Sonya Lifschitz
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Artist profile 
Sonya Lifschitz
Dame Joan Sutherland Fund recipient, Pianist

Praised for the beauty of her tone and depth of her interpretations, Ukrainian-born/Australian-based pianist Sonya Lifschitz is quickly becoming recognized as one of Australia’s most prominent and exciting young performers of both the traditional and contemporary repertoire. Having recently completed intensive post-graduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music (Baltimore, USA) under the tutelage of the legendary pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher, Sonya is now in demand both as a soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue.
Sonya began her formal studies in the city of her birth, Kiev. There, at an early age she became recognized for her remarkable talent and was invited to perform at some of Kiev’s most prestigious venues. At age thirteen, Sonya’s family immigrated to Australia, where she continued her musical education at the Victorian College of the Arts and, later, at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music where she was a recipient of First Class Honours.

At age eighteen, Sonya made her debut with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the performance was broadcast on ABC classic FM and on ABC National Television. She has also been a soloist with the Johns Hopkins Symphony, Israel Symphony, the Western Australia Youth Symphony, the Melbourne Youth Symphony and the Maroondah Symphony orchestras. She has performed widely in Australia, United States, Italy, Switzerland, England and Israel, and has been a featured performer on ABC Classic FM and 3MBS classic FM.

Sonya was a major prize-winner in numerous competitions and was awarded such prestigious scholarships as the American-Australian Foundation Dame Joan Sutherland Award, Fulbright Scholarship, the Peabody Dean’s Grant, Peabody Merit Scholarship, Peabody Career Development Grant, and the Peabody Chamber Music Prize. As well as that, Sonya received several Arts Victoria for commissioning and presentation of new works, the Ian Potter Cultural Trust Scholarship, the Lord Mayor of Brisbane Performing Arts Fellowship and was selected to participate in the Australian National Academy of Music Program.

In the competitive arena, Ms. Lifschitz has captured major prizes in many competitions including First prize in the Tel-Hai International Concerto Competition and the Tel-Hai Festival’s award for the Best Performance of a Romantic Work (Israel), First Prize and Overall Winner of the Queensland Piano Competition, Fist Prize in the Melbourne Symphony Young Artist Award, Second Prize in the Austral-Asian Kawai Concerto Competition. She had also won the Minnie May Bussey, Hilder Wholmer Prize and Academic Excellence Award at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.

Sonya’s interests are increasingly growing in the direction of aesthetic diversification in respect to concert culture in Australia, seeking to expand the existing parameters of performance practice and concert experience. Upcoming performances include Australian premieres of Kate Neal’s Particle Zoo II for solo piano and ensemble and Paul Doornbusch’s Continuity 5 for piano, percussion and live electronics at the Arts House Meat Market in North Melbourne; collaboration with violinist Miwako Abe, guest performance with the Arcko Symphonic Project and collaboration with violist Helen Ireland (Flinders String Quartet).

Sonya is currently a PhD candidate at the Melbourne University exploring the influence of collaboration with contemporary composers on her artistic practice.

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