Valentina Lisitsa

Ukrainian-American pianist (1973, Kiev)

Valentina Lisitsa introduced herself as one of the most watched classical artists on the web. Indeed, the Ukrainian pianist did not hesitate to boost her career using internet media.

Valentina Lisitsa was an extremely precocious pianist, she performed her first solo recital at age 4! She attended the Lysenko music school, and, later, the Kiev Conservatory, in Ludmilla Tsvierko's class. There, she met pianist Alexei Kuznetsoff, whom she will later marry. This encounter was very significant for her musical career, as she first was going for a professional chess player career! In 1991, the couple was awarded the First Prize in The Dranoff International 2 Pianos Foundation Competition in Florida and then settled in New York. Lisitsa made her debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center in 1995. This then led her to perform in prestigious venues all around the world, including at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York as well as the Musikverein in Vienna.

In 2007, after a lull in her career, she started to post videos of her performance on YouTube and became one of the most frequently viewed pianists on YouTube. What followed was tremendous success for a classical artist and her career bounced back. She collaborated with violinist Hilary Hahn on stage and in studio for the recording of the four sonatas for violin and piano by composer Charles Ives, in 2011. Little-known in France, she confronted the Parisian in January 2014, as she replaced Boris Berezovsky on short notice, for a concert at Salle Pleyel. That night, along with the Paris Orchestra conducted by Paavo Järvi, she performed the Concerto No. 1 and Totentanz by Franz Liszt.

6 landmark dates in the life of Valentina Lisitsa:

1977: 1st solo recital at age 4

1991: First prize in The Murray Dranoff Two Piano Competition in Miami

1995: Debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York

2007: Started posting her videos on Youtube

2011: Collaborated with Hilary Hahn for the recording of the four sonatas for violin and piano by Charles Ives 

2014: Replaced Boris Berezovsky at Salle Pleyel.

Biography from Radio France’s document database, May 2014