Hailed by International Piano Magazine as "exhilarating" and "singing to heaven", Kazakh-born pianist and composer Aizhana Nurkenova combines captivating stage presence with rich musicality and masterful technique in a wide range of repertoire. A recent Hodgson Fellow for Piano at the Royal Academy of Music (London) and a piano soloist of the Kazakh State Philharmonia, Aizhana is active in many concert venues around the world and is currently residing in London. Her recent performances include solo recitals in the UK, Italy and Kazakhstan and chamber recitals at the Royal Festival Hall in London and the Juilliard School in New York City. As a soloist of the Kazakh State Philharmonia, Aizhana regularly performs in her home country. Her recent performance of the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No 2 with the Kazakh Philharmonia Orchestra in March 2012 was broadcast on the Kazakh National Channel "Kultura". Aizhana's own compositions have been recorded on CD and broadcast on radio and television.
Born to a non-musical family, Aizhana was seven years old when her mother discovered her composing at the piano and playing by ear. The same year Aizhana was accepted to the Special School for Gifted Children in her hometown Almaty after an outstanding audition at which she played only her own compositions. At the age of twelve Aizhana performed with the national chamber and symphony orchestras and was a winner and laureate of several national competitions and festivals. In 2004 she received a scholarship from Scuola Superiore di Musica da Camera (Italy) to study with the renowned Trio di Trieste and Trio di Parma. Upon graduation Aizhana won the Kazakh Presidential Scholarship "Bolashak" to attend the Royal Academy of Music in London. Under the guidance of Professor Hamish Milne, Aizhana received First Class Honours and Distinction in Bachelor's and Master's Degrees with the top mark in her Final Piano Recital.
Aizhana participated in master classes with some of the world's most prominent musicians including Richard Goode, Lilia Zilberstein, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Boris Petrushansky and Boris Berman. The winner of several piano competitions, Aizhana was awarded numerous prizes at the Royal Academy of Music including Leslie England Prize, Vivian Langrish Prize and Mrs Doris Ethel Blake Prize. She is a recipient of the Musicians Benevolent Fund Award, the Gilling Family Scholarship and the Winifred Christie Trust Award.
The winner of the Harriet Cohen and Samuel Harold J.S. Bach Prize from the Worshipful Company of Musicians, Aizhana is a devoted Bach performer. Her CD release of the complete English Suites by J.S. Bach is due in 2012.
As a composer Aizhana has always been interested in film music. In addition to her chamber and piano works, Aizhana composed a number of film soundtracks.