Valentina Lisitsa Pianist
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. Washington Post Online wrote: "It's striking that her playing is relatively straightforward. 'Straightforward' is an inadequate term for virtuosity. She does not tart the music up. She does not seek to create a persona, and much less impose one on what she is playing. She offers readings that are, when you penetrate through the satin curtains of the soft playing and the thunder of the loud playing, fundamentally honest and direct. You feel you're getting a strong performer but also a sense of what the piece is like rather than of how Lisitsa plays it. I was impressed, sometimes dazzled and sometimes even taken aback by the ferocity of her fortissimos. And she is also a delicate, sensitive, fluid player who can ripple gently over the keys with the unctuous smoothness of oil. "
She posted her first video on the internet platform YouTube in 2007, a recording of the Étude, Op. 39/6 by Sergei Rachmaninoff. 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 346,000 subscribers and 147 million views with an average of 75,000 views per day.
For the 125th anniversary of Tchaikovsky's death, Decca will release a special CD-Box in November 2018: the complete works for solo piano by Tchaikovsky recorded by Valentina Lisitsa (as well as some duets recorded with her husband and duet partner Alexei Kuznetsoff). Some of the works have just recently been rediscovered and were never recorded before.
In 2018/2019, Valentina will play concerts with orchestras in the USA, Finland, South Korea, Italy and Scotland. Moreover, recitals will bring her to South America (Bogota, Colombia and Joinville, Brazil), Portugal (Sintra and Porto), Italy (Messina and Catania), Istanbul, Prague, Paris, Barcelona and Beijing (NCPA). Furthermore, she will be artist in residence at the Internationale Musikfestspiele Saar and the Palermo Classica Festival.
The last season included a tour with the Russian State Philharmonic in Great Britain with concerts in London, Edinburgh, Cambridge and Warwick, as well as a South America Recital Tour to Buenos Aires, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro. She was invited to perform at numerous festivals such as the Palermo Classica Festival, Festival der Stille in Kaiserstuhl (Switzerland) and Festival Savoy Truffle in Megève (France). Valentina also performed in South Africa, Spain, France, Germany and Belgium.
Highlights of the past seasons were, among others, a sold-out concert at Auditorio Nacional with the Spanish National Orchestra, where Valentina played all piano concertos as well as the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninoff in one evening. With this more or less historical event, Valentina managed to captivate her audience until the very end as one could also read in the press.
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 "trademarks". The major label Decca gave Lisitsa an exclusive artist contract, releasing the live recording of the Royal Albert Hall concert only one week later on CD and DVD. In February 2013, Valentina Lisitsa made her debut in the large auditorium of the Berlin Philharmonie and she also appeared at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall London. In 2014 she performed with Orchestre de Paris under Paavo Järvi, with Staatskapelle Dresden at Semperoper, in London's Wigmore Hall and at Prinzregententheater Munich.
Her discography contains, among others, recordings of every piano concerto by Sergei Rachmaninoff, works by Chopin, Philipp Glass, Liszt and Scriabin as well as her latest CD Love Story – Piano Themes from the Cinema's Golden Age with major film music from the 1920s.
Valentina Lisitsa is represented worldwide by Natalja Slobodyreva at IMG Artists.