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For March we will be featuring the Calgary pianist Jan Lisiecki, as he spotlights some rarely recorded orchestra works by Chopin on his new Deutsche Grammophon recording.

Jan’s release of both piano concertos (recorded at the age of 13 and 14) with Sinfonia Varsovia and Howard Shelley was praised as one of the most exciting contributions to Chopin’s 200th anniversary year in 2010. The two live recordings that have earned Jan the prestigious Diapason Découverte award in May 2010, placed him on the map as a promising newcomer and resulted in his exclusive DG recording deal.

Now, Jan has fulfilled his dreams of completing the orchestral Chopin repertoire: To record all remaining works for piano and orchestra recorded in the studio with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, conducted by the Polish conductor Krzysztof Urbanski.

Just 21, Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki has won acclaim for his extraordinary interpretive maturity, distinctive sound, and poetic sensibility. The New York Times has called him “a pianist who makes every note count”. Lisiecki’s insightful interpretations, refined technique, and natural affinity for art give him a musical voice that belies his age.

Jan Lisiecki was born to Polish parents in Calgary in 1995. He began piano lessons at the age of five and made his concerto debut four years later, while always rebuffing the label of "child prodigy”. His approach to music is a refreshing combination of dedication, skill, enthusiasm and a realistic perspective on the career of a musician. "I might be lucky to have talent, but it is also about dedication and hard work,” says Jan.

Lisiecki was brought to international attention in 2010, after the Fryderyk Chopin Institute issued a recording of Chopin’s piano concertos, performed live by Jan at age 13 and 14. BBC Music Magazine wrote of the “mature musicality” of his playing and commended the “sensitively distilled” insights of his Chopin interpretations; the release was awarded the prestigious Diapason Découverte. Confirming his status among the most imaginative and poetic pianists of his generation, Deutsche Grammophon signed an exclusive contract with Jan in 2011, when he was just 15 years old.

 

 

Here is a "young" Lisiecki performing one of the works on his new CD: