Born into a musical family, Alexandra Papastefanou graduated from the Athens Conservatory (class of Aliki Vatikioti) and went on to study with Olga Zhukova at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, with Peter Solymos at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest and, on a scholarship from the Alexander Onassis Foundation, at the University of Indiana in Bloomington, with Gyorgy Sebok. She has also taken lessons from Alfred Brendel.
Papastefanou was a finalist at the Clara Haskil Competition in Switzerland and has received the Liebstoeckl and Fazioli prizes at the international Geneva competition, as well as the Spyros Motsenigos prize from the Academy of Athens.
While pursuing her piano studies, Papastefanou took up music theory and composition, early on under I. A. Papaioannou, and later, in the United States, under Frederic Fox.
Along with her activity as a performer, Papastefanou pursued her in-depth study of Bach’s music, the meaning and enduring appeal of which she examined in a lecture series. She has performed all of Bach’s keyboard works and, in recital cycles, has presented his complete “Well-Tempered Clavier” (which she also edited for Nakas Music Publications), his “Goldberg variations”, the Art of Fugue, The Musical Offering as well as his concertos. She has also performed and recorded the works of Robert Schumann.
Her diverse repertoire extends from baroque composers to Toru Takemitsu, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Gyorgy Ligeti and George Crumb. Prominent, also are the innovative thematic cycles that she has chosen and presented over the years as lecture-recitals: Fantasias for piano, Works inspired from fairy tales, Romantic German literature and the music of R. Schumann, The tradition of the French Clavecinists in the piano works of Debussy and Ravel, Sounds of nature and the exotic element in music, Music and astronomy, Music and poetry, Music and myth.
She has appeared, always to enthusiastic acclaim, with symphony orchestras, in solo recitals and with chamber music groups across Europe (in Germany, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain, the Czech Republic, Russia, Finland and Hungary), the United States and Canada.
Also a composer, Papastefanou recorded her first album, “Enamel” (“Smalto”, in Greek), a collection of songs to her own music, lyrics and musical arrangements (Lyra records) and recently her cycle “12 Minerals”, for solo piano and “12+1 Shells an Shadows” for voice and piano were published by Ph. Nakas Music Publications.
Alexandra Papastefanou has repeatedly performed and recorded the piano works of major Greek composers as Dimitris Mitropoulos, Nikos Skalkottas, George Koumendakis, I. A. Papaioannou and Vangelis Katsoulis.
Her recording recently released by First Hand Records of a 4CD set of Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier has met with wide critical acclaim.
The album "Minerals" is her second collaboration with Subways Music. It was preceded by the album "Piano Works", in which she performed compositions for solo piano - and for two pianos - by Vangelis Katsoulis.