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

Programming Change

Due to the uncertain surprises of pending parenthood, Anna is unable to perform for you on October 12. Timing is important in music, but the newest humans aren't all up to tempo yet. We wish Anna and her new family member all the best!

We are thrilled and fortunate to bring you Daniel Hsu, the 2017 Cliburn Bronze medalist, who performed last in our series in 2018.

If you already have tickets for October 12, they are good for the same seats as before - single tickets and season tickets. If you require a refund, please call the box office at 360-650-6146 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Refunds will not be issued on or after October 12.


Time and Location


Single tickets

On sale at the box office

  • $49 Section A - Center of the front section with view of keyboard. Limited: order soon.
  • $39 Section B - Front section left with view of keyboard or pianist.
  • $31 Section C - Front and middle areas, good view of pianist.
  • $20 Section D - Rear and right seating, some seats may have view of pianist obscured by piano.


  • 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.
  • Music Teachers (K-12 and Private): $10 tickets for seats in Section D! Available at the box office in-person, online, or by calling 360-650-6146.

Concert Program

Claude Debussy (1862–1918)

Berceuse héroïque

Maurice Ravel (1875–1937)


  • Noctuelles
  • Oiseaux tristes
  • Une barque sur l'océan
  • Alborada del gracioso
  • La vallée des cloches

– intermission –

Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849)

Berceuse in D-flat Major, op. 57

Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953)

Sonata No. 8 in B-flat Major, op. 84

  • Andante dolce
  • Andante sognando
  • Vivace

Programming 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!

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

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.

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.