One morning in December I awoke to hear the news on my clock-radio that a Canadian teen-ager had just received a Steinway piano as a Christmas gift. According to the online article, “Steinway gift inspires teen pianist,” the gift came from piano dealer and music instructor, Irene Besse. I was intrigued and decided to find out more.
The recipient, Jan Lisiecki, from Calgary, Alberta, is already an amazing pianist at age 14. He has been playing the piano since he was 5 and performing in concerts since age 9. He has now performed with orchestras over 35 times in Canada and internationally, and has won various music competitions as well.
A teacher first suggested to Jan’s parents that they get him involved in piano lessons to expand his horizons. They have not pushed him, but it is evident that he loves playing and is motivated to put in many hours of practice. In viewing this video profile by Joe Schlesinger, I really liked the personable and modest attitude of Jan and his parents. Even though Jan is very talented (as most of us would define “talented”), his parents avoid labelling him as a “prodigy” and try to keep his life as normal as possible. He attends a public school and has other interests which include reading, swimming, and flying.
Jan’s playing is really beautiful, and on February 14 you’ll have a chance to listen to his performances of Chopin Concerto No. 1 from Montreal, January 12, 2010 and Mozart Concerto No. 22 K 482 from Calgary, January 29, 2010 on CBC Radio 2.
I think you’ll enjoy visiting the links I have included so far in this post, as well as the ones below.
CBC Radio concert tracks:
Concerts On Demand: Jan Lisiecki at the 2009 Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival
Globe and Mail Review of Jan’s Performance on Jan. 12, 2010 with L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal:
Jan’s Debut cd, released in January, 2010:
I’m wondering if any of my readers have heard Jan in person. What were your impressions? Please feel free to leave a comment.