*2 V 1939 Kijev, †30 VII 2001London
Irina Zaritskaya – winner 2nd Prize, 6th International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (1960). Irina Zaritskaya started playing the piano at the Children’s Music School in Kiev (until 1953), and subsequently continued her studies at the Central Special Music School at the Moscow Conservatoire with Professor Tatiana Kestner. She graduated in 1958 and entered the Moscow Conservatoire, where she was accepted into Yakov Zak’s class. She received her graduation diploma in 1963.
In 1960, she enjoyed great success winning the 2nd prize at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw and receiving two special awards – the Polish Radio Award for best mazurka performance and the Chopin Society Award for best polonaise performance.
For many years, Ms. Zaritskaya only performed within the Soviet Union, appearing with the country’s best orchestras and conductors, including Kirill Kondrashin, Rudolf Barshai and Natan Rakhlin. In 1961 she appeared in Warsaw, playing Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto in G major and a matinée recital of six preludes and the Sonata in B flat minor by Chopin and Kabalevsky’s 3rd Piano Sonata.
In 1972 Ms. Zaritskaya emigrated to Israel, binding her professional careers – both as a performer and teacher – with the Rubin Academy of Music. In 1985 she moved to England and settled in London. She appeared occasionally with the London Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and accompanied violinist Boris Belkin. She mainly focused on teaching at the Royal College of Music, the Menuhin School and the Purcell School, however.
Her last concert appearance in Poland was on 9th August 1995 in Duszniki, at the 50th International Chopin Festival, where she performed works by Scriabin, Prokofiev, Kabalevsky and Chopin.
Recorded in 1988