Tuesday 24 May 2016

Celebrating a milestone - pianist Janina Fialkowska's birthday tour

Janina Fialkowska
Janina Fialkowska
The Polish-Canadian pianist Janina Fialkowska was 65 on 7 May 2016, and to celebrate this milestone she is undertaking a year-long concert tour. Her official birthday concert (on 8 May 2016) was in Augsburg (birthplace of Mozart's father) playing Mozart with the Sacconi Quartet. She returns to Britain on 26 May when she will be performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 13 in C K415 at St John's Smith Square with the London Mozart Players, conductor Jamie Martin, the last concert of the orchestra's 1783 Explored series. 

Fialkowska is reunited with the Sacconi Quartet for a concert for The Chopin Society UK, at Westminster Cathedral Hall on 29 May, when they will perform Chopin's Concerto No 1 in E minor Op 11 and Concerto No 2 in F minor Op 21. Fialkowska will again be in the UK when she performs at the Cheltenham Festival on 27 July. Her recital at the Pitville Pump Room is devoted to Chopin, presenting a selection of his greatest works. She has also released an celebratory disc, of Schubert's Piano Sonata No. 7 and Four Impromptus, Op. 142, on ATMA Classique.

Remarkably, Janina Fialkowska was operated on for an aggressive tumour in her left arm in 2002. Surgery, rigorous rehabilitation, and 18 months of performing only single-handed repertoire enabled her to return to the concert platform playing two-handed in 2004.

On the significance of reaching 65, Fialkowska commented "Funnily enough, when I am giving master classes or coaching young pianists for international competitions, I feel as though we are of the same generation and that we are all on the same journey of discovery together. In fact there are times when I end up learning more from them than they learn from me. But then I remember that I am now exactly the same age as my professors Gorodnitzki (at Juilliard) and Lefebure (in Paris) were when I first went to study with them, and they seemed incredibly wise but also ancient at that time,"

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