FIERY, SPONTANEOUS, BRILLIANT
...concert goers typically use these adjectives to describe Canadian-Ukrainian 24 year-old pianist Anastasia Rizikov. Her unpredictable, passionate playing has awed concertgoers worldwide, some musicians even comparing her to the great Martha Argerich. With numerous competition triumphs under her belt, Rizikov's impressive reputation has taken her to some of the most prestigious concert halls and festivals, and has earned her appearances with the world's most renowned orchestras.
Canadian pianist of Ukrainian origin Anastasia Rizikov made her mark on the International arena when- at age sixteen- she won first prize at the Jaén Piano Competition in Spain and the audience prize, becoming both the youngest and the first Canadian winner in the competition’s 57-year history. Of her playing it was said, quote, "In Jaén we discovered a young, exceptional pianist. Some jurors speak of her as the new Martha Argerich, no less” (RITMO Magazine).
Anastasia’s musical depth, distinctive sound, and innate expressiveness has awed audiences, critics, and juries alike. “Ms. Rizikov is an extraordinary virtuoso, with abundant technical prowess. But she is more than the sum of ten fingers – she is a consummate artist, born to play, to love the art and act of music-making” observed The Beat Magazine.
Anastasia Rizikov was born into a musical family in Toronto on December 8, 1998. As a toddler, she watched her grandmother Maia Spis- a pianist- give lessons to her students. Eventually, the five-year expressed the desire to be taught as well, thus commencing their 15-year teacher-student alliance. “From the first lesson, I knew there was something unique. She concentrated for almost two hours, eager to learn more” said her grandmother.
Rapid progress led to Anastasia’s first international victory at age seven at the Horowitz Competition in Kyiv, where she placed first against musicians twice her age. In 2011, twelve year-old Rizikov won first prize amongst musicians under the age 32 at the Rotary International Piano Competition in Spain. From then onwards, she only competed in adult competitions, winning six more (the Maria Canals and the Tbilisi, to name but a few) before turning eighteen.
Rizikov’s many wins have allowed her to play at the World’s leading festivals, including the Rafael Orozco Festival in Spain, Verbier Festival in Switzerland, Chopin and his Europe Festival in Warsaw, Orford Music Festival in Canada, and Festival Chopin Nohant in France ; and have taken her to such venues as Carnegie Hall in New York, Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, and the Royal Palace of La Almudaina in Palma de Mallorca. At sixteen, she released her first CD with NAXOS Records.
Since her orchestral debut at age seven with the Kyiv Philharmonic under the direction of Mykola Diadyura, she has played on countless occasions with internationally recognized orchestras, such as Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Granada Symphony Orchestra, and the Dayton Philharmonic, accumulating a repertoire list of over 20 concerti.
Today, the young artist focuses on bringing her Ukrainian heritage to light, as well as raising money for victims of the ongoing war in Ukraine. Since its start on February 24, 2022, Anastasia has raised 30 000 euros by giving recitals of all-Ukrainian repertoire in Canada and France, and is continuing to work on organizing similar events, in order to “help Ukrainians fight for their independence, as well as to show to the World Ukraine’s rich culture and unique heritage”.
In June 2022, she became a laureate of both the Fondation Banque Populaire and Fondation Gautier Capuçon in France, a set of wins that she hopes will help realize her many projects
aiming to help raise money for Ukraine and educate audiences on its vibrant culture.
Adept in English, French, Ukrainian, and Russian, Ms. Rizikov aspires to not only be a thriving
concert pianist, but to inspire and connect with her ever-growing younger audience. She is also keen on experimenting with other genres of music, writing various arrangements of Ukrainian songs (which have already been performed at her concerts), as well as composing. This year, Anastasia and French cellist Lisa Strauss co-founded the ensemble Shum (Шум), a piano-cello duo focusing primarily on Eastern-European repertoire. They are set to start touring in France in spring 2023.
Now based in France, Anastasia is working towards her Master’s degree at Paris Conservatory under the tutelage of pianist Frank Braley. In her rarely found spare time, she enjoys working on her art skills, is an avid cook (who dreams of someday hosting her own cooking show), and teaches her 15 students in her private atelier in Paris.