Sanford-Hill Piano Series presents: 2022 Van Cliburn Silver Medalist Anna Geniushene

We are excited to host the most recent Silver Medalist from the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano competition (June 2022): Anna Geniushene!

Programing Note

Yunchan Lim was originally booked for this performance. Due to an unforeseen conflict, Lim was unable to make the engagement. We have been very fortunate to book the Cliburn Silver Medalist, Anna Geniushene, and we're absolutely confident you will enjoy the performance!

Time and Location

Wednesday, October 12 at 7:30 pm PDT Performing Arts Center 155 - Concert Hall

Season tickets to all three Sanford-Hill Piano Series concerts

10% off single ticket prices

On sale at the box office July 8 through October 12, by calling 360-650-6146, or in-person only

  • $132 Section A
  • $105 Section B
  • $84 Section C
  • $54 Section D

Single tickets to just one concert

On sale at the box office beginning September 1

  • $49 Section A
  • $39 Section B
  • $31 Section C
  • $20 Section D

Single ticket discounts

  • All students K-12 and college

    • $5 tickets for seats in Section D! Available at the box office in-person only with student ID.
  • WWU Piano Students

    • Sit free in Section B! Available at the box office in-person only with student ID.
  • Private Music Teachers and K-12 Music Teachers

    • $10 tickets for seats in Section D! Available at the box office by calling 360-650-6146, in-person, and online.

Seating areas

  • Section A: Center of the front section with view of keyboard. Limited, order soon.
  • Section B: Front section left with view of keyboard or pianist.
  • Section C: Front and middle areas, good view of pianist.
  • Section D: Rear and right seating, some seats may have view of pianist obscured by piano.
Usher registration - current WWU students and employees only
Date Time Venue Sign up link
Performing Arts Center 155 - Concert Hall Sign up to usher for at

It was Geniushene’s powerhouse sound, forceful musical personality, and sheer virtuosity that had this critic on the edge of his seat. Peppered with crisp accents and crystalline runs, her radiant account of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.1 was shot through with restless tension. Geniushene closed the run of four concerts in style, with an incandescent account of Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto. She was on tigrine form as she powered through monumental cadenzas.

Musical America

About Anna Geniushene

Anna Geniushene’s fresh, layered, and powerful interpretations defined her participation at the 2022 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition—and won her the coveted silver medal and the adoration of fans around the globe. And the critics couldn’t get enough: “powerhouse sound, forceful musical personality, and sheer virtuosity…had this critic on the edge of his seat” (Musical America); “a performance of rare devotion and insight” (Onstage NTX); “a fresh version…that had this listener hanging on every bar” (La Scena).

And when Anna closed the Cliburn Competition with a momentous performance of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1, Gramophone likened it to the contest’s revered namesake, “I couldn’t help but equate Anna Geniushene’s seasoned pianism to Cliburn at his best.”

Born in Moscow on New Year’s Day in 1991, Anna made her recital debut just seven years later in the small hall of the Berlin Philharmonic. She has since developed a diverse and versatile career as an artist: performances in major world venues such as the Town Hall in Leeds, National Concert Hall in Dublin, Museum of Arts in Tel Aviv, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova, Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, and Sala Greppi in Bergamo; a dedication to chamber music, including duo piano repertoire with her husband, Lukas Geniušas, and close collaboration with Quartetto di Cremona; and the creation of her own festival of collaborative music-making (NikoFest). She currently resides in Lithuania with her husband and their young son, Tomas.

About the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

Widely considered one of the preeminent international music contests, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition exists to share excellent classical music with the largest international audience possible and to launch the careers of its winners every four years. Building on a rich tradition that began with its 1962 origins in honor of Van Cliburn and his vision for using music to serve audiences and break down boundaries, the Cliburn seeks, with each edition, to achieve the highest artistic standards while utilizing contemporary tools to advance its reach. The world’s top 18- to 31-year-old pianists compete for gold in front of a live audience in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as a global online viewership of over 10 million.

In its 60-year history, the Cliburn has identified and ushered a host of exceptional artists to international prominence, including Olga Kern, Vadym Kholodenko, Radu Lupu, Jon Nakamatsu, Beatrice Rana, Yekwon Sunwoo, Joyce Yang, and Haochen Zhang. They have garnered Grammy® nominations, Diapason d’Or de l’Année awards, Gramaphone Awards, Avery Fisher Career Grants, and recognition from BBC Music and Radio, the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, International Piano magazine, and the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund. 

I couldn’t help but equate Anna Geniushene’s seasoned pianism to Cliburn at his best. Let’s just take that final octave peroration as an example. Most ambitious contestants try to draw attention to themselves, playing as furiously fast as possible. Geniushene, by contrast, takes up the music from where the orchestra leaves off, shaping the passage out of what came before and building up the climax in a way that assiduously leads into the coda, rather than leaving the orchestra hanging. I also noticed how Geniushene was willing to accompany and allow the second movement’s first - desk soloists their due.

Gramophone
close up of the Van Cliburn silver medal
Anna Geniushene seated at the piano in a crowded concert hall, swaying back with a look of focus: one hand swings behind her and the other swings above her head
Anna Geniushene playing piano with an intensely focused and alert face as a conductor directs an orchestra with a peaceful expression
Anna Geniushene wide-eyed, jaw-dropped and hunched over her hands as she plays the piano
Anna Geniushene playing piano with pursed lips, eyes closed, and one hand above her head with fingers curled
Anna Geniushene playing piano in front of a crowd. Her hair flies as she leans to the side with puckered lips and one hand swinging behind her

Disability Accommodations

For disability accommodations, please contact the department presenting the event. Disability access information is available online at Parking Services, and further resources can be found by contacting Western's Disability Access Center.