Ukrainian-American pianist Valentina Lisitsa was born in Kiev on 11 December 1973. She began studying piano aged three and attended the Lysenko Music School for Gifted Children.
After winning first prize (with her future husband Alexei Kuznetsoff) in Miami's Murray Dranoff Two Piano Competition, the young couple moved to the USA to further their careers.
Lisitsa first got noticed as a YouTube phenomenon, releasing videos of Chopin études.
She was signed by Decca in 2012.
She has been criticised for her opposition to the Ukrainian government since the 2014 unrest in Ukraine, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra cancelled her appearances with them, citing various provocative comments on Twitter.
A selection of M&V articles about Valentina Lisitsa
CD Spotlight. Bewildering Delight - Valentina Lisitsa plays Philip Glass, impressing Gerald Fenech. 'A must for all Glass enthusiasts ...'