JANINA FIALKOWSKA – CANADA
JURY CHAIRMAN

For over 40 years, concert pianist Janina Fialkowska has enchanted audiences and critics around the world. She has been praised for her musical integrity, her refreshing natural approach, and her unique piano sound thus becoming “one of the Grandes Dames of piano playing” (Frankfurter Allgemeine).

Born in Canada, she began her piano studies with her mother at age 4, continuing on in her native Montreal with Yvonne Hubert. In Paris she studied with Yvonne Lefébure and in New York at The Juilliard School with Sascha Gorodnitzki, experiencing the best of both French and Russian piano traditions. Her career was launched in 1974, when the legendary Arthur Rubinstein became her mentor after her prize-winning performance at his inaugural Master Piano Competition, calling her a “born Chopin interpreter” and laying the foundation for her lifelong identification with this composer.

Since then she has performed with the foremost orchestras worldwide under the baton of such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Sir Georg Solti, Sir Roger Norrington, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, to name one of the younger generation. She has won special recognition for a series of important premieres, notably Liszt’s newly discovered Third Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony and several contemporary piano concertos. Ms. Fialkowska’s discography includes many award-winning discs, e.g.  BBC Music Magazine’s 2013 “Instrumental CD of the Year” award as well as the Canadian “Juno Award” in 2018.

Her native Canada has bestowed upon her their highest honors: “Officer of the Order of Canada” and the “Governor General’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award in Classical Music” (Canada’s equivalent to the Kennedy Center Honors), as well as three honorary doctorates.  She passes on her wide musical experience in master classes and at her annual “International Piano Academy” in Bavaria, where she now resides, and makes frequent appearances as a juror of the world’s most prestigious piano competitions.

Janina previously served on the Screening Jury for the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.