20-year-old Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki has signed an exclusive recording agreement with Deutsche Grammophon at the age of 15. His debut recording on the prestigious label featured Mozart’s Piano Concertos K. 466 & 467 with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Christian Zacharias.
Nominated for a Juno Award for classical album of the year 2013, the CD was described by the New York Times as “pristine, lyrical and intelligent […] direct, unmannered and fresh.” Lisiecki’s second DG album, released in April 2013, features Chopin’s Études op. 10 and op. 25.
Recognised for his poetic and mature playing, Lisiecki has been awarded many prestigious awards. In 2013, he received the Leonard Bernstein Award of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, in 2011, Jeune Soliste des Radios Francophones, and in 2010, Révélations Radio-Canada Musique. In 2012, he was named UNICEF Ambassador to Canada after being a National Youth Representative since 2008.
Performance highlights in recent seasons included concerts with Claudio Abbado and Mozart Orchestra, his subscription debut with the New York Philharmonic, his BBC Proms debut with Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia at Royal Albert Hall in London, and his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the Bravo Vail Festival. His official subscription debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra took place in April 2014, where he performed three different Mozart concertos in one week. Recent debuts also included concerts with Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala in Milano under Daniel Harding, return engagements to Orchestre de Paris, debuts with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, recital debuts at Santa Cecilia in Rome, in San Francisco, his Wigmore Hall debut in London and his debut with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in June 2015. Since the 2012-2013 season, Jan is a member of Konzerthaus Dortmund’s series “Junge Wilde.”
Jan Lisiecki has substituted for Martha Argerich and Nelson Freire, and has shared the stage with Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman and Emanuel Ax, and has performed in Armenia, Belgium, Brasil, China, England, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Korea, Poland, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, the USA and throughout Canada. Worldwide recital debuts included Berlin, Brussels, Chicago, Frankfurt, Gstaad, Hamburg, Lisbon, Nagoya, Osaka, Seattle, Tokyo, Vienna and Zurich. Since summer 2011, Jan has appeared frequently at various festivals including Verbier, Radio France, La Roque d’Anthéron, Rheingau Musik Festival as well as Schleswig- Holstein Musik Festival and “Chopin and his Europe” Festival in Warsaw.
In September 2015, he recorded his third CD for Deutsche Grammophon with Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under Antonio Pappano for international release in early 2016. In January 2016, he made Carnegie Hall debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin. He will further make subscription debuts with the Cleveland Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony and tour with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in the USA. In Germany, he will tour to all major cities with the Warsaw Philharmonic and also play/conduct the Zurich Chamber Orchestra on tour with Mozart concertos KV 466 and KV 467.
Jan Lisiecki’s live performances of both Chopin piano concertos with Sinfonia Varsovia and Howard Shelley were released in 2010 by the Chopin Institute in Warsaw. The recording received the Diapason Découverte award in May 2010; Diapason describes Jan as “an unmannered virtuoso already with virile and, above all, irresistibly natural playing.” The BBC Music Magazine commended “Lisiecki’s mature musicality,” and his “sensitively distilled” interpretation of the contrasting concerti, played “with sparkling technique as well as idiomatic pathos,” noting that “even in a crowded CD catalogue, this refreshingly unhyped debut release is one to celebrate.”
Jan Lisiecki’s performances have been broadcast on CBC Canada, BBC Radio, Austrian Radio, French Radio, German Radio, Luxembourg Radio and Polish Radio, as well as on French Television 3 and on TV 1 and 2 in Poland. He was featured in the CBC “Next!” series as one of the most promising young artists in Canada, and in the 2009 Joe Schlesinger CBC National News documentary about his life: “The Reluctant Prodigy”. In May 2013 the German ZDF featured Jan in the news show “Heute Journal.”
Upon the school board’s recommendation, Jan was accelerated four grades and graduated from high school in January 2011. Since September 2011 he has been studying for a Bachelor of Music at the Glenn Gould School of Music in Toronto, Canada.