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The best kept secret in music


"Young Virtuoso"

This evening it introduced the young... virtuoso Berenika Zakrzewski (pictured), a slight figure in a to-die-for strapless gown of champagne taffeta, with seemingly small hands and delicate fingers. We soon learnt why she won her first competition at three, entered the Julliard School at 13, has awards from Harvard and Tanglewood and is now an M.Phil scholar at Christ Church. That opening crescendo of eight chords was perfectly judged (conductor Marios Papadopoulos, himself no mean keyboard performer, regarding her with respectful awe) into its thunderous climax, and the delicate feathery cadenzas and arpeggios so characteristic of this composer were played with ease and dizzying speed.
- Jeannine Alton, The Oxford Times, March 15, 2007, Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 2

"Dazzling virtuosity"

The musical soul, which takes many shapes and colours in the three movements of this great concerto, springs complete from Berenika's hands.

Berenika's dazzling virtuosity enunciates in powerful chord structures and superb passage work to the fullest expression of the composer's thematic material.

The slow second movement reveals Berenika's formidable ability to express the muted theme with pristine, simply stated beauty - the hallmark of the great pianist. the movement introduces another theme marked by a lyrical melancholy, which the soloist plays with the subdued passion one expects from an interpreter of Rachmaninoff.

... In all three movements, Berenika is in complete control of soft legato melodies as well as the brilliance of powerful, rapidly moving scale passages, handling all with the great technique and strength anyone attempting the music of Rachmaninoff must possess”.
- Martha A. Fawbush, Asheville Citizen-Times, November 21, 2005, Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 2

"Buenos Aires"

Zakrzewski has a sure and flawless technique, and in addition a notable
demonstrative quality in her approach to works of great challenge such as this concerto. Her sound is clear, even in the most intricate and virtuosic passages.
- Hector Coda, La Nacion, Buenos Aires, August 7, 2003, Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 2

"power and grace"

She exuded a natural performer's charm and sense of self-
enjoyment, which no amount of virtuosity can convey, and she had the right stuff in that area as well. Her interpretation had plenty of power and considerable grace."
- Bill Rankin, Edmonton Journal, June 5, 2004, Beethoven Concerto No. 3

"lightening speed and precision"

"....Berenika played like a woman possessed… The highlight of the evening was when she performed Liszt's Fourth Hungarian
Rhapsody. It was a bold attempt on her part, executed with confidence and sangfroid as her fingers glided over the keyboard with lightening speed and precision”.
- Simon Mol, The Warsaw Voice, July 7, 2002

"lucious legato and delicate control"

"....The key to this work, of course, is passion, and she (Berenika) projected an air of confidence, intense concentration and an understanding of the need for keyboard contrast...Her best work came in the second movement, where se offered lucious legato and delicate control."

- Geoff Chapman, Toronto Star, March 28, 2000, Chopin Concerto No. 1

"blond and beautiful"

"....The blond and beautiful Berenika, her body enveloped in red, entered with a brisk pace...not withstanding that Berenika was like an arrow shot into the air and plays
very fast, she has clarity, temperament and musicality”
- Eduardo Kusnir, El Nuevo Dia, June 15, 1999, Mozart Concerto in D minor.


Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 CDAccord


Feeling a bit camera shy


Berenika's performances have taken her all over the world. She has appeared with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Asheville Symphony under Daniel Meyer, with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Jukka Pekka Saraste, the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada under Erich Kunzel, the Penderecki Festival Orchetra under Heinrich Schiff, the Boston Civic Symphony under Max Hobart in Jordan Hall, the Oxford Philomusica, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the RIC Symphony Orchestra, the Bialystock Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, Camerata New York, the Canadian Chamber Orchestra, the Christ Church Orchestra, the Beethoven Academy Orchestra and the Aspen Sinfonia among others. Recently she gave a tour of South America as a soloist with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas performing in the major concert halls of Brazil, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, Costa Rica,and Argentina, including the Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires for enthusiastic audiences. She was chosen to give a performance of the new Penderecki Piano Concerto with the Poznan Filharmonic for the composer's 70th Birthday. She also performed at Rockhotel Pianofest in New York and in the Allen Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Berenika is the recipient of the prestigious Leonard Bernstein Scholarship at Harvard, the Arthur W. Foote prize of the historic Harvard Musical Association which has hosted such artists as Ferruccio Busoni, the John Knowles Paine Fellowship, the Canada Council for the Arts Award.

Berenika made a critically acclaimed live recording of the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 with Sinfonietta Cracovia under John Axelrod, distributed by Universal Music Group. Berenika is also the international spokeperson in all media for Casio Inc., Japan's Privia - a new line of digital pianos. Berenika's performances have been widely broadcast on television and radio, appearing on Bravo!, the CBC, CityTV, YTV, MDR Germany, WCQS, and the BBC. She was a featured performer on New York radio station WQXR's McGraw Hill Young Artist Showcase, hosted by Robert Sherman. She was also Classic FM’s “Hot Property” on Late Night Lisa – featuring the best young performers in classical music today.

Berenika was the Leonard Bernstein Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center giving performances at Tanglewood on Parade, the Festival of Contemporary Music, the Steinway Recital series and in collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Group at Jacob's Pillow. She was a New Horizon's Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, and also attended the Verbier Festival, Switzerland and the International Summer Academy Mozarteum in Salzburg.

She has had the honor of being presented to HM Queen Elizabeth II, performing in a gala concert at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, being introduced in the House of Commons, performing at the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa and performing for the 40th anniversary of the Fulbright Commission.

Born a performer, Berenika started piano at age 3, by 5 she already won her first piano competition and at 9 she performed as soloist with the Sault Symphony Orchestra. She moved to New York to attend the Juilliard School and Professional Children's School at age 13. While Berenika might not resemble a scholar, having been photographed by celebrity photographer Douglas Kirkland and dressed in Halston, it is truly astonishing that in the midst of all her traveling, concerts and rehearsals, Berenika graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in both Music and Government. Her honors thesis was on arts policy - something very close to her heart. Currently, Berenika is pursufinishing her MPhil in Performance and Musicology at Christ Church, Oxford University. Please visit