On Saturday, Yellowknifers will have a chance to see world-class pianist Anastasia Rizikov perform at the Northern Arts and Culture Centre.
Born in Toronto, Rizikov began studying classical music at the tender age of five. At age seven, she made her orchestral debut with the National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine after winning the Vladimir Horowitz International Piano Competition.
Now 20, Rizikov has performed with many of the major orchestras around the globe.
She’ll be performing in Yellowknife thanks to Piano Six New Generation, a not-for-profit organization that brings classical musicians to rural areas.
“Travelling into these communities, the interesting thing, which is different from any other concert I would be giving, is that I am basically playing for an audience where the majority is not familiar with classical music,” said Rizikov.
This is her first trip to the North and she’s excited to share her passion for classical music with both longtime aficionados and those who are just starting to explore the genre, she said.
“I play the music which I love,” she said. “When I’m playing something I enjoy, it comes from the heart. My goal, is not to play what they already know but introduce them to something they might not know and spark some curiosity in the genre.”
“As I am going along I am discovering what they like and how they react to the music and for them it’s a discovery because it’s music they may not have heard of or music they have not heard live,” she continued.
Rizikov is playing as a part of the Rising Star Series at NACC which features young performers who are just beginning their careers.
Being young, according to Rizikov, has advantages and disadvantages when pursuing a career in classical music.
“Like any other profession, the earlier you start, the easier it is to acquire more skills,” she said. “When you’re young your brain works in a different way and absorbs everything like a sponge and in that way I think it’s easier, but I think the way it may not be easier is because the particular path that I chose, classical music can deal with some very serious and very intense emotions which sometimes a little child can comprehend and understand and that’s something that becomes better with time.”
Rizikov has played shows in Hay River and Fort Smith and will be finishing her short tour in Yellowknife.
Her show starts at 7:30 p.m. with an opening performance by Yellowknife violinist Alice Twa accompanied by Ben Russo.