LSM Newswire

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Piano Prodigy Jan Lisiecki Plays Chopin at Brott Music Festival



Globetrotting teenage piano sensation Jan Lisiecki plays an all-Chopin orchestral program at the Brott Music Festival, Thursday, July 29, in Hamilton. This will be the closest the 15-year-old comes to Toronto in a year that sees him performing from Poland to Guatemala, to Korea and Japan, and across the U.S. and Canada, and winning two special awards.

The Calgary-based pianist performs with the National Academy Orchestra and conductor Boris Brott July 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the McIntyre Theatre at Mohawk College, 135 Fennell Ave. W. (at West 5th), Hamilton. Tickets, $27 ($22 seniors and $10 students), are available from, or by calling 1-888-475-9377, or 905-525-SONG (7664). Group rates are available for groups of 10 or more.

This marks Lisiecki’s fourth appearance at the Brott Festival since he was an 11-year-old prodigy. Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Chopin, he performs three masterworks by the beloved Polish composer – Rondo alla Krakowiak, Op. 14, Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, and Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brilliante, Op. 22.

Maestro Brott comments, “Our audiences can’t get enough of Jan Lisiecki. He plays Chopin with the insight and spirit of an ‘old soul’ yet with the compelling vigor of a young man!”

Apprentice conductors Geneviève Leclair and Samuel Tam will also share the podium for the concert.

This year has been a particularly gratifying one for Jan Lisiecki. It opened January 1 with a Chopin solo recital at Chopin’s birthplace in Zelazowa Wola, followed by Piano Concerto No. 1 in Krakow. (Lisiecki is the son of Polish immigrants.)

In May, his debut CD was awarded a Diapason d’Or from France. The CD features the two Chopin piano concerti, with the Warsaw Sinfonia under British conductor Howard Shelley (a pianist himself). It was the first a series of recordings on modern instruments, issued by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute. The Diapason website describes Lisiecki as “an unmannered virtuoso already with virile and above all, irresistibly natural playing.” The concerti were recorded duringChopin and his Europe festivals at the Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall in August 2008 and 2009.

In a four-star review of the CD, BBC Music Magazine has just called Lisiecki a “remarkable young soloist (who) is perhaps the most ‘complete’ pianist of his age I have encountered.” Reviewer John Allison refers to “Lisiecki’s astonishingly mature musicality,” and his “sensitively distilled” interpretation of the contrasting concerti, playing “with sparkling technique as well as idiomatic pathos.”

The CBC’s French service also honored Lisiecki, as the Classical Music winner of itsRévélations Radio-Canada Musique. Winners in several musical categories were chosen for their interpretation, innovation, musicality, rigor and technique. Between 2010 and 2011, the winners will be featured in numerous radio and TV broadcasts on Radio-Canada and on the web.

In between, Lisiecki has been crisscrossing the country and the world. He performed on Canada Day at Parliament Hill; and his calendar features orchestral concerts and recitals in France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Korea, Japan, Guatemala, the U.S. and Canada – including a Debut Atlantic tour in September, and many performances in his home town and province of Calgary and Alberta.

PERFORMANCE-INTERVIEW: Jan Lisiecki will give a 20-minute performance-interview, live-to-air on The New Classical 96.3FM, Wednesday, July 28, 11:20 a.m. (also online

More info is at

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