Stella Branzburg Sick received her early music education in Novosibirsk, Russia, at the Novosibirsk State Conservatory Preparatory School. Upon coming to the United States, she went on to earn her Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. She continued her studies at the University of Minnesota, completing her DMA in 2003.


A pioneer in the field of long distance piano performance and instruction, Stella has taught students in various parts of the United States from her private and collegiate studios in Minnesota, connecting her piano to the student’s piano over the Internet. Using long distance MIDI connectivity technology in conjunction with video conferencing, she has performed long distance as well.


Stella has been a Managing Director of the Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition since June 2004. The e-Competition has become a highly respected event worldwide and exploits modern technologies in novel ways, by bringing performers from around the world to the competition via “virtual auditions” as well as sharing the competition performances with worldwide audiences.


Stella has become a frequent presenter at major conferences, including the College Music Society, Music Teachers National Association, and the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. In 2009, she was also a contributor to Clavier Companion.


An active solo and chamber performer, Stella is an adjunct assistant professor at Hamline University where she teaches music history and piano.