Piano sensation Valentina Lisitsa made her Royal Albert Hall debut on 19 June 2012 in a concert which thrilled not only the thousands sitting in the Hall, but the tens of thousands watching on YouTube.
Those watching at home are perhaps the type of audience the Ukranian-born pianist is usually used to, being the most popular classical musician on YouTube, with Valentina’s YouTube channel nearing 50 million video views. However, performing a solo recital on the world’s most famous stage has been, until now, uncharted territory for Valentina Lisitsa.
The concert was the subject of much anticipation, with BBC News referring to her reputation as “the Justin Bieber of classical music” due to her career being made possible by generating a huge and loyal online audience, and The Guardian‘s Tom Service told readers to “believe the hype”.
On the night, Valentina stunned the audience, performing a repertoire that had been determined by a public vote from her fans. This included works by her favourite composers Rachmaninov and Beethoven.
On the night everything went right for the pianist, who reappeared for encores after a standing ovation from the audience. She introduced herself by describing how the internet helped to get her career off the ground after a long struggle, as well as cracking a joke about England’s victory over Ukraine in the football that evening!
All images © Stephen Frak, 2012
Valentina Lisitsa Live at the Royal Albert Hall
The concert was recorded to be released by Decca and the album is now available to download:
Valentina gave fans the oppportunity to vote for the repertoire and the following was chosen:
Hungarian Rhapsody #12
Fantasy in c minor K.475
3 songs: Des Mädchens Klage, Der Doppelgänger, Erlkönig
Sonata Op 27 #2 “Moonlight”
Etude–Tableau Op.39 # 6
4 Preludes: G major Op 32. #5, G sharp minor Op 32 #12, B minor Op 32 # 10, G minor Op 23 # 5
2 Poèmes Op. 32
2 Etudes: Op 42 # 3 “Mosquito”, Op 65 #1
3 Nocturnes: c minor Op 48 #1, d flat major Op 27 #2, e flat major Op 9 #2