Canadian pianist Anastasia Rizikov is a remarkably poised and precocious fourteen year old who is already showing signs of being “one to watch”. She is currently performing numerous solo concerts in major US cities such as Detroit, Chicago, Binghamton, New York City, New Jersey City, and Washington, and returns to these cities every fall for solo performances. Anastasia recently gave two performances of E. Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor: one with National Academy Orchestra of Canada conducted by Boris Brott in Burlington, Ontario and the other with Baleares Symphony Orchestra conducted by Salvador Brotons in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Before that there were two performances of Kabalevsky’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the International Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Debbaut in Sarnia, Ontario, and in Port Huron, Michigan. In 2010, she performed as guest soloist with the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra in Michigan conducted by Nan Washburn, in performances of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor. . She also performed the string quartet arrangement of the Chopin in Binghamton, NY, under the leadership of Steinway artist John Covelli. Closer to her Toronto home, Anastasia has performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Toronto Sinfonietta, conducted by Matthew Jaskiewicz; and made concert appearances in London and Toronto.
Anastasia is currently on the international competition circuit, winning many awards in the process. In May 2011, she captured first prize in the Rotary International Piano Competition in Palma de Mallorca, Spain – choosing to enter the more challenging Category A (up to 28 year old) – the youngest person in the competition’s 18 years to do so – and winning over players twice her age! In 2012, she returned to Spain for a series of solo recitals, as well as a concerto performance with Balearic Symphony Orchestra.
In 2010, Anastasia won first place in the Thousand Islands International Piano Competition for Young People (Cape Vincent, USA). She also won first place at American Protégé 2010 International Piano and Strings Competition and performed in New York City’s Carnegie Hall. She had already performed at Carnegie Hall when, in 2009, Anastasia became the first place winner at the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition. In 2008, representing Canada, Anastasia performed with great success in the Kremlin at the international festival “Moscow Meets Friends”, organized by Vladimir Spivakov’s International Charity Foundation; she was awarded the Festival’s medal and diploma. Also in 2008, Anastasia had the honour of performing at the fourth “Young Stars of the Young Century” Gala Concert organized by Vladimir Spivakov’s Charity Foundation, which took place in the Toronto Centre for The Arts. In 2006, Anastasia became the first place winner at The Vladimir Horowitz International Young Pianists Competition in Kiev, Ukraine, again, representing Canada. She was also given a special award for Best Artistic Performance and, at age seven, made her orchestral debut, performing Polunin's Concertino in A minor with the National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, conducted by Mykola Diadiura.
Nationally, Anastasia is also a first prize winner at both the Canadian Music Competition (CMC) and the Canadian Chopin Competition. The Chopin competition, held every five years, lead to Anastasia’s appearance at a gala winners’ concert at Koerner Hall in Toronto. Annually, Anastasia wins first place at several local competitions in the Greater Toronto Area, including Markham Music Festival, Yips Music Festival, North York Music Festival, Peel Music Festival, Davenport Music Festival, Toronto Music Competition, Kiwanis Music Festival of Greater Toronto, Kiwanis Provincial Music Festival, and the Canadian Music Competition (CMC).
Anastasia has given interviews and performed at Toronto’s Classical 96.3 FM radio station, CBC Television news, Russian MIX TV, and the Ukrainian TV programs Svitohliad and Kontakt. An excerpt of one of her videos was even briefly shown on The Oprah Show during a feature on gifted children. Anastasia studies with award-winning Master of Music Maia Spis, teacher at the Nadia Music Academy in Toronto. She has played in master classes for Anatoly Ryabov (Professor at the Conservatory of Moscow), Oxana Yablonskaya (Professor at the Juilliard School of Music), and has worked with Olga Kern (winner of the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition). Anastasia began her studies at age five, and since then showed unparalleled dedication to both practice and performance.
Fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, and English, Anastasia does spend rare moments away from the piano. She loves to read because “it is like entering a whole different world and experiencing the role of my favorite character – so my imagination goes wild!” She also loves animals, shopping, and she treasures her friendships, which are difficult to foster, given her practice and travel schedule. “I always look forward to seeing my friends, although I rarely see them. When I do, I feel like one of them, not like an adult – the way I feel most of times.” Her dreams are to become a renowned and accomplished pianist with beautiful dresses on stage, and to “touch the hearts of the audience.”
