Valentina Lisitsa is not only the first “YouTube star” of classical music; more importantly, she is the first classical artist to have converted her internet success into a global concert career in the principal venues of Europe, the USA, South America and Asia.
The Ukraine-born artist began her musical education in her native city of Kiev at the Lysenko Music School for highly talented children and continued it at the Conservatoire in the city. Not confining herself to the musical world, she also dreamed of a career as a professional chess player.
After emigrating to the USA, Valentina launched herself as a piano-duet partner alongside her husband. Several competition successes and the consequent concert engagements marked the start of her life as a concert artist. Soon, however, Valentina Lisitsa looked for new ways of enlarging her audience. Her exceptional sense of new developments and her openness to unconventional approaches proved vital.
She posted her first video on the internet platform YouTube in 2007, a recording of the Etude op. 39/6 by Sergei Rachmaninoff. In a broadcast interview, she said: “My first YouTube clip was a lo-fi VHS recording on an awful school piano, and my hands were out of sync with the sound. But even so, my message came across to people. Straight away they started telling me that my interpretations meant something to them, that they changed things, that they stood out.” The views increased staggeringly; more videos followed. The foundation stone of a social-network career unparalleled in the history of classical music was laid. Her YouTube channel now records over 87 million clicks and 178.000 subscribers.
In 2010, Valentina Lisitsa played the Dutch premiere of the newly arranged “Piano Concerto No. 5“ (based on the Second Symphony) by Sergei Rachmaninoff with the Rotterdam Philharmonic. In 2011, she debuted with the Orchestra Sinfonica Brasileira under the baton of Lorin Maazel, having previously played with such orchestras as the Chicago Symphony, WDR SO Cologne, Seoul Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and Pittsburgh Symphony. She has worked with Manfred Honeck, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Jukka-Pekka Saraste.
A spectacular recital in London’s Royal Albert Hall before an audience of 8000 in June 2012 set the seal on her international breakthrough. Listeners had the chance to vote online in advance for their preferred programme – a form of audience participation that has become one of Valentina Lisitsa’s “trade marks”.
The major label DECCA gave Lisitsa an exclusive artist contract, releasing the live recording of the RAH concert only one month later on CD and DVD. This was followed by a CD release with the complete recording of four piano concertos and the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninoff with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Michael Francis. In October 2013, Valentina released her highly acclaimed CD with works for solo piano by Franz Liszt, including the allegedly unplayable and rarely recorded El contrabandista.
In March 2014 Lisitsa released a CD with film music miniatures of US legend Michael Nyman, to whom she dedicated her CD Chasing Pianos in honor of his 70th birthday. In November 2014, the Etudes album followed. Chopin and Schumann proved that etudes are much more than dry exercise pieces with their extensive Études Op. 10 and Op. 25 and the Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13. They created exciting, entertaining and highly challenging works that Valentina Lisitsa interprets in a fresh and clear manner. With her latest album Valentina Lisitsa plays Philip Glass, published in March 2015 she has once again turned towards the calmer, almost meditative sounds of Minimal Music.The double album contains the most important pieces for solo piano by Philip Glass, who became one of the most influential composers of our time with his personal style of minimalism.
In February 2013, Valentina Lisitsa made her debut in the large auditorium of the Berlin Philharmonie. Concert performances in the 2013/14 season have taken her to Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, according to Palma de Mallorca, the Rheingau Music Festival, Cologne, Munich and Stuttgart, to the
BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London, to New York, Washington and Chicago. In 2014 she performed with Orchestre de Paris under Paavo Järvi, with Staatskapelle Dresden at Semperoper, in London’s Wigmore Hall, at Prinzregententheater München and Concertgebouw Amsterdam and with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra in Vienna and Istanbul.
In the 2014/15 season Valentina Lisitsa is performing in Madrid, Stockholm, Prague, Singapore, Jakarta and Cartagena (Colombia) as well as several dates in Germany, France, Italy, Holland, USA and Canada. The season includes performances with the MDR Radio Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Prague Symphony Orchestra, and a tour in South Korea.
‘CHASING PIANOS’ – THE NEW ALBUM FROM VALENTINA LISISTA12th Mar 2014 A coming together of two artists with enormous followings – Valentina Lisitsa,...
Valentina Lisitsa Plays Liszt is out now!08th Oct 2013 "This is not another Liszt CD. There are no famous works on this CD. Some of th...
Valentina invites you to vote on the 92Y program!10th Jul 2013 92Y have announced their Opening Night with Valentina's New York debut on Octobe...
Valentina Lisitsa makes Australian debut!29th May 2013 Valentina is set to make her Australian debut on Saturday 8 June at Queensland P...
Valentina Lisitsa is to perform at Yellow Lounge London!26th Mar 2013 Established seven years ago in the Berlin club scene, Yellow Lounge took the cla...
Rachmaninov: The Piano Concertos / Paganini Rhapsody is OUT NOW!11th Mar 2013 The wait is finally over as Valentina Lisitsa's complete Rachmaninov album is re...
Rachmaninov: The Piano Concertos / Paganini Rhapsody now available to pre-order20th Feb 2013 Valentina has recorded all four Rachmaninov piano concertos and the Paganini Rha...
Valentina Live in Berlin!01st Feb 2013 Thursday 28 February 2013 Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany Valentina says: ...
LIVE stream this weekend!26th Oct 2012 This Sunday 28th October, Valentina Lisitsa will perform the Rachmaninov: Piano ...
Valentina Lisitsa plays Philip Glass (Download)
Chasing Pianos (CD)
Valentina Lisitsa plays Liszt (CD)
Rachmaninov: The Piano Concertos / Paganini Rhapsody (CD)
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 4 [Digital EP] (Download)
Rachmaninov Paganini Rhapsody [Digital EP] (Download)
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3 [Digital EP] (Download)
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 [Digital EP] (Download)
Live From The Albert Hall (DVD)
Live From The Albert Hall (CD)
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