Rossina Grieco has been performing to audiences for the reason that age of six, and she or he’ll be making her Koerner Corridor debut as a solo recitalist on November 18 with a program of classical favourites. As a former scholar on the Glenn Gould Faculty, it’s a homecoming in addition to her solo recital debut on the famend stage.
From the hectic schedule of a kid prodigy with in depth competitors wins and performances to Toronto’s phases, Grieco’s path within the classical music world has been a little bit out of the abnormal. The journey introduced her from California to Toronto, the place we caught up together with her to speak about her background, and, after all, the music.
The story begins with household. “My mother was a live performance clarinetist,” Rossina says.
Grieco was born right into a musical household. Her mom, Molly Grieco, was a clarinetist with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra in addition to a music trainer. It was a love of music that introduced her mother and father collectively when Molly visited america from her native China.
She acknowledged Rossina’s expertise early, and Rossina began taking part in piano on the age of 4 beneath her mom’s tutelage. She started research in earnest with Luba Ugorski of the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music not lengthy after. Rossina was performing for audiences by the age of six, and performed with the San Diego Symphony whereas nonetheless a toddler, at 8.
“On the time, it was a giant splash,” Rossina recollects. Nonetheless, she factors out that at the moment, youngster performers aren’t such a rarity. “Prodigies maintain getting youthful and youthful,” she notes.
Nonetheless, Rossina’s profession as a toddler prodigy was busy, together with a full-length recital debut on the Athenaeum in LaJolla CA, and appearances on Nationwide Public Radio on a program known as From the Prime. Rossina was the youngest soloist to play with the San Diego Younger Artists Symphony Orchestra. She carried out Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra at 13, and the viewers leapt to their ft to applaud after the primary motion.
What adopted was a string of competitors wins, together with the Bach Competition (2001, 2002, 2003), and the Younger Artist Competitors of Carnegie Corridor in 2001, amongst others. She’s additionally carried out and competed extensively in China, together with a full-house in Shanghai, her mom’s native metropolis. She carried out with the Shanghai Symphony, the Oriental Sinfonietta, and the China Philharmonic.
Again within the US, after a few years of research at The Juilliard Faculty on the pre-college stage, she got here north to check at The Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould Faculty in Toronto. “I did six years on the Glenn Gould Faculty.”
On the Glenn Gould Faculty, she gained The Ihnatowycz Prize in Piano, the varsity’s largest prize given to piano college students with “distinctive potential”. She took over the award from Jan Lisiecki, and benefited from its full-tuition help for over 5 years.
Taking The Subsequent Step
Whereas research introduced her to Toronto, it’s love that has stored her right here. Rossina met her husband, a financier and former RCM scholar, throughout her research, and bought married throughout the pandemic. With restrictions lifted, they’d a full wedding ceremony ceremony this summer season.
Rossina discovered herself on the rising stage of her profession, and determined to take possession of her path in music. Whereas her contemporaries are doubtless immersed in a flurry of grant proposals and competitions, in an uncommon transfer, she’s presenting her personal live performance — however she says she doesn’t perceive why extra younger artists don’t do the identical.
“I believe, as any individual who has achieved every part, and exhausted commonest arenas of tips on how to promote a classical profession, you be taught that investing and betting on your self is the very best shot you’ll ever have,” she says.
“It at all times baffled me as a musician why we let different folks be in command of our trajectory.”
That’s to not say she doesn’t worth mentorship or steerage. However, with a big pool of youthful musicians keen to go away their mark, there’s a nagging sense of letting others dictate potential, in addition to being in a consistently aggressive mode.
“I believe there’s such a broad area for artwork. It doesn’t must be so cutthroat. We’re all taught to combat for that one spot,” she says. It’s a mindset she needed to step exterior of.
The Shanghai Day by day referred to Rossina’s type as that of a diva, however it’s a task she has realized to relish. “I’m going to borrow some phrases from the dean of the Glenn Gould Faculty,” she says with a smile. “He known as me polarizing.”
It’s one of many classes she’s realized. “You need everyone to love you,” she says. At one level, she tried to please everybody. “However, going in opposition to your individual inventive reality, you’re going to lose your individual identification,” she says. “I by no means needed to do this.”
She’s practical about viewers expectations. “The panorama of music is at all times altering,” she notes. Audiences are searching for what’s contemporary and new.
Finally, her aim is straightforward.
“I might love folks to listen to my music, and like it,” she says.
Outdoors of efficiency as a soloist, she’s open to the thought of chamber work as properly. “I believe it’s a great way to be taught that you simply’re not the one particular person on the earth,” she says. The angle modifications from work as a soloist, and stretches inventive talents. That’s one thing that is still on her radar for the long run.
Rossina performs Sergei Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra and conductor Maestro Gábor Takács-Nagy in 2016.
Grieco has stacked this system for Koerner Corridor together with her favourites. “A few of my biggest idols that I’ve seemed as much as have performed these works many occasions in live performance,” she says.
- Johann Sebastian Bach: Partita No. 2 in C Minor
- Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp Minor, op. 27, no. 2 (“Moonlight”)
- Fryderyk Chopin: 4 Scherzi
- Fryderyk Chopin: 24 Preludes, 0p. 28
Taking over difficult repertoire is a part of what motivates her. She’s a eager observer of the classical music world and its luminaries, being attentive to what captivates her. For this system, she begins with a selection that units the tone.
As her Russian trainer as soon as joked, “Somebody who can open with a Bach work is to not be trifled with.”
Beethoven is one other pure choice for this system. She acknowledges the recognition of Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp Minor, even to the purpose the place some would possibly discover it overly acquainted. “I just like the Moonlight Sonata. Lots of people prefer to scoff at this work,” she says. “It shouldn’t blind you to its inventive advantage.” She recollects Evgeny Kissin’s Beethoven recital on the 2019 Verbier Competition as an inspiration for her selection.
Chopin’s Scherzi and Preludes spherical out this system. The Preludes have been the primary large-scale work she tackled after coming to Toronto, and taking part in all 24 in live performance was a pre-pandemic aim, one which she meant to report stay. She was impressed by Claudio Arrau’s historic stay recording of the identical. “It was such a pillar of accomplishment,” she says. “Annually, I challenged myself to rise to that event.” She cites Martha Argerich as one other inspiration.
“They grow to be completely different each time I play them,” she says of the Preludes. She likens it to cooking an excellent sauce — the flavours change as you mix.
She’s recorded the 4 Scherzi stay on video. “It’s actually an athletic and artistically demanding and difficult technical work, a physique of labor,” she says. It was Lang Lang’s recording of the 4 Scherzi in Paris that led her to conclude the very best interpretation could possibly be developed by taking part in all of them collectively with out pausing. “It’s undoubtedly an emotional endeavour. It virtually seems like a rebirth whenever you’re achieved with the 4, it takes a lot out of you,” she says. It additionally units the bar excessive.
“In all probability as a result of I’m a little bit little bit of an overachiever.”
You could find out extra about Rossina on her web site right here, and observe her social media account right here. Her recordings — all produced stay — can be found on Spotify, and movies on YouTube.
Tickets for the November 18 live performance can be found right here.
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