Towards the end of this month, we will have the pleasure of presenting Janina Fialkowska as part of our piano series. A brilliant pianist, she is known for her outstanding interpretations of Chopin and Lizst.
Janina was born in 1951 in Montreal and has studied piano since the age of 4. At 12 years of age, she made her soloist debut with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. By the age of 17, she had graduated with two degrees from the University of Montreal. She went on to study in Paris and at Juilliard. In 1974, she placed in the top three prize winners of the very first Arthur Rubinstein Competition (http://www.arims.org.il/index.php/1974). Rubinstein helped launch her international career and became her mentor.
Since that time she has played for many orchestras around the world, given countless recitals, and released several recordings. She founded Piano Six, a program that was dedicated to bringing classical music to small communities across the country. An Officer of the Order of Canada, she became the first female instrumentalist to receive the 2012 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement in Classical Music.
In early 2002, Janina’s professional career was put on hold. A tumour was discovered in her left arm. Removal of the tumour and subsequent surgery to repair damage to her arm didn’t stop her from performing. While her left arm healed, she gave several concerts performing with her right hand, even transposing pieces written for the left hand so they could be played with her right. In 2004, she relaunched her two hand playing career with continued success.