Sophia Lisovskaya was born in Moscow into a family of professional musicians. Having shown early promise she gave her first public performance at the age of six in Moscow’s Museum of Fine Art, one of Sviatoslav Richter’s favourite venues, and has since continued to follow the grand tradition of the old Russian School with a lineage of professors leading directly back to the great figures of Neuhaus, Sofronitsky and Scriabin.
First formal distinction came at the age of 13 when she won first prize in the prestigious Russian ‘New Names’ competition performing Chopin’s 2nd piano concerto with the former Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra, whilst studying at the Tchaikovsky Junior Conservatoire of Music. Sophia completed her musical education in the West, taking up the offer of a full scholarship at London’s Royal Academy of Music, where she studied with Professor Aaron Shorr, and gaining a scholarship from London’s Philharmonia Orchestra. In parallel with her studies, Sophia Lisovskaya’s career continued to blossom from her teens onwards with engagements such as her tour in South America performing Rachmaninoff’s 4th concerto in Buenos Aires (at the Teatro de Colon), Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. She subsequently performed throughout Europe including appearances at St. James’ Palace (London), the Västerås Concert Hall (Sweden), and Wigmore Hall (London).
Since then, Sophia has performed numerous concerts all over the UK, including making a return to London’s Wigmore Hall where she performed a recital focusing on the late works of Chopin as well as works of the great Russian composers. Continuing to expand her Russian repertoire Sophia also gave her debut in Sweden on tour performing Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano concerto. Her debut in the legendary ‘Great Hall’ of the Moscow Conservatoire, performing the premiere of Bruch’s Double Piano Concerto with the Moscow State Chamber Orchestra in their Winter Proms season, was a huge success and she has made a number of broadcasts including live performances on National Swedish Radio, BBC Radio 3 and Moscow Radio. Previous engagements have also included Sophia’s concert to open the London Festival Orchestra’s ‘Virtuoso Pianists’ concerto series, her return to tour Russia giving several performances with the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra under their music director maestro Katz for their 50th Year Jubilee Concert, and performing with the Queensland Orchestra in Australia. At a Gala Concert in Latvia Sophia performed Shostakovich’s 2nd Piano Concerto and she has given recitals in Milan (in the prestigious Sala Verdi for the Società dei Concerti), London (St John’s, Smith Square) and Moscow, and returned to Sweden for an extended recital tour. Closer to home, Sophia continues to expand her UK audience, performing up and down the country. She has recently performed at St. George’s, Bristol, Chipping Campden Music and Ripon Cathedral and her engagements here this season include performances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Sophia continues to pursue her pianistic career upholding her strong belief and commitment to artistic integrity. Her repertoire is broad although her childhood love of Russian composers has never left her; indeed, one of her current artistic projects is to develop and film a documentary about Tchaikovsky, in collaboration with film–maker Don Boyd and his production company, HiBROW. Lisovskaya’s debut CD was a recital disc of the composer Scriabin, which was released on the Swedish label BIS. Critical acclaim again praised her traditional Russian approach with Michel Le Naour of Le Monde de la Musique writing:
‘There is no denying that Lisovskaya possesses the sensitivity and technique that allows her to step beyond the technical pitfalls Scriabin’s music is littered with.’
Her live performances are invariably described as original and powerful, with particular praise reserved for her ability to make a strong impact on audiences with her unique, recognisable sound. The Music Director of the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Zurich Opera House, Maestro Vladimir Fedoseyev refers to Sophia Lisovskaya as ‘a pianist with a special poetic gift’. Since performing with her father during her childhood, Sophia has enjoyed collaborating with other artists. Earlier in her career, Sophia’s involvement in chamber music took her to many festivals including the Bregenz Festival, the Josseff Otten Festival, and the Ascona Music Festival. More recently she performed in Moscow’s first Schubertiade at the new ‘Music House’ concert hall in Moscow with Russia’s leading chamber musicians. Sophia made a successful debut in China in 2011 with a tour which included venues in Guangzhou and Beijing and an appearance on GZ Television. She has subsequently been invited to return to the region, this time to perform in Hong Kong and to appear on two of China’s major television channels, Phoenix TV and CCTV. Additional international engagements take her to France, Russia and Switzerland. In addition to her devotion to music, Sophia is passionate about the visual arts and has studied History of Art. She was therefore particularly delighted to accept a recent invitation to perform at the opening night of the Giacometti Centre. Sophia strongly believes in the importance of charity work and has performed for various organisations, including UNICEF (Paris) and the Musicians Benevolent Fund.