How It All Began – Part 1

My first exposure to Piano Six occurred in 1999 as an 18-year-old. I was already living in Europe at the time, but had just performed a concert in Windsor, ON and heard that there was a Grand Dame in town, a pianist by the name of Janina Fialkowska.

Of course, her name was already familiar to me but I had never suspected that someone of such stature would provide masterclasses entirely free of charge! I immediately enrolled and quickly found myself in the front aisle together with a handful of nervous pianists and their consoling parents.


Janina was so courteous and congenial with everyone, like an angel who had come down to pass on universal lessons of truth and wisdom. In just one lesson with Janina, I received important artistic insights handed down directly from the legendary pianist Arthur Rubinstein – ideas that have never left me to this day. Janina also provided each of us with a copy of her latest CD at the time – the complete Chopin etudes, an interpretation I’ve cherished to this day.


Since then we’ve kept in touch on a regular basis. Janina has told me on more than one occasion that her participation in Piano Six was the highlight of her  career as a concert pianist. In such outreach activities, one never knows whose hearts will be touched and whose lives may be permanently altered as a result of having direct contact with a live performer of the highest caliber.

Daniel Wnukowski

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