For almost 50 years, concert pianist Janina Fialkowska has enchanted audiences and critics around the world. She has been praised for her musical integrity, her refreshing natural approach and her unique piano sound thus becoming “one of the Grandes Dames of piano playing” (Frankfurter Allgemeine).
Born in Canada, she began her piano studies with her mother at age 4 continuing on in her native Montreal with Yvonne Hubert. In Paris she studied with Yvonne Lefébure and in New York at the Juilliard School with Sascha Gorodnitzki, experiencing the best of both French and Russian piano traditions. Her career was launched in 1974, when the legendary Arthur Rubinstein became her mentor after her prize-winning performance at his inaugural Master Piano Competition, calling her a “born Chopin interpreter” laying the foundation for her lifelong identification with this composer.
Since then she has performed with the foremost orchestras worldwide under the baton of such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Sir Georg Solti, Sir Roger Norrington and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, to name one of the younger generation. She has won special recognition for a series of important premieres, notably Liszt’s newly discovered Third Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony and several contemporary piano concertos. Ms Fialkowska’s discography includes many award-winning discs, e.g. the BBC Music Magazine’s 2013 “Instrumental CD of the Year” award as well as the Canadian “Juno Award” in 2018.
Her native Canada has bestowed upon her their highest honors: “Officer of the Order of Canada”, the “Governor General’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award in Classical Music” (Canada’s equivalent to the US Kennedy Centre Awards), as well as three honorary doctorates. She passes on her wide musical experience in master classes and at her annual “International Piano Academy” in Bavaria, where she now resides and makes frequent appearances as a juror of the world’s most prestigious piano competitions.
Highlights of the last season before the first Covid lockdown were concerts with the BBC Symphony in England and Poland and two London recitals. She also performed recitals and orchestral concerts in Austria, Spain, Switzerland and returned to her native Canada for a spring and summer festival tour. A new CD with French piano music was released in September 2019 (Gramophone: “There’s simply no one quite like her.”). She continued with the 6th edition of her own “International Piano Academy” in Bavaria and acted as a juror of some of the world’s most prestigious piano competitions.
2020 began promising with another tour in North America featuring concerts in 5 Canadian provinces including a highly acclaimed recital at Salle Bourgie in Montreal as well as a recital at Willamette University in Oregon’s capital Salem, before the consequences of the corona epidemic stopped her tour cancelling her last two concerts. The subsequent lockdowns prevented numerous further engagements, although a brief loosening of the restrictions allowed her to return to the prestigious Klavier Festival Ruhr for an enthusiastically acclaimed recital on September 30 as well as to the Belfast International Arts Festival where she performed Beethoven’s piano concertos Nos. 3 and 4 in October of 2020
On May 7, 2021 Ms Fialkowska celebrated her 70th birthday.. Most of the concerts of her “Birthday Celebration Tour” were cancelled as well as the production of a new CD. Nevertheless her birthday was heartily celebrated in the media worldwide. In November her autobiography “A Note in Time” (Novum Publishing, London UK) was released.
She was looking forward to a tour of a seven weeks in Canada and the US starting in late January of 2022. But yet again, Covid restrictions and logistics put a spanner in the works. What remained of this tour was a short one-week trip across the Atlantic in early March with two concerts for Portland Piano International in the US and a triumphant comeback recital for the Ottawa Chamber Festival.
At the end of April 2022 Janina Fialkowska goes on a tour of four Canadian provinces starting in Halifax with Symphony Nova Scotia, followed by a recital in Quebec City for the Club Musical. After concerts with the Calgary Philharmonic she will perform in Ontario at the Guelph Festival as well as for the in Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society and at the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts. There will be a recital at Montreal’s Salle Bourgie that was originally scheduled in February. Janina Fialkowska will be ending the tour in Saskatchewan with a concert in Regina with the Regina Symphony and a recital in Saskatoon for Gustin House. After that she will return to Europe and perform at the Berlin Piano Festival in Germany’s Capital as well as the prestigious Klavierfruehling Deutschlandsberg in Austria.
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