BIOGRAPHY

“She doesn’t play the piano” once said Gregg Smith, American composer and conductor of the renowned Gregg Smith Singers (GSS). “She makes music.” It is this deep reverence to Music as her highest artistic intention that has allowed Oresta Cybriwsky to unfold a rich and rewarding life deeply dedicated to self-expression through performing and recording, as well as to the encouragement of self-expression in others through teaching.

The Ukrainian-American pianist began her piano studies at the age of five with her father, Prof. George Cybriwsky, continued later with Prof. Bruce Simonds (former Dean of the Yale University School of Music), Prof. John Contiguglia (Syracuse University School of Music) and finally Professors Fernando Laires and Leon Fleisher (Master Classes) at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree in piano. Gregg Smith recognized and encouraged her flair for contemporary music. And so Gregg Smith invited Ms. Cybriwsky to New York City, where she began an exciting and inspiring intensive four years of professional work as pianist for the well-known vocal ensemble Gregg Smith Singers. Countless concerts and workshops followed, as well as extensive tours of 49 U.S. States and the Far East. She performed and recorded works by Ned Rorem, Elliot Carter, Lukas Foss, Louise Talma and Gregg Smith and others. The inspiring collaboration with many contemporary American composers was a further sign and confirmation of her expertise, and the renowned German composer Wilfried Hiller, corroborated this by stating “Oresta is a composer’s pianist”.

Oresta’s love for poetry and fascination for the expressive capacity of the voice have led her to combine these interests in the Art Song or Lied. With a two year study grant from the DAAD (German Academic Study Exchange) in 1978, Ms. Cybriwsky returned to the European “roots” of classical music, to specialize in German Lied with Prof. Konrad Richter at the University of Music and the Performing Arts in Stuttgart, Germany. She has remained in Europe with new roots, enjoying a particularly multi-faceted career as recital accompanist (vocal as well as instrumental), solo pianist, orchestral pianist (Stuttgart, Munich and Bamberg Philharmonic Orchestras), vocal coach at the Universities of Stuttgart & Würzburg, and opera coach at the Bavarian State Theater am Gärtnerplatz, Munich von 1981-86.

Artistic collaboration with such respected artists as Leonard Hokanson, Prof. Kurt Eichhorn, Krysztof Penderecki, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Ks. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, René Kollo, Dr. Barbara Daniels, Jakob Stämpfli, Ks. Francisco Araiza, Ks. Brigitte Fassbaender, Hartmut Höll, René Jacobs and others have confirmed Ms. Cybriwsky’s excellent reputation as internationally acclaimed pianist.

1991-92, in a European reunion with the Gregg Smith Singers and the renowned Les Percussions de Strasbourg, two extensive tours led through Italy and Sicily, where Cybriwsky was first pianist in Igor Stravinsky’s Les Noces. For the first time on German radio, classical art songs of Ukrainian composers were recorded and broadcast by the Bavarian Radio, with soprano Maria Stefiuk of the Kiev Opera and Oresta Cybriwsky at the piano. In 1993, she made her “Comeback” as solo pianist, producing her first solo CD prelude in 1996. Many