The recipients of the 2012 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards were announced today in Calgary. Janina Fialkowska, one of Canada’s best concert pianists, will be recognized with a lifetime achievement award.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to receive this award,” said Fialkowska upon hearing the news. “We concert pianists live a very solitary life; we’re alone with our instrument. Of course we receive recognition at the time of the concert in the form of applause and people coming backstage and it’s very nice, but you know, we’re talking seconds there, and the rest of the time we’re on our own and we work terribly hard to be true to the composer and true to our audiences. So it’s very nice to get recognition of this magnitude. It’s huge for me, and I’m thrilled.”
Montreal-born Fialkowska is recognized the world over as one of the great interpreters of the music of Frédéric Chopin, whom she names as her favourite composer.
Listen Listen to Fialkowska describe her connection with Chopin, produced for CBC Music by Carrie Haber courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada.
Fialkowska has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the London Philharmonic and the French and Belgian National Radio orchestras. She was also the founding director of Piano Six (later Piano Plus), whose mission was to take classical piano music to remote or disadvantaged regions of Canada. Fialkowska is also an officer of the Order of Canada.
“I’m rather proud that my country gives this kind of award; recognizes the arts in such a way, [and] realizes the importance of the arts in our society,” said Fialkowska, reflecting on her lifetime achievement award. “It’s a vocation, to be a musician. It’s not a job. And we’ve devoted our entire lives because we start at age three or four and it goes until we drop at the age of, you know, 100 or whatever. I’m very proud of Canada; not many countries celebrate their artists in this way. And it’s lovely.”
The 2012 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards recipients will be celebrated at a gala event on Saturday, May 5 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
Watch Fialkowska play the music of Chopin at Cadogan Hall in London, England, in May 2010.
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2012 Recipients of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards
on Mar 06, 2012