Anastasia Rizikov (born December 8, 1998) is a Canadian classical pianist. ...Ms. Rizikov is an extraordinary virtuoso, with abundant technical prowess. But she is more than the sum of ten fingers – she is a consummate artist, born to play, to love the art and act of music-making... was written about her by Renée Silberman at The Beat Magazine, January 21, 2014.
Anastasia Rizikov was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She began her studies at age of five, and since then showed unparalleled dedication to both practice and performance. She studies with award-winning piano teacher Maia Spis at the Nadia Music Academy in Toronto. 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. After finishing 6 grades of Elementary school, Anastasia was transferred to a home education program. Also, she studied at the Independent Learning Centre where she worked towards her High School Diploma.
Anastasia is currently on the international competition circuit, winning many awards in the process. In September, 2015 she received 1st place in the Ettore Pozzoli International Piano Competition in Seregno, Italy, along with prizes for best compulsory work by E. Pozzoli, and audience prize. On April 17, 2015, Anastasia Rizikov swept the field of 66 entrants to win the Gold Medal and all other prizes in the 57th Jaén International Piano Competition in Jaén, Spain. At the age of 16, Ms. Rizikov was one of the youngest musicians to perform, and she performed with great artistry and passion. Anastasia stands out as the first Canadian and one of the youngest prize winners in the history of the competition, an event with a long and venerable history. ( "Jaén Prize" is a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions, itself a member of the International Music Council (UNESCO) since 1966). In November 2013 she captured first prize in the 13th «Giuliano Pecar» International Piano Competition in Gorizia, Italy; and in May 2011 - first prize in the Rotary International Piano Competition in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Choosing to enter the more challenging Senior Category in both competitions (age 35 and under) she had become the youngest person to compete in their history – winning over players twice her age! She returned to Spain in June, 2012 for a series of solo recitals, as well as for the E. Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 16 performance with Balearic Symphony Orchestra at Royal Palace of La Almudaina in Palma de Mallorca. In 2010, Anastasia won first place in the Thousand Islands International Piano Competition for Young People (Cape Vincent, NY). She also won first place at American Protégé 2010 International Piano and Strings Competition and performed in New York City's Carnegie Hall. She had already performed at Carnegie Hall before, when, in 2009, Anastasia became the first-place winner at the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition. In 2008, representing Canada, Anastasia performed with great success in the Kremlin, Moscow at the international festival "Moscow Meets Friends", organized by Vladimir Spivakov's International Charity Foundation; she was awarded the Festival's medal and diploma. Also in 2008, Anastasia had the honour of performing at the fourth "Young Stars of the Young Century" Gala Concert organized by Vladimir Spivakov's Charity Foundation, which took place in the Toronto Centre for The Arts. In 2006, Anastasia became the first-place winner at The Vladimir Horowitz International Young Pianists Competition in Kiev, Ukraine, again, representing Canada. She was also given a special award for Best Artistic Performance and, at age seven, made her orchestral debut, performing Polunin's Concertino in A minor with the National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, conducted by Mykola Diadiura at the Concert Hall of National Kiev Philharmonic. Following this competition the USA Concert Tour of Winners was organized, in which Anastasia had participated with a big success.
Nationally, Anastasia Rizikov is also a first prize winner at both the Canadian Music Competition (CMC) and the Canadian Chopin Competition. The Chopin Competition, held every five years, led to Anastasia's appearance at a gala winners' concert at Koerner Hall in Toronto. For the first five years of her musical career Anastasia won first places at several local competitions in the Greater Toronto Area, including Markham Music Festival, Yips Music Festival, North York Music Festival, Peel Music Festival, Davenport Music Festival, Toronto Music Competition, Kiwanis Music Festival of Greater Toronto, Kiwanis Provincial Music Festival, and the Canadian Music Competition (CMC).
In June, 2012 Anastasia was awarded the prestigious 2013 "Debut Atlantic" concert tour. The 2,5 week long tour along the Canadian Atlantic coast was held in September, 2013.
In December, 2012, in honour 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 to the "outstanding young pianist Anastasia Rizikov. Ms. Rizikov has the piano on an indefinite loan-basis to aid in her artistic and career development."
In 2014, at the age of 15, Anastasia has performed one of the most technically challenging piano concertos – Rachmaninoff No. 3 in D minor with Orchestre symphonique de Laval in collaboration with conductor Alain Trudel in Quebec.
In 2015, Ms. Rizikov performed in major international music festivals like the Orford Music Festival, and the Verbier Music Festival.
Anastasia's concert schedules had taken her to Asia, all over Europe - Spain, Italy, Switzerland, France, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, to the United States, and Canada, where she has played in 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.
Anastasia had performed with following orchestras: National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Northwest Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Plymouth Symphony Orchestra (Michigan Philharmonic), Toronto Sinfonietta, International Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Baleares "Ciudad de Palma", National Academy Orchestra of Canada, Sinfonia Toronto, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra London Canada, Symphony Nova Scotia, Northumberland Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Laval, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada,; Motor City Symphony Orchestra, HKMA Orchestra, Niagara Symphony Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra; and had worked with following conductors: Mykola Diadiura, Michael Holian, John Covelli, Nan Washburn, Matthew Jaskiewicz, Robert Debbaut, Salvador Brotons, Boris Brott, Berislav Skenderović, Shalom Bard, Nurhan Arman, Douglas A. Bianchi, Alain Trudel, Bernhard Gueller, John Kraus, Dina Gilbert, Paul Mann, Bradley Thachuk, Neal Gittleman and Andrei Feher.
Anastasia had given interviews to and performed at Canadian Jazz FM 91 and Classical 96.3 FM radio stations, CBC Television news and CBC Radio, Rogers TV, Global Montreal TV, Russian MIX TV (City TV), the Ukrainian TV programs Svitohliad and Kontakt, Toronto Star newspaper, Wholenote magazine, and American WSKG-FM, WSKG-TV channels. An excerpt of one of her videos was briefly shown on The Oprah Winfrey Show during a feature on gifted children. On top of that, Anastasia performed numerous solo-concerts in major cities of The United States of America and Canada.