Okanagan Symphony hosts piano prodigy Jan Lisiecki

Acclaimed 18-year-old pianist Jan Lisiecki joins the OSO for its Poised for Flight Masterworks concert in Vernon, Sunday, Feb. 16.

She first conducted him nine years ago while leading the Calgary Philharmonic, and next weekend Okanagan Symphony music director Rosemary Thomson will reunite with 18-year-old celebrated pianist Jan Lisiecki when the symphony presents its next masterworks concert, Poised for Flight.

Deemed as one of the most sensational young artists to emerge in Canada the past decade by the CBC, Lisiecki joins the OSO for performances in Kelowna and Vernon.

“I am so excited to have Jan perform with the orchestra this month,” said Thomson. “He has grown so much as a musician since he performed his concerto debut, Mozart No. 9, which he performed under the baton as my student when he was just nine years old.”

Recognized for his mature playing, Lisiecki performs all over the world. The New York Times has called him “a pianist who makes every note count.”

Having signed an exclusive recording agreement with Deutsche Grammophon at the age of 15, Lisiecki’s debut recording on the prestigious label features Mozart’s Piano Concertos K. 466 & 467 with the Symphonieor-chester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under Christian Zacharias. Nominated for a Juno Award for classical album of the year in 2013, the CD was described by The New York Times as “pristine, lyrical and intelligent.”

Highlights of past seasons include performing with the New York Philharmonic under David Zin-man, the season opening concert of Orchestre de Paris under Paavo Järvi, and a debut with the BBC Symphony under Jiří Bělohlávek.

Lisiecki has played at Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Barbican, Salle Pleyel, Tonhalle Zürich, Konzerthaus Vienna, and Suntory Hall. He has substituted for Martha Argerich and Nelson Freire, and has shared the stage with Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman, and Emanuel Ax. He has performed in Armenia, Belgium, Brasil, China, England, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Korea, Poland, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.S. and throughout Canada.

Besides Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9 and Oesterle’s The Sparrow’s Ledger, the OSO will perform Bizet’s Symphony in C, written by the composer when he was only 17 years old.

“This program showcases those with wisdom beyond their years,” said Thomson.

Poised for Flight takes the stage at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Sunday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. A pre-concert chat starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469.