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Photos:  Irina Mednik (TOP-LEFT)

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"...a relaxed and resourceful technique...her playing was admirably honest and clear-textured...puts her in select circle"
The New York Times

"...Irena Portenko (piano) shaped Bach moving as a terpschorean, true and perfect, as one rarely could listen to it."
Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Germany

"A superior talent"
- Audiophile Audition

"Natural, effortless touch"

Sulzbach-Rozenberg, Germany

"A distinctive voice"

Fanfare magazine

"...easy fluidity of touch and tone"

Music & Vision (London, UK)

"...sonorous and powerful [sound]"

New York Concert Review

"Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto interpretation with brilliance and feeling, resonance and contrast."

The Leonding Journal (Austria)

Ukrainian-born Irena Portenko first displayed love and talent for the piano at age three and by age eight, debuted as soloist with the Ukrainian National Orchestra, performing Haydn's Concerto in D Major. Since then, Ms. Portenko’s distinguished array of concerto performances, recitals, festival appearances and recognitions at international competition has garnered impressive accolades from both audiences and critics throughout Europe and North America, granting her a career of international status.

In 2008, upon an invitation from Artists International, Ms. Portenko’s gave a critically acclaimed debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall featuring a performance of Frédéric Chopin’s complete 24 Études, prompting Anthony Tommasini, reporting for the New York Times, to write: “Ms. Portenko pulled off a feat that puts her in a select company.”

As a recording artist, Ms. Portenko released a CD of Chopin’s Études on the Blue Griffin Label, which was met with significant critical praise from such outlets as Fanfare Magazine, for which Dave Seaman wrote: “[I] listened to Portenko’s CD four times before writing this review, and each time found new subtleties to enjoy... it is a product of a distinctive voice and a fine temperament. Her interpretation develops the cycle’s continuity with considerable success.” London’s Music & Vision Daily echoed the approval, commending Ms. Portenko’s “enviable ease... fluidity of touch and tone...” (Robert Anderson). The CD continues to receive airplay nationwide in the United States, and was the August 2010 “Choice CD” on WCLV, praised by the radio’s on-air personality Bill O’Connell as an “enormous undertaking, a pianistic high-wire act-to say the least!

Her passion for collaborating with and performing the music of contemporary composers has led her to interpretations of numerous works by living American, Ukrainian, Chinese and German composers. The Tryptich "Venetian Blinds" for solo piano by Grammy Award winner Michael Daugherty (2003) was recognized by Mark Stryker of the Detroit Free Press as "...the most powerful work on the program...” Mr. Stryker went on to say, “Pianist Irena Portenko's exciting reading unlocked the music's technical challenges".

Frequenting the stage often, Irena Portenko has appeared as a soloist with orchestras and has performed under the batons of Kenneth Kiesler (USA), Rossen Milanov (BULGARIA-USA), Volodymyr Sirenko (UKRAINE), Uwe Harrer (AUSTRIA), Allin Vlasenko (UKRAINE), and Dai Uk Lee (REPUBLIC OF KOREA). In addition to her recital and solo work, Ms. Portenko is an avid chamber musician, and has appeared in that capacity with distinguished artists at the festivals and recitals in the Ukraine, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, and the United States.

As a passionate educator, Irena Portenko takes a pride of her piano studio in Westchester, NY. Ms. Portenko's guidance, along with her passion and hard work inspire her students to strive toward and win top awards at the International Piano Competitions and Festivals.

Ms. Portenko holds Doctoral and Master's degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Michigan, and a Post-Graduate degree in Collaborative Piano from the Ukrainian National Academy of Music.