Born in a little military town on the border of Russia and Finland, pianist Irina Stene was accepted to a public school and public music school at the age of 6. By 14, she moved away from her family to Arkhangelsk to study piano performance at the music academy, where she was accepted on a full scholarship. There, she completed a bachelor degree as a piano performer, concertmaster, and piano teacher. She continued her education at the Petrozavodsk State Conservatoire, and in 2003, graduated as a performer, concertmaster, and piano instructor, earning a Master's degree.
She has served as staff accompanist/pianist at a music school in Saint Petersburg, Russia working with children's groups and maintaining a private piano studio. In 2011, she moved with her family to Saint Cloud, MN. Since her arrival, Stene has worked at Saint Cloud State University, and St. John's University/St. Ben's College, where she has played countless student and faculty recitals with such musicians as Melissa Krause, Emily Olson, and clarinetist Tori Okwabi with whom she won the Wyzata Symphony Orchestra Competition.
Stene was recently accepted to the University of Minnesota for a D.M.A in Collaborative Piano/ Vocal Coaching, where she will study with Timothy Lovelace in the fall of 2015.