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...
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 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, Klaus Mäkelä and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. 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”, 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.
She makes frequent appearances as a juror of the world’s most prestigious piano competitions such as this year in Munich at the ARD Competition, Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, the Liszt Utrecht Competition and she was President of the venerable Geneva Competition. She also gave several sought-after master classes around the world, contributing to the success of a whole new generation of talented pianists. Recent highlights included her return to the Berlin Piano Festival, three tours in North America and numerous concerts in Germany, Austria and Croatia.
Her autobiography “A Note in Time” (Novum Publishing, London) – released in November 2021 – has received rave reviews globally. “Subtlety, which is a hallmark of her playing on the piano keys, distinguishes also her writing … an original writer couldn’t have done a better job.” (Augsburger Allgemeine). A “mesmerizing memoir” (Classical Voice North America). “A totally absorbing read” (La scena musicale). The book is currently being translated into German.
Ms Fialkowska’s long awaited fourth and final recording of her immensely successful “Chopin Recital” has been released on the ATMA Classique label in February 2023.
Back on tour in US and Canada in 2024-2025 and 75th anniversary tour in 2026.
A legend visiting… For the legendary Arthur Rubinstein she was “the born Chopin interpreter” – a reputation, Janina Fialkowska has preserved throughout her career. One may call, no, one must call the Grande Dame of the piano her mentor’s heir. Chopin’s spirit flows out of her in each melodic phrase and Chopin was the central figure of the program she gave for the Klavier-Festival Ruhr. A true pianistic moment of glory.
Music of the soul out of love for Chopin.
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 Fialkowska 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 […]
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