I have already blogged about Valentina Lisitsa, the Ukranian pianist who has taken the classical world by storm due to her online success. Lisitsa’s stardom has come through sheer hard work and self promotion. Her claim to fame being that she is the most watched classical pianist on YouTube receiving 43 million hits and she has over 52,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel. She is probably the most watched classical artist on the planet. This week Valentina has just signed an exclusive contract with Decca.
The debut release will be her June 19 London solo recital at the Royal Albert Hall. Lisitsa is one of very few artists who can sell a 5,000-seat space without any supporting artists. “I could not have done this without all my online fans around the world,” she said. “Their reactions tell me every day that I am doing the right thing and that’s the best reward for my hard work.”Now I want to say thank you and give them a great concert live and online. Basically it’s a gathering for friends old and new. It’s a concert, but it’s also a celebration.
She is not the first performer to take advantage of online success. Justin Bieber famously became a star after videos of him singing were put online by his mother. The internet, particularly YouTube, now provides an amazing platform allowing many artists a chance to publicise themselves – this opportunity would certainly not have been available even ten years ago.
Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Valentina began playing the piano at the age of three and performed her first solo recital just one year later. She has won prestigious awards for her playing internationally, including the Murray Dranoff Two Piano Competition (together with her husband Alexei Kuznetsoff). However, it hasn’t been an easy journey to fame and fortune; a few years ago she was reduced to selling household wares for a living – illustrating the stark reality of trying to earn a living as a musician. Hopefully she will now be recognised as one of the leading pianists of her generation.
I am looking forward to reviewing her RAH recital in a few weeks. Meanwhile here are a few clips of Lisitsa playing Rachmaninov to get your weekend off to a great start! If you fancy hearing Valentina live you can buy tickets for her upcoming RAH concert here or you can subscribe to her YouTube channel here.