The Polish-American pianist Anna Kijanowska (key-en-OFF-ska) has established herself as a multi faceted musician, smoothly transitioning among her roles as a performing and recording artist, pedagogue, coach, and advocate of contemporary classical music around the world. She has performed, taught and collaborated in North and South America, Asia, Europe, New Zealand, Africa and Australia.
Hailed by The New York Times (2007) as “an excellent young Polish pianist,” and by Brazilian critics as “the Tina Turner of classical music” (2010), Kijanowska’s concert performances represent the stunning diversity of today’s globalized classical music scene; she is equally at home performing in Carnegie Hall as the steppes of Mongolia. Her New York debut took place in 1997 with a live broadcast over WQXR, and she has to date appeared in Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall (NYC), and the Kennedy Center and National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C, as well as in underserved venues such as the Amazon basin in Brazil, the Himalayas in Nepal, and Mongolia.
Kijanowska’s recording of The Complete Mazurkas by Szymanowski (Dux 417) was recently praised by Adrian Corleonis of Fanfare Magazine “as superior to any other interpretations that came before or after her” and received favorable reviews on both sides of the Atlantic from the New York Times and BBC Magazine. Mr. Leonard of All Music Guide wrote, “Kijanowska’s performances are amazingly virtuosic, astonishingly charismatic, astoundingly empathic and completely compelling,” while Mr. Muse of the Classik Reviews called her performance a “revelation.”
As a concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, she has appeared in major festivals in Europe, including the Kiev Festival and the Polish Composers Festival under the patronage of Henryk Mikolaj Górecki, as well as at the Quartet Program at Bucknell University and SUNY Fredonia in New York. She has collaborated on these projects with several other renowned musicians, including violinists Charles Castleman, Sharon Roffman, and Ayano Ninomiya of Ying Quartet, pianist Blair McMillen of the Da Capo Chamber Players, and jazz pianist Leszek Możdżer. She has also been heard on WQXR in NYC, WNYC in New York, Chicago Radio, Radio New Zealand, SBS National Public Broadcasting in Australia, and has performed for television audiences in Poland, Ukraine, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand.
Kijanowska is particularly passionate about presenting Polish music to the world. She has been frequently invited as a visiting artist at Polish Embassies and Consulates around the world. She is also widely known as a promoter and elaborator of contemporary music. She has been involved in a number of international premiers and she works with living composers on a regular basis. Kijanowska’s repertoire spans from the 16th to the 21st century, and includes rarely-performed gems of Polish repertoire, such as the Piano Concerto by Lutosławski, as well as major works by Chopin and Górecki.
As an internationally recognized music educator, Kijanowska has been invited to present master classes, recitals and lectures at leading universities and conservatories around the world, including the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and LaSalle College of Arts in Singapore, Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts in Germany, the Sydney Konservatorium, the Chinese Conservatory in Beijing and the Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou, China, New Zealand School of Music at the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand, Australian National University in Canberra, Yayasan Pendidikan Musik Conservatory in Jakarta, Indonesia, North-West University in South Africa, the Conservatory in Lima, Peru, St. Thomas University in the Philippines, the Universities of Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Virginia and California, Bard College in New York, and Harvard University in Cambridge, among others.
She has also been invited as an adjudicator for a number of competitions worldwide, including the Yamaha Piano Competition, in Guangzhou, China, the Chopin piano competitions in Indonesia and Singapore as well as the MTNA and the Washington International Competition in the USA.
A winner of several national and international competitions herself, Kijanowska has received grants from the Kosciuszko Foundation, Jewish Foundation for Education of Women, the Madeleine Forte Foundation, the Manhattan School of Music in New York City and the Batory Foundation in Poland.
As a producer, Kijanowska focuses on promoting Polish and contemporary music with projects including a Szymanowski concert at Merkin Hall in New York City in 2007, which attracted the attention of esteemed pianist Krystian Zimerman. She has also presented innovative recital projects incorporating contemporary music with traditional repertoire (From Liszt to Liang, 2011) or fusion of musical styles (jazz with pianist Leszek Możdżer and Harris Simon) to audiences around the world. Kijanowska’s interest in the synthesis of arts and media has resulted in several projects combining music, visual arts, dance,poetry and photography.
Ms. Kijanowska began her musical education in Bielsko-Biała, Poland and she attended the Szymanowski Music Academy in Katowice, under the tutelage of Prof. Józef Stompel. After receiving her Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the Music Academy in Wrocław, she was awarded a scholarship to study with Dr. Madeleine Forte (pupil of Alfred Cortot, Rosina Lhevinne and Wilhelm Kempff) at Boise State University in the United States. She holds a Doctorate and a Master of Music in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York, where she studied with Byron Janis (pupil of Vladimir Horowitz and Rosina Lhevinne), Mykola Suk (pupil of Lev Vlasenko), Sara Davis Buechner (pupil of Rudolf Firkušný and Mieczysław Munz) and Marc Silverman.
Ms. Kijanowska is currently a faculty member at the Music Institute in the Fine Arts Department of the University of Silesia in Cieszyn, Poland. She is a former faculty member of the College of William and Mary and University of Richmond in Virginia, the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, The Castleman Quartet Program, the Levine School of Music, and the Washington International Piano Festival in Washington D.C.
Kijanowska’ s diverse interests in music and the arts parallel her love for nature and adventure.She is equally comfortable hiking in the Himalayas at 5000 meters, or 25 meters below sea level diving with sharks. An avid hiker, she has reached the Everest Base Camp, completed the Annapurna , Kanchanjunga and Langtang treck in Nepal, and hiked the Huayhuash Circut in the Peruvian Andes. She also enjoys horseback riding, yoga, running, biking and kayaking.