Sten Heinoja began his piano studies at the age of four in the preparatory class of the Tallinn Music High School under the guidance of teacher Maie Klesment. Afterward, Sten continued his studies at the same school in Marju Roots’ piano class and graduated in 2012. As of 2011, he was also concurrently studying under the guidance of Professor Ivari Ilja of the Piano Department of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre where he received his Bachelor’s degree cum laude in 2015.
Sten has successfully performed at several competitions in Estonia, as well as abroad. In 2007, for example, he was awarded a diploma and a special prize by the jury of the Klaviermusik competition held in Lithuania. In 2010, he earned the finalist diploma at a competition for young pianists held in Jurmala, Latvia. Sten has also competed successfully in Estonia: in 2009, he won third place and a special prize for the performance of Rodion Shchedrin’s piece at an interschool competition; in 2011 and 2012, Sten won first prize at the same competition. Sten’s greatest achievement of 2013 might be his performance at the competition held at the annual reunion of the Lions in Turkey, where the young interpreter reached the top six out of the 30 participants from Europe and was distinguished by the jury with a diploma. In 2014, Sten won the 8th Estonian Piano Competition, the previous laureates of which include currently some of the most renowned pianists in Estonia: Lauri Väinmaa, Ivari Ilja, Mati Mikalai, Age Juurikas, and many others. In addition, Sten was awarded a special prize by the Estonian Composers’ Union at the same competition for the best performance of a new piece, as well as a prize by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, a special prize by the Estonian Piano Teachers’ Association, and the Helmi Valtman and Lilian Semper scholarships. At the RCM Gateway competition held at the end of 2015, Sten was very successful and now moves on to perform at the most famous concert halls in London (the Wigmore Hall and the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room).
In the spring of 2016, Sten won the large competition “Klassikatähed 2016” organised by Eesti Kontsert, Klassikaraadio and Estonian Public Broadcasting.
In addition to participating in competitions, Sten also regularly performs concerts. In recent years, he has collaborated with the Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra in the USA, with whom he has performed the piano concertos of Edvard Grieg and Sergei Rachmaninov. Sten performs regularly in Estonia as well, as part of different chamber groups, as a soloist, and as an accompanist. In March 2015, Sten and violinist Linda-Anette Suss, as part of a chamber group, were granted the laureate diploma at the In Corpore competition. The duo was also awarded a prize by Eesti Raadio and a special prize for the best performance of a classicistic piece. In addition to the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Sten has also performed as a soloist in front of the symphony orchestra of the Tallinn Music High School and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. In recent years, Sten has improved himself in several piano masterclasses under Professor Vanessa Latarche, Professor Claudio Trovajoli, Professor Eteri Anjaparidze, Docent Lauri Väinmaa, etc. In the summer of 2011, Sten was invited to participate in a masterclass where he was taught by one of the most renowned pianists in England, Alasdair Beatson.
Sten has collaborated with conductors such as Mihhail Gerts, Paul Mägi, James Feddeck, Olari Elts, Risto Joost, Alexei Izmirliev, Eimear Noone, etc.
As of 2015, Sten is continuing his studies in London, at the Royal College of Music. He was granted a full Master’s scholarship to complete his studies. His instructor is Professor Vanessa Latarche.