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I, Olga Manko (artist name Olga Minskaya) was born in 1977 in Minsk, Belarus. When I was 6 I began to learn the cello and piano at the youth conservatory there (SSMSch at BGK). After successful completion in 1994, I attended the Gnessin Music Academy in Moscow.

In 1996 I continued my musical education at the Detmold University of Music with Prof. Karine Georgian (cello). During my studies I received various scholarships from public cultural societies and took part in various music festivals, competitions and master classes (among others with G. Hofmann, M. Rostropowitsch, L. David). As a member of various ensembles, renowned orchestras and as a soloist, I have given concerts in Germany and various European countries. From 2004 I received singing lessons from Gudrun Elpert-Resch in order to expand my musical possibilities. A little later I also showed my interest and my talent as a composer for film music, which led to my going to Palermo to study composition with Maestro Marco Betta.

I have received several awards for my compositions:

- “Moment” at “Photokina videofun” 2006 in Cologne;

- “Under the tent” for the best music solution at the Dortmund International Women's Film Festival 2007;

- “Apotheker” for “The Worlds Best Work Award 2010” at the “New York Festival”.

I particularly enjoy composing for the violoncello and recording my own compositions. In 2009 and 2010 I was invited as a jury member for the 14th and 15th International Short Film Festival in Gütersloh. From April 2010 to April 2013 I was a member of the German-Russian Film Academy.

I am currently living in Germany in North Rhine-Westphalia and have made my professional contacts here, which helps me a lot. I play in a duo with the guitarist Vitalij Engbrecht, in which we present our own music. With the cello quartet «Cellosequence» we have different projects, which often have a rather unusual format - e.g. we create a musical hike through the forest, work with cabaret artists, with whom we bring the music from old German films to life. Another time we bring light and music in connection with each other or we organize a concert in which we show the path of those German cellists who have further developed the cello into a virtuoso instrument. All of this inspires me and also encourages me to compose virtuoso and modern pieces for several cellos that we plan to perform in the near future. All of this also inspires my students, which is very, very important to me, because I really enjoy working with children. I also take part in performances for children, for example in the context of the music theater piece “Herr Buffo und der Notendieb”, for which we have received funding from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. This piece was also recorded as a CD production for the label «Kaleidos» with my participation.

Working in the “Ensemble Vinorosso” made it possible for me to take part in the production of the CD “Unterwegs”, for which I and V. Engbrecht recorded my own composition.

At the moment I'm trying to concentrate more on chamber music, which doesn't just have a classical format - I'm very open to creative and new ideas.

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