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Janina looks forward to Cathedral concert; QUESTION & ANSWER.

T HIS week we talk to pianist Janina Fialkowska, who will be at the North Wales International Music Festival.

Q Tell us about your family A My father's family is Polish. He was born in Lwow, Poland, then known as Lemberg (before 1918 so it was still part of the Austro-Hungarian empire) and now is part of the Ukraine and known as Lviv. My father met my mother during the war when he was with the Polish army in exile in Scotland. She was with the FANY's in Scotland serving as a driver /mechanic, attached to the Polish army. My mother was Canadian, with Scottish, Irish, English and Cree ancestry. Which means I am a typical Canadian. My father was an engineer, and my mother was a pianist.

Q Tell us something about yourself A My mother started to teach me the piano when I was four years old in Montreal. I ended up studying in Paris, then New York and finally was 'discovered' by Arthur Rubinstein who became my mentor and launched my career back in 1974 when I won a top prize at the First international A Rubinstein Piano competition held in Israel.

Q How would you describe your music? A What interests me most is music full of lyricism; I'm not partial to aggressive, ugly sounds so it is natural my favourite composers would be Mozart, Chopin, Schubert, the French composers and basically any composer who writes music with which I can make the piano sing!

Q Do you have any gigs/ tours coming up? Tell us when/where etc A Someone cottoned on to the idea that this is my 65th birthday year and that this is a great marketing idea! I am playing more concerts than ever this year as a result, having already performed in Japan, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Canada, and the UK in 2016. Coming up are two very big tours of Canada, My performance for the North Wales festival in St Asaph, September 23, performances in Poland at the Chopin Festival in Duszniki in August and in Warsaw playing the Paderewski concerto in November, as well as recitals in Germany and Switzerland, performances with the RPO and the London BBC orchestra, a Wigmore Hall recital next April and so on...

Q What are you best known for? A Probably as an interpreter of the music of Chopin. My Chopin Album "Chopin Recital 2" won the BBC Instrumentalist CD of the year award in 2013.

Q What can people expect from your gigs? A If I do my job correctly, I can hopefully give them a glimpse of a better, more beautiful world as I project out to them the creative genius and the magical souls of the various composers I will be performing.

Q Tell us what's good about the venue A I don't know the venue. I understand St Asaph's has fabulous acoustics so I am looking forward to it Q Tell us a little known fact about yourself: A I love reading British and Canadian mystery novels and I am a passionate, but rather amateur gardener as I only started gardening three years ago when we built our new home, which had a large , empty space around it which I have filled with flowers and bushes.

Q Whose music are you listening to? A Since I practise the piano a great deal, I rarely listen to music except when I go to live classical concerts or to the opera. I enjoy hearing my colleagues in recital, and I love giving Master Classes and hearing talented young people play.

Q What are you most proud of musically? A That I am 65 and still have the courage to go out and perform.

Q What are your upand-coming plans with your career? A To keep on going as long as I can keep up my standards. I have reached basically all of my career goals...the goals I have now are to keep on improving and searching for that perfection which is unattainable.

Janina Fialkowska How old are you?: 65 Where are you from?: Canada What are your best and worst habits: My best habit is that I worry about other people's happiness and my worst habit is that I worry too much all the time.


Pianist Janina Fialkowska is among the musicians taking part in this year's North Wales International Music Festival
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 26, 2016
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