Sonya Lifschitz, piano
Praised for the beauty of her tone and the depth of her interpretations, Ukrainian-born, Australian-based pianist Sonya Lifschitz is quickly becoming recognized as one of Australia’s leading young performers. Having recently completed intensive postgraduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music as a scholarship student of legendary pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher and of Boris Slutsky, Ms. Lifschitz is establishing an international career as both a soloist and chamber musician.
Ms. Lifschitz began her musical education at age five in the Central Music School for Gifted Children in her home city of Kiev. She was 13 and had already performed in important Kiev venues when she and her family moved to Australia. There she continued her studies at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School (Melbourne). She earned her Bachelor of Music performance degree with First Class Honors at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music (Brisbane), studying with Professor Natasha Vlassenko. At Peabody, she completed her Graduate Performance Diploma in 2003 and her Master’s Degree in 2005.
Ms. Lifschitz has been awarded such prestigious scholarships as the Fulbright Scholarship (2001-04), the Peabody Dean’s Grant (2002-05), Peabody Merit Scholarship (2001-05), Peabody Career Development Grant (2003, 2005), and the Peabody Chamber Music Prize (2002). In Australia she received the Ian Potter Cultural Trust Scholarship, the Lord Mayor of Queensland Performing Arts Fellowship, and the B’nai B’rith Scholarship. She was one of seven pianists selected to participate in the Australian National Academy of Music Program. Her current tour is being supported by a Dame Joan Sutherland Fund Scholarship from the American-Australian Foundation.
Ms. Lifschitz captured First Prize in the Tel-Hai International Concerto Competition (Israel), as well as the Tel-Hai Festival’s award for the Best Performance of a Romantic Work (2002). She won First Prize in the Queensland Piano Competition (1999), First Prize in the Melbourne Symphony Young Artist Award (1998), and Second Prize in the Austral-Asian Kawai Concerto Competition (1999). She was one of 10 pianists Australia-wide chosen for the Australian National Piano Award, and she has won the Minnie May Bussey and Hilder Wholmer Chamber Music Prize.
At age 18, Ms. Lifschitz made her debut with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. The performance was broadcast on Australia’s primary classical music radio station and on national television. She has also been a soloist with the Israel Symphony, the Western Australia Youth Symphony, and the Melbourne Youth Symphony. She has performed widely in Australia, the U.S., Italy, Switzerland, England, and Israel, and has been a featured performer on Australian radio.
Among the many solo and chamber music festivals in which she has taken part are the IMS Prussia Cove Festival (England); Tel-Hai International Piano Festival (Israel); Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival (U.S.), where she also served on the Young Artist Program faculty; Townsville Chamber Music Festival (Australia); Lecce Piano Festival (Italy); and Sermoneta Music Festival (Italy). Her master class teachers have included Lev Vlassenko, Michail Voskressensky, Richard Goode, Gilbert Kalish, Gyorgy Kurtag, Peter Donahue, Pnina Salzman, Emanuel Kreassovsky, Christopher Elton, Donald Velerstain, Joel Krosnick, Thomas Riebl, Kim Kashkashian, and Elisso Virsaladze.
February 27, 2007