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Piano Six


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Piano Six was an association of six pianists that brought low-cost, high-calibre music performances to small-town and rural Canada, exposing school children and music students to live piano music. Founded in 1994 by pianist Janina Fialkowska – with original members Angela Cheng, Marc-André Hamelin, Angela Hewitt, André Laplante and Jon Kimura Parker – and continued from 2004 to 2010 as Piano Plus, the program reached more than 100,000 Canadians in over 200 communities. Each member of Piano Six individually toured a remote or rural area of Canada for a 10-day period each year, for only a nominal fee, with the assistance of, and under the auspices of, the umbrella organization. Locations were determined through applications from communities whose populations would not normally be visited by international-calibre musicians. The pianists performed in small halls, churches or schools, often on standard upright instruments, two and three times daily, for audiences ranging from kindergarten students and music teachers to cross-sections of the town populace. Master classes and workshops were also offered in each town. Each pianist determined his or her programs, which normally focused on the classical piano repertoire but also included newly commissioned Canadian works, ragtime, pop songs and television and movie themes. Although the program concentrated on individual rather than ensemble visits, the pianists occasionally appeared together. The pianists Bernadene Blaha, Michael Kim and Stéphanie Lemelin joined Piano Six to help meet the demand for bookings. As Piano Plus, singers and performers on non-keyboard instruments – such as violinist James Ehnes, cellist Shauna Rolston and singers Nancy Argenta and Daniel Lichti – were also added to the programs. The touring program was relaunched in 2017 as Piano Six: New Generation.


Marika Bournaki
With unparalleled technical, musical and communication skills, Marika Bournaki is at once, a world class performer, outstanding pianist, vivacious young woman… and the freshest face on the classical music scene. Marika’s innovative approach to her art and performance is reflected in her recent collaboration, “Let’s Play”, with cutting-edge and world-renowned multimedia creative shop, Moment Factory. Her role as Ambassador to the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s summer event, “A Cool Classical Journey” was an exceptional opportunity to explore new and exciting ways to share her music with the public.


David Jalbert
A virtuoso with a warm and elegant style and a wide-ranging repertoire, pianist David Jalbert has established himself among the elite of a new generation of classical musicians, and was recently named by the CBC among the 15 best Canadian pianists of all time. With his personal style, incomparable stage presence, and refined ear, he has wowed audiences and critics everywhere: “a deeply musical pianist” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), “a virtuoso in the best sense of the word” (La Presse), “…wide-ranging musical imagination, phenomenal technique, and an unerring lightness of being” (The Toronto Star).



Angela Park
Pianist Angela Park has established herself as one of Canada’s most sought-after pianists. Praised for her “stunningly beautiful pianism” (Grace Welsh Prize, Chicago), “beautiful tone and sensitivity” (American Record Guide), and for performing “with such brilliant clarity it took your breath away” (Chapala, Mexico), Angela’s versatility as both soloist and chamber musician has led to performances across Canada, as well as in the United States, Europe, Japan and Mexico.


Ian Parker
Magnetic, easy-going and delightfully articulate, Canadian pianist Ian Parker captivates audiences wherever he goes. He has appeared with the philharmonic orchestras of Buffalo, Calgary and Louisiana, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom and the symphonies of Cincinnati, Edmonton, Honolulu, Kitchener-Waterloo, Long Beach, National/Washington, D.C., Quebec, Regina, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Virginia and Winnipeg, among others.


Anastasia Rizikov
Canadian pianist Anastasia Rizikov is remarkably poised and is already showing signs of being “one to watch”. At age seven, she made her orchestral debut, and has since appeared as soloist with major orchestras of North America and Europe. In 2015 alone, Ms. Rizikov won first places at the Jaén International Piano Competition and the Ettore Pozzoli International Piano Competition, recorded a CD with NAXOS, and performed at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. Read More


Daniel Wnukowski
Hailed as “rapturous and glowing” by International Record Review and “an inspirational and devoted pianist” by the Financial Times, pianist Daniel Wnukowski has performed throughout Europe, North America, South America and Asia in numerous international festivals. He has also performed with many orchestras in Europe and North America and is an avid collaborator, working with such artists as Daniel Hope, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Alain Trudel and Aleksandra Kurzak. He has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and grants for researching and performing the works of exiled composers of the 20th century.

-PROGRAM-

Robert Schumann - Arabeske in C Major, Opus 18 (SOLO – Marika Bournaki)

Maurice Ravel - Jeux D’Eau (SOLO – Angela Park)

Maurice Ravel - Selections from Ma mère l'Oye (4-hands/2pianos -

Anastasia Rizikov Piano I and Angela Park Piano II)

Darius Milhaud – Scaramouche (4-hands/2pianos – David Jalbert Piano I and Anastasia Rizikov Piano II)

Leonard Bernstein/Musto - Symphonic Dances from 'West Side Story' (4-hands/2-pianos - Marika Bournaki Piano I and Daniel Wnukowski Piano II)

- INTERMISSION -

Kevin Lau - Commissioned Work

Erich Wolfgang Korngold, arr. Wnukowski - “Tanzlied des Pierrot” from “Die Tote Stadt” (SOLO - Daniel Wnukowski)

Frederic Rzewski – Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues (SOLO – David Jalbert)

Nikolai Kapustin - Variations, op. 41 (SOLO - Anastasia Rizikov)

George Gershwin - 3 Preludes (SOLO - Ian Parker)

George Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue (4-hands/2pianos Ian Parker Piano I and Daniel Wnukowski Piano II)