------- Biography by Liz Parker ----------
- 2002 – present Nadia Music Academy, Toronto, ON, Canada
- 2002 – 2010 Maryvale Public School, Toronto, ON, Canada
- 2010 – present Homeschooled
- Anatoly Ryabov (Professor of the Central Music School of the Conservatory of Moscow, 2008)
- Oxana Yablonskaya (Professor of The Juilliard School of Music in New York City, 2008)
- Olga Kern (Accomplished Pianist, Gold Medal winner of the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, November, 2010)
- II International Piano Competition Halina Czerny-Stefańska in memoriam, Rector's of the I.J. Paderewski Academy of Music Diploma "In Accolade of Talent" (Poznan, Poland, 2011)
- XVIII Concurso International de Piano Rotary (1st place, Senior Division (up to 28 years), Palma de Mallorca, Spain, May, 2011
- 8th & 5th Thousand Islands Chopin International Piano Competition for Young People(1st place, 2010, Junior Division & 2nd place, 2007, Junior Division, Cape Vincent, NY)
- American Protégé 2010 International Piano and Strings Competition(1st place, New York, NY)
- The Third Canadian Chopin Piano Competition (1st place, 2010, Junior Division, (Toronto, ON)
- Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition(1st place, New York, 2009)
- Provincial Finals Competitions (Honourable Mention – Piano, Grade 10, 2007, London, ON)
- Canadian Music Competition (CMC), (1st place, 2007, Sherbrooke, QC)
- Toronto Music Competition (1st place, 2006 & 2007, Toronto, ON)
- VII International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz (1st place, “Horowitz-debut” group, 2006, Kiev, Ukraine)
- Brott Music Festival performance with NAO (Hamilton, 2012)
- Canadian Chopin Festival, Solo Concert (Toronto, 2008, 2009, 2011)
- NYCO Music Festival (1st place, 2009, Toronto, ON)
- V International Festival “Moscow Meets Friends”, organized by Vladimir Spivakov’s International Charity Foundation (Moscow, Russia, 2008)
- Kiwanis Music Festival of Greater Toronto (1st place 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010; 2nd place, 2008, Toronto, ON)
- Ukrainian Music Festival (1st place, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, Toronto, ON)
- Markham Music Festival (1st place, 2006, 2007, Toronto, ON)
- Yips Music Festival (1st place, 2006, Toronto, ON)
- Peel Music Festival (1st place, 2005, Toronto, ON)
- Davenport Music Festival (1st place, 2005, Toronto, ON)
Scholarships and awards:
- “2013 Debut Atlantic" concert tour
- Most Promising Student Award (Kiwanis Music Festival of greater Toronto, Senior Division, 2010, Toronto, ON)
- Royal Conservatory of Music Scholarship (2007, Toronto, ON)
- Special Award for Best Artistic Performance, Special Prize from Bechstein Company and Special Award from Jury (VII International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz, 2006, Kiev, Ukraine)
- Numerous solo concerts in major cities in the United States of America and Canada through 2005-2012 (Detroit, Washington, New Jersey, New York, Chicago, Binghamton, Toronto, London)
- E. Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 with National Academy Orchestra (NAO), Conducted by Boris Brott, Burlington, ON, June, 2012
- E. Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 with Baleares Symphony Orchestra conducted by Salvador Brotons, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, June, 2012
- Schubert's Piano Quintet in A Major ("Trout"), D. 667 with the novo4tet (First Presbyterian Church, Binghamton, NY, September, 2011)
- 2 performances of Kabalevsky's Piano Concerto No. 3 op. 50 (Youth) with ISO - International Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Robert Debbaut (Imperial Theater, Sarnia, ON & McMorran Place, Port Huron, MI, February, 2011)
- Classical 96.3 FM Live-to-Air Performance (Toronto, ON, 2010 & 2012)
- Beethoven Piano Concerto No 1 in C major with Toronto Sinfonietta conducted by Maestro Matthew Jaskiewicz (Calvin Presbyterian Church, Toronto, ON, 2010)
- Chopin Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21 with the PSO - Plymouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Nan Washburn (First United Methodist Church, Plymouth, MI, 2010)
- Gala Concert of winners of The Third Canadian Chopin Piano Competition (Koerner Hall, Toronto, ON, 2010)
- Gala Concert of winners of American Protégé 2010 International Piano and Strings Competition (Carnegie Hall, New York, NY, 2010)
- Chopin Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21 with a select professional quartet conducted by Steinway Artist Maestro John Covelli (Phelps Mansion, Binghamton, NY, 2009)
- Chopin Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21 with the Northwest Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Michael Holian (Wright College Theater, Chicago, Il, 2009)
- Gala Concert of winners of Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition (Carnegie Hall, New York, NY, 2009)
- A Musical Zoo concert organized by Conductor and Music Director of the National Academy Orchestra of Canada Boris Brott (The Great Hall in The Ronald V. Joyce Centre for the Performing Arts at Hamilton Place, Hamilton, ON, 2008)
- Classical 96.3 FM Live-to-Air Performance (Toronto, ON, 2008)
- V International Festival “Moscow Meets Friends”, organized by Vladimir Spivakov’s International Charity Foundation (Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, 2008)
- “Young Stars of the Young Century” 4th Gala Concert organized by Vladimir Spivakov’s Charity Foundation, (Toronto Centre for the Arts, Toronto, ON, 2008)
- Polunin Concertino in A minor with National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine conducted by Maestro Mykola Diadiura (Concert Hall of National Philharmonic, Kiev , Ukraine, 2006)
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