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2011 Grant Recipient

Classical Music (Piano) Winner
Jan Lisiecki

Jan Lisiecki is a 16-year-old student from Calgary, AB entering his first year of study at Royal Conservatory, Glenn Gould School in Toronto this fall. Jan made his orchestral debut at age 9 and has since given over 50 performances with orchestras worldwide . He has been honoured with many prestigious awards, including the "Debut Atlantic" and CBC Révélations Radio-Canada Musique in 2010, and has won numerous major Canadian music titles. Jan Lisiecki performs frequently for various charity organizations, including the David Foster Foundation, the Polish Humanitarian Organization and the Wish Upon a Star Foundation. In June 2008 he was appointed a National Youth Representative by UNICEF Canada.

In submitting the nomination for The Hnatyshyn Foundation classical piano grant, James Anagnoson, Dean, The Glen Gould School wrote: "Jan is, simply put, a once-in-a-generation talent. The artistry and maturity in his playing at the age of 16 is extraordinary. I heard him play in recital last week and was struck with both the artistic integrity and the highly personal quality he brought to every note of the program. He has substantial virtuosic ability, but never uses it just for show. Instead he uses it with ease and indeed panache, but only as the music requires it. Predictably, the end result is musically more fulfilling and has much greater impact."

In adjudicating Mr. Lisiecki 's performance submissions, the jury for classical piano found his interpretations to be very powerfully expressive, clear rhythmically and technically. Lyrical, characterful and assured. Altogether, an exceptional performer!

Jury members included: David Jalbert, Professor, Piano, University of Ottawa; Isolde Lagacé, General and Artistic Director of the Arte Musica Foundation, Montréal; and Stephen Runge, Pianist, Assistant Professor, Mount Allison University.

Artist's Statement

Music is a language, one that is universally understood and practiced. What I try to achieve when performing is to portray as truthfully and beautifully as possible the composer's work, without showing only how well I can play it. I focus on elegance and refinement, with technique only serving as a means of achieving those goals. Music is something to be shared, and I am greatly inspired by the audiences I perform for. I realize how lucky I am to be able to share this music with them, and I play for them. I feel very privileged to be able to perform while touching music, something that is much greater than one can comprehend. I believe that this quote represents me very well: ...“I pay no attention whatsoever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.”   - W. A. Mozart.





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