For over 40 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...
For over 40 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, 2015).
Born in Canada, she began her piano studies with her mother at age 4 continuing on in her native Montréal 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.
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”, 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.
A new recording of French piano music has been released on the ATMA Classique label on October 2019. The year 2020 marks her 70th anniversary season. For this occasion, she returns for a North American tour.
This programme, selected with such care and affection, is imbued with the character, style and intelligence which are the hallmarks of Fialkowska’s playing. The piece I haven’t mentioned is so overexposed that it has become almost a meaningless cliché. Claire de lune is lifted from the context of its suite and presented here as a stand-alone. The highest accolade I can think of for Fialkowska’s music-making is that her conception of Debussy’s shimmering moonlight is so strikingly original, yet stylistically aware and profoundly felt, that it’s as if you’ve never heard it before. There’s simply no one quite like her.
[…] as long as Janina Filkowska performs, Rubinstein won’t be forgotten.
[…] an evening of the most sublime and tasteful music-making imaginable […]
[…] one of the Grandes Dames of piano playing.
[…] she is an interpreter of sublime inspiration […]
a musician of extraordinary sensibility and captivating, artless purity […]