Slouched on the polished grand piano,her blonde mane swept back,the pianists fingers moved deftly from one end of the keyboard to the other. Capturing the haunting and melancholic notes of Frederic Chopins Mazurka Op.17,No.4,29-year-old Canadian classical pianist Berenika Zakrzewski made the Capital sway to her notes with renditions of masters such as Chopin,Claude Debussy,Phillip Glass and Franz Schubert,at the Lotus Temple auditorium on Wednesday.
Having performed all over the world with well-known orchestras such as the Pittsburgh Symphony,the New Philharmonic Orchestra in Florida and the Oxford Philomusica,Zakrzewskis first Indian performance came as an extension of a Hong Kong tour. Ive always wanted to come to India, says the artiste,whose schedule in India involves taking a class at the Delhi Music School,judging a piano competition and performing at the Calcutta School of Music on July 15,and finally,a concert at Blue Frog,Mumbai,on July 17,in collaboration with Yamaha,the Harvard Club and the Calcutta School of Music.
When she was all of three,the US-based Zakrzewski,then living in Canada,found herself engrossed with the piano. By the time she turned five,she had won her first piano competition,and at nine,she had performed a solo with Canadas Sault Symphony Orchestra. Her forte,however,doesnt stop with the piano. Apart from being a pianist,Im a thinking person too, she says. With an academic and music foundation laid down at Harvard,Oxford and the Royal Academy of Music,Zakrzewski has also dabbled in pop,contemporary and other genres. But its classical music that has an unending repertoire and offers me a deep connection, she says.
With ongoing projects with Dana Point Symphony,an orchestra in Orange County,California,of which she is the executive and artistic director,the artiste has a jam-packed year ahead. Right now,Im based where the piano is, she says.