Valentina Lisitsa

Piano

Valentina Lisitsa

“In everything she does, there seems to be a special combination of utterly self-assured virtuosity and real lyricism and communication…”

The Guardian, Jun 15th 2012

Biography

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, 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.”

Valentina posted her first video on the internet platform YouTube in 2007, a recording of the Etude 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. Thanks to an unwavering dedication towards her audience and personal approach to videos, her YouTube channel now records over 500.000 subscribers and 147 million views with an average 75.000 views per day.

This singular success has led Valentina to perform at some of the world’s most prestigious stages which included a spectacular recital in London’s Royal Albert Hall before an audience of 8000 in June 2012 that sealed 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’s trademarks. 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.  Since then, Valentina has released a further 9 albums for Decca, including every piano concerto by Sergei Rachmaninoff, works by Chopin, Philipp Glass, Liszt and Scriabin as well as CD «Love Story – Piano Themes from the Cinema’s Golden Age» with major film music from the 1920s. In February 2019, for the 125th anniversary of Tchaikovsky’s death, Decca released a special CD-Box Set: the most complete collection of works for solo piano by Tchaikovsky with some of the works having never been recorded before.

Read more

Reviews

About her concert with Spanish National Orchestra and Ramon Tebar, March 2017; playing all Rachmaninov piano concertos and the Paganini Variations in one evening:

“Orchestra and director, to the height of the circumstances, fulfilled without fault their important work, with a musicality and a control of the outstanding textures. Lisitsa, as the unstoppable force of nature that is, passed over the beautiful Bösendorfer displaying a charming musicality and a staggering virtuosity, to which we must add incredible physical endurance, as each of these five summits of the piano is enough to take more than one great teacher out of breath. The five together are impossible for most. But to endure this test beyond the notes, to correct the notes, putting musicality in each one of them, expressing in each sentence an understanding and a love for that music beyond doubt, are something new for those who humbly sign these lines.”

Álvaro Menéndez Granda

Codalario

“Lisitsa is a serious artist… Her essential attribute is a fevered urgency, an almost desperate desire to suck the expressive marrow from a piece”

The Daily Telegraph

“Her energetic style is most dramatically captured at the end of the Third Concerto, galloping along with a coltish exuberance.”

The Independent

More Reviews

“Lisitsa is a serious artist… Her essential attribute is a fevered urgency, an almost desperate desire to suck the expressive marrow from a piece”

The Daily Telegraph 

” Her energetic style is most dramatically captured at the end of the Third Concerto, galloping along with a coltish exuberance.”

The Independent 

“The YouTube channel of Ukrainian-born classical pianist Valentina Lisitsa has more than 55 million video views and 77,000 subscribers. She has played at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall, made a sellout London debut last June at the Royal Albert Hall and ridden her YouTube fame to a deal with a mainstream record label.”

Wall Street Journal 

“The playing was clean, the architecture beautifully shaped, all three movements propelled by a fizzing energy that was under total control.”

The Independent 

“Lisitsa’s playing sounds like a clear stream flowing over rounded pebbles, light, gleaming, glinting but never spiked and cutting.”

The Birkshire Review 

“In everything she does, there seems to be a special combination of utterly self-assured virtuosity and real lyricism and communication…”

The Guardian