Born in Kiev, Ukraine, in 1973, Valentina Lisitsa began playing the piano at the age of three. She enrolled at the Lysenko Music School for Gifted Children and later studied under Ludmilla Tsvierko at the Kiev Conservatory. In 1991 she won the Murray Dranoff Two Piano Competition together with Alexei Kuznetsoff. The couple married the following year and moved to the USA. In 1995 Lisitsa made her New York debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. Since then, she has performed extensively around the world. Her career received a huge boost from a home-made video, shot by her husband in 2006, of Valentina playing the 24 Chopin Études, which the couple posted on YouTube. Subsequent YouTube videos expanded her following, and that’s where I first discovered her. I was dazzled by her technique and the sheer speed at which she renders concert favorites.
With more than 95 million YouTube views and over 439,000 subscribers to her channel, Lisitsa is among the most frequently viewed pianists on YouTube, using digital innovation to champion classical music and performance. Impressed by her YouTube success, the Royal Albert Hall, in an unprecedented step, opened its doors for Valentina’s London debut on June 19, 2012. In that year Valentina Lisitsa signed an exclusive agreement with Decca Classics, and her Albert Hall recital was immediately available as both CD and DVD for pre-order on the night of the concert, her first of many recordings under the label.
Lisitsa is at ease in a vast repertoire ranging from Bach and Mozart to Shostakovich and Bernstein. She has a special affinity for the music of Rachmaninov and Beethoven and continues to add to her vast repertoire each season.