Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Pre-Concert Chat.

Pianist Jan Lisiecki joins Music Director Anne Manson to discuss the April 24 MCO concert that will feature Lisecki performing Ravel’s wonderfully flamboyant, jazz-inflected Piano Concerto in G major.

This event is free and open to the public.

At only 22 years old, Jan Lisiecki has been called a “prodigy” (CBC), “the most ‘complete’ pianist of his age” (BBC Music Magazine), and even a Mozart of our times. Interviews suggest that Lisiecki rebuffs such labels. What’s certain is that those lucky enough to see him perform at this age are privy to a golden moment in the artist’s trajectory.

The rise of Lisiecki’s star has been meteoric. Born in Calgary to a Polish family of non-musicians, he began playing the piano at age five after a school counsellor suggested to his parents that they ‘impose’ conservatory music lessons on him. But apparently he did not, like so many of us, rebel against the rigours of this regime, quickly wowing his tutors with his natural musical talents. Six or seven years later, those talents caught the attention of musical heavyweight Howard Shelley, who went on to conduct Lisiecki in recordings of Chopin. Today Lisiecki shares the stage with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma and James Ehnes on stages such as Carnegie Hall and the Philharmonic Concert Hall—in addition, of course, to Westminster Church, where he’s already performed with the MCO three times.