B i o g r a p h y
The Croatian pianist was born and brought up in Stuttgart (Germany), and is of Croatian descent. Formative studies in Germany with Ana Hartauer, Monika Giurgiuman and Prof.S.Rudiakov revealed her talents not only as in imaginative and thoughtful solo pianist, but also as notable accompanist and fine chamber musician.
By the age of twelve, Brekalo had already won four first prizes as soloist and two first prizes as a chamber musician in the German "Jugend musiziert" , and her precocious musical development was continued through generous grants from the "Oskar und Vera Ritter" foundation, the Baden-Württemberg Associations Patronage Price, and the ZEIT grant in the "Deutsche Sitftung Musikleben".
2001-2004 she was a Junior Student at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart, where she started her studies in 2004 in the class of Prof.S.Rudiakov. In 2006 she came to London to undertake further studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama under the guidance of Joan Havill, having gained a distinction in the Bachelor of music (Hons) as well as in her Master of Music (performance). She was grateful for the financial support of the Leverhulme Trust and the Worshipful Companies of Innholders and Insurers as well as the Simon Phillis Award and the Sergei Rachmaninoff award.
Diana Brekalo has performed in cities and major concert halls throughout Europe, USA, Japan, China (Oriental Arts Centre Concert Hall, Shanghai, Forbidden City Concert Hall, Beijing), Croatia including live broadcasts on TV and radio.
She has performed in many cities in the UK including the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, St.James Piccadilly, St.John´s Smith Square, St.Martin-in the-Fields, Bridgewater Hall, Fairfield Halls, and with numerous professional orchestras including the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, Dubrovnik Symphonie Orchestra and others.
Diana had her début with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Cadogan Hall in April 2011. She performed two piano cocertos in one concert: A world premiere of English composer Peter Fribbins and D. Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.1 with great acclaim.
Her prizes and awards include:
1997: 2nd prize at the Matthaes Piano competition
1998: National first prize winner in the German "Jugend musiziert"
1999: First Prize in the international Pinerolo Piano competition
2000: First Prize in the XIV International Piano Competition in Ibiza
Second prize in the German-French Lions club International Piano Competition
2007: Managing director´s prize at Jaques Samuel Piano Competition
2007: Second prize at the International Hastings Concerto competition
2008: Third Prize at the Oxford Music Festival Competition
2009: First Prize at the International Croydon Concerto Competition
2010: Winner of the Croatian Oscar media award with the title "most succesful female Croatian artist" by the main Croatian newspaper "Vecernji list"
2012: Winner of the Cambridge Soloist competition
Winner of the Manchester Midday Concerts Society competition
Diana is a member of "Live music now" in London and Stuttgart.
Further studies included master classes with Prof. M. Uhde, R. Gleissner, R. Piernay, R. Bowman, C. Prégardien, J. Rink, G. Lohmeyer, D. Borsan, G. Amiras, R. O'Hora, M. Roscoe, J.Rink, B. Morrison, F. Gamba, O. Gardon and K. Hellwig.
She was Artist in residence at Middlesex University in London 2010/2011.
Since 2011 she works at the Musikhochschule in Würzburg.
In May 2012 her live CD from the début with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Cadogan Hall (April 2011) was released.
Since 2014 she has been giving international master classes in China, England and Germany as well as adjudicating in piano competitions in England and Germany.