirai was born in Trinidad and Tobago and began playing the violin at the age of three. As a child he was taught by Tsugio Tokunaga and, while studying at Geidai University of the Arts in Tokyo, by Chikashi Tanaka and Miyoko Yamane-Goldberg. Upon his graduation in 2007, Kei Shirai was awarded a Japanese Government Scholarship to continue his studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna with Johannes Meissl. Among his awards at major international competitions are the second prize and the audience prize at the 2009 ARD Competition in Munich.
Kei Shirai enjoys a multi-faceted career as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician. His concert engagements take him frequently to Japan’s biggest venues and festivals. In Europe he performs regularly with the Stefan Zweig Trio and the Ludwig Chamber Players: an acclaimed mixed instrumentation ensemble based in Stuttgart.
Mr Shirai is a concert master of the Kobe City Chamber orchestra, a post he has held since 2013.
Bulgarian pianist Sibila Konstantinova completed her Bachelor and Master degrees in Piano Performance under a full scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama London with Joan Havill. Before moving to Vienna to study Piano Chamber Music with Avedis Kouyoumdjian at the University of Music and Performing Arts, she was a recipient of the prestigious GSMD Artist Fellowship from 2007 to 2009. Among her many awards are the Philharmonia Orchestra/MMF Award, the MBF Award and the Dame Myra Hess Award.
As a soloist and chamber musician Sibila has performed extensively throughout Europe in venues such as the Barbican Centre and the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the Grand Hall “Bulgaria” in Sofia and the Delft Chamber Music Festival, Grachtenfestival Amsterdam and the Festspiele Europäische Wochen Passau. Her performances have been recorded by the Bulgarian National Television and radio, the Performance Channel (UK), Radio Ö1 (Austria) and NDR4 (Holland).
As of 2013, Sibila is a lecturer for piano chamber music and an assistant of Avedis Kouyoumdjian at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.