Embracing YouTube pays off for one pianist

Posted on: October 22, 2013

In Saturday’s (10/19) Washington Post, Katherine Boyle writes about Ukrainian pianist Valentina Lisitsa’s unorthodox use of YouTube to boost her career. “‘By 2007, I was just another blond Russian ex-pianist [says Lisitsa]. I didn’t have an audience or concerts. I was at home with my son, wondering what to do with my life, so I put a clip on YouTube.’ The three-minute video of Rachmaninoff’s Etude Op. 39 No. 6, or ‘Little Red Riding Hood,’ went viral…. Following its success, Lisitsa posted videos of herself playing Liszt and Tchaikovsky. Her first-past-the-post strategy of flooding YouTube with videos of the repertoire paid off, yielding more than 60 million views and 100,000 YouTube subscribers. Fame ultimately translated into album deals … and a global touring schedule…. ‘The level of every pianist coming out of conservatory has never been higher,’ she said. ‘So many pianists … don’t know where to look for audience.’ … She says she had no choice but to embrace this strategy when she realized her homemade DVD of Chopin’s 24 Etudes was being uploaded illegally on YouTube. ‘At first I was removing the clips one by one, but then I thought, “What am I doing? I’m angering my fans,” ’  she said.”

Posted October 22, 2013