Steinway star to play at Polish Embassy

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SIXTEEN-year old ‘rising star’ of Australian piano, Olivia Urbaniak, has Canberra’s Friends of Chopin Australia in a whirl of excitement.

Olivia Urbaniak
Olivia Urbaniak

A 2014 ‘Rising Star’ scholarship recipient at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Urbaniak will be appearing on the long weekend at the Polish Embassy to perform an ambitious all-Chopin program, including the fiendishly difficult “Sonata no.2 in B flat minor”, known for its “Marche funebre.’ Einstein once said the Sonata “constituted a whole that was entirely logical, sensible and an excellent Romantic work intentionally reconciling opposites.”

The ‘Friends’ are justifiably impressed, describing the young pianist, also a member of the elite Mensa Australia (The High IQ Society), as “very precocious.”

The first part of the recital, which is a fundraiser for the 2nd Australian International Chopin Piano Competition will include a Mazurka, Ballade, Nocturne and a Scherzo. Maciej Pawela, the artistic director will also be performing at the recital and will give the audience an update on the Competition, running at the ANU School of Music from September 15-21.

While Urbaniak is technically too young to participate in the competition, cheers, aiming to compete in next year’s Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw , and to that end, will be giving later in June to perform in Paris and attend an International master class in Poland.

Needless to say, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, sponsoring the concert next weekend, is exceedingly proud of this young Polish-Australian.

Born in Perth, and playing since she was six, Urbaniak is presently a piano student of Natalia Sheludiakova at the Sydney Con. In 2013 she was the youngest of eight pianists selected to participate in international piano masterclasses with concert pianist Andreas Haefliger and this year she was invited to become a Young Steinway Artist.

Olivia Urbaniak recital, at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Canberra, 7 Turrana Street, Yarralumla, 8pm (doors open 7.30pm) , Saturday, June 7. Supper following the concert is included in the ticket price. Bookings essential to Wanda Horky, wwhorky@gmail or 04438 195 183 or to Andrew Kopras, or 0412 002 223.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor


  1. A great article about a great emerging artist. Thank you Helen for supporting the arts — in this case Olivia & the 2nd Australian International Chopin Piano Competition, 15-21 September 2014, ANU School of Music

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