Tchaikovsky 6 Anastasia Rizikov
7:30PM, Saturday, March 24, 2018
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
35 – 22nd Street East
Saskatoon, SK S7K 0C8
($15 – $85)

Eric Paetkau, Music Director
Anastasia Rizikov, piano
Saskatoon Youth Orchestra, Richard Carnegie, conductor

Anastasia Rizikov is quickly making her name on the international stage – this young Canadian premieres her first performance of 2nd concerto of Saint-Saens.  The work is a dramatic and passionate piece that wears its heart on its sleeve and shows off the virtuosity of this rising star.

Joined by Saskatoon’s Youth Orchestra, the concert kicks off with Canadian Kevin Lau’s Dream of Dawn.

Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique is considered to be one of the greatest orchestral works ever written – steeped in mystery the symphony embarks on new ideas and captures the composer at his most vulnerable.

 Dream of Dawn – Kevin Lau

Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor – Camille Saint-Saens


Symphony No. 6 in B Minor Op. 76 – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Anastasia Rizikov
Canadian pianist Anastasia Rizikov is a remarkably poised and precocious seventeen year old who 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.

Since placing first at The Vladimir Horowitz International Young Pianists Competition in Kiev, Ukraine (where she also received a special award for Best Artistic Performance) and first sharing the stage with orchestra playing Polunin’s Concertino in A minor with the National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine conducted by Mykola Diadiura at age seven, Anastasia stepped on to the international competition circuit, winning many awards in the process. Resolving to compete in adult competitions since the age of twelve, Anastasia won first places over musicians twice her age in the following competitions: the Ettore Pozzoli International Piano Competition, along with prizes for best compulsory work by E. Pozzoli, and audience prize (Seregno, Italy, 2015); the Jaén International Piano Competition, as well as taking all three additional prizes- for the best interpretation of Spanish music, for the best interpretation of the compulsory work, and the audience prize”(Jaén, Spain, 2015); the 13th «Giuliano Pecar» International Piano Competition (Gorizia, Italy, 2013); George Gershwin International Music Competition (Brooklyn, NY, 2013); as well as Rotary International Piano Competition (Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 2011), where she became the youngest person to compete and win in their history.

In 2015, Ms. Rizikov played Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor twice with the Granada Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Paul Mann in Granada and Jaén, Spain, and in 2014, tackled one of the most technically challenging piano concertos – Rachmaninoff No. 3 in D minor with Laval Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with conductor Alain Trudel in Quebec. With over 30 orchestral performances and 20 concerti in her repertoire, Anastasia has already played with such major orchestras as Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra London Canada, International Symphony Orchestra, National Academy Orchestra of Canada, Baleares Symphony Orchestra, and Sinfonia Toronto, and has worked with such conductors as Peter Oundjian, Shalom Bard, Bernhard Gueller, Alain Trudel, Boris Brott, Ovidiu Balan, and Salvador Brotons,  to name a few.

Anastasia’s concert schedules have taken her to Asia, all over Europe – Spain, Italy, Switzerland, France, Poland, Ukraine, Russia – the United States, and Canada, where she has played in such prestigious halls and spaces such as Carnegie Hall, Roy Thomson Hall, Koerner Hall, Fazioli Hall, Auditorio Manuel de Falla, Hong Kong City Hall, and the Kremlin. In 2015, Ms. Rizikov performed in major international music festivals like the Orford Music Festival, and the Verbier Music Festival. In the fall of 2013, Anastasia gave 20 performances over two weeks throughout all the Atlantic provinces of Canada as winner of the prestigious Debut Atlantic Award.

Anastasia Rizikov studies with award-winning professor Maia Spis, teacher at the Nadia Music Academy in Toronto. Since beginning her studies at the age of five, she has shown unparalleled dedication to both practice and performance. Ms. Rizikov has played in master classes for Sergei Babayan, Arie Vardi, Robert Levin, Ferenc Rados, Anatoly Ryabov, Oxana Yablonskaya, and has worked with András Schiff, Emanuel Ax, Menahem Pressler, Gabor Takács-Nagy, and Olga Kern. 

In December, 2012, in honor of Glenn Gould’s 80th Anniversary Year and his Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, The Glenn Gould Foundation has provided a C1X Yamaha baby grand piano Anastasia. She has the piano on an indefinite loan-basis to aid in her artistic and career development.

Adept in English, Russian, Ukrainian (and working towards mastering her French), Anastasia has given interviews for many major newspapers as well as live television shows. She is fanatic about literature – reading being “an escape from reality and entrance to a very different world, where my imagination goes wild”, and is enthusiastic about art. Being a person who loves and understands her audience, she dreams of being able to share her unique musical voice with the entire world.


A Dream of Dawn – Kevin Lau

Concerto 2 – Saint-Saens – 25 mins

Andante sostenuto (in G minor & sonata form)
The concerto begins with a piano solo playing a long improvisational introduction in the style of a Bach fantasia. After the orchestra enters, the restless and melancholy first theme is played, again by the piano solo. Saint-Saëns drew the theme from his student Gabriel Fauré’s abandoned Tantum ergo motet. A brief second theme appears, followed by a middle section of increasing degrees of animato. The main theme is recapitulated fortissimo and the soloist is given a long ad libitum cadenza. The Bach-like opening motif returns in the coda.

Allegro scherzando (in E-flat major & sonata form)
The second movement is in E-flat major and, instead of being a typical adagio, resembles a scherzo. The mercurial piano part is marked leggieramente, and the two main themes are clever and light-hearted. The energetic, delicate personality of this particular movement is characteristic of Saint-Saëns’ musical wit, most famously observable in Le Carnaval des Animaux.

Presto (in G minor & sonata form)
The concerto concludes by returning to G minor. Like the preceding movement, it moves quickly; this time the form is an extremely fast, fiery tarantella in sonata form, featuring a strong triplet figure. At presto speed, the orchestra and soloist rush tumultuously along, gaining volume and momentum and finishing in a whirlwind of G minor arpeggios.

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Symphony 6 – Tchaikovsky – 45 mins

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s final completed symphony, written between February and the end of August 1893. The composer entitled the work “The Passionate Symphony”, employing a Russian word, Патетическая (Pateticheskaya), meaning “passionate” or “emotional”, that was then mistranslated into French as pathetique, “evoking pity”, yet the mistranslation survived subsequent productions in every country but Russia. The composer led the first performance in Saint Petersburg on 16/28 October of that year,[1] nine days before his death. The second performance, conducted by Eduard Nápravník, took place 21 days later, at a memorial concert on 6/18 November.[2][3] It included some minor corrections that Tchaikovsky had made after the premiere, and was thus the first performance of the work in the exact form in which it is known today. The first performance in Moscow was on 4/16 December, conducted by Vasily Safonov.[4] It was the last of Tchaikovsky’s compositions premiered in his lifetime; his last composition of all, the single-movement 3rd Piano Concerto, Op. 75, which was completed in October 1893, a short time before his death, received a posthumous premiere.

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