Jan Lisiecki: Portrait of a charismatic piano virtuoso

He’s one of the piano greats. This Canadian musician of Polish heritage dazzles audiences both with his virtuosity and with the maturity of his interpretations. He comes across as a pianist with decades of experience. But Jan Lisiecki is just 27 years old.

Lisiecki is a modest interviewee; he speaks candidly about his love for the piano and how he manages his huge workload, as well as how he values his personal life. A multi-faceted picture emerges of an extraordinary pianist known for his capacity for profound self-reflection. And of course, we get to hear him play throughout the video, with excerpts from some of his most powerful performances.

We met Jan Lisiecki during his performance with the New York Philhamonic in Peenemünde on the German island of Usedeom in May 2022.

Ele é um dos grandes nomes do piano. Este músico canadense de herança polonesa deslumbra o público tanto pelo seu virtuosismo quanto pela maturidade de suas interpretações. Ele aparece como um pianista com décadas de experiência. Mas Jan Lisiecki tem apenas 27 anos.

Lisiecki é um entrevistado modesto; ele fala abertamente sobre seu amor pelo piano e como ele administra sua enorme carga de trabalho, bem como como ele valoriza sua vida pessoal. Surge uma imagem multifacetada de um pianista extraordinário conhecido pela sua capacidade de auto-reflexão profunda. E, claro, podemos ouvi-lo tocar ao longo do vídeo, com trechos de algumas de suas performances mais poderosas.

Conhecemos Jan Lisiecki durante sua apresentação com a New York Philhamonic em Peenemünde, na ilha alemã de Usedeom, em maio de 2022.

At a glance:

00:00 Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73, Jan Lisiecki, piano, excerpt 01:06 Jan Lisiecki on his early mastery/maturity on the piano

02:00 Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73, Jan Lisiecki, piano, excerpt 02:22 Jan Lisiecki on joy and pain at his live concerts

03:01 Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73, Jan Lisiecki, piano, excerpt 03:44 Jan Lisiecki on Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5

04:58 Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73, Jan Lisiecki, piano, rehearsal 05:31 Jan Lisiecki on how he prepares for a concert

06:15 Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73, Jan Lisiecki, piano, excerpt 06:41 Jan Lisiecki on playing the piano at 3 a.m.

07:16 Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73, Jan Lisiecki, piano, rehearsal 07:39 Jan Lisiecki when asked what time he goes to bed

07:52 Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73, Jan Lisiecki, piano, rehearsal 08:03 Jan Lisiecki on the balance between professional and personal life

08:49 Jan Lisiecki at the beach on the island of Usedom

08:57 Jan Lisiecki on other forms of art and how they influence him

09:52 Robert Schumann, Night Pieces, Op. 23, I. Funeral Procession, Jan Lisiecki, piano, excerpt 10:57 Jan Lisiecki on his youth and how he came to music

11:57 Maurice Ravel, Gaspard de la nuit, Jan Lisiecki, piano, excerpt

12:20 Jan Lisiecki on how he learns a new piece

13:26 Frédéric Chopin, Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20, Jan Lisiecki, piano, excerpt

14:06 Jan Lisiecki on his affection for Chopin and his Polish roots

15:04 Frédéric Chopin, Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20, Jan Lisiecki, piano, excerpt

15:40 Jan Lisiecki on stereotypes in music and in life

16:50 Frédéric Chopin, Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20, Jan Lisiecki, piano, excerpt

17:32 Jan Lisiecki on his purist approach to music and jumping barriers

18:39 Frédéric Chopin, Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20, Jan Lisiecki, piano, excerpt

19:14 Jan Lisiecki on being mentioned in the same breath with other star pianists

20:33 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Twelve Variations on “Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman” K. 265/300e, Jan Lisiecki, piano, excerpt

20:59 Jan Lisiecki on Germany – one of his favorite places

21:40 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Twelve Variations on “Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman” K. 265/300e, Jan Lisiecki, piano, excerpt

22:17 Jan Lisiecki on his ideas of how to spread classical music

23:35 Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73, Jan Lisiecki, piano, excerpt Thumbnail: © Christoph Köstlin / Deutsche Grammophon

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