One of the rare women in the modern classical world, Alexandra Stréliski is hardly a conventional pianist. Hailing from a classical background yet free-spirited, she creates minimalist, emotionally striking music that enthralls listeners, filling their minds with rich, cinematic images.
Stréliski made her debut with the album Pianoscope in 2010. Independently released, the album eventually reached 13 million streams and was heard in various film and TV projects such as Jean-Marc Vallée’s films Dallas Buyers Club (2013) and Demolition (2016), the trailer of the acclaimed HBO series Big Little Lies (2017), and during the Oscars ceremony (2014). This led Stréliski to sign a record deal with the Montreal-based label Secret City and to release her second album INSCAPE in 2018.
INSCAPE is a commercial and critical success since its release. The album has more than 80 million streams worldwide, and went gold in Canada, where more than 80,000 albums were sold. Stréliski won three Félix at the ADISQ Awards this year for “Breakthrough Artist of the Year“, “Songwriter or Composer of the Year“, “Album of the Year – Instrumental“, received seven nominations at the 2019 Gala de l’ADISQ and three at the JUNO Awards: “Breakthrough Artist of the Year”, “Instrumental Album of the Year”, and “Album of the Year”. It was #1 on the charts in Quebec for 6 weeks, it won the “Album of the Year” award at the Independent Music Awards, and it made the 2019 Polaris Music Prize Long List. Her music was heard in Sharp Objects and the Big Little Lies Season 2 round-table, both on HBO, and at the Hugo Boss fashion show during the most recent edition of the New York Fashion Week. More than 85 concerts are on the calendar since the beginning of the campaign, and all her Quebec shows so far have been sold out.
“To me,” says Stréliski, “Inscape was an existential crisis. A year where everything capsized and I had to go through various interior landscapes — hectic, beautiful and painful at the same time. I found myself in a space filled with grey areas that I didn’t know how to escape. It was a crucial turning point for me. A year of creative evolution during which I reconnected with my deep nature, my essence, my X.”
INSCAPE is the work of an artist unconcerned with conventions, whose approach of neoclassicism is resolutely current. In her attempt to fill a certain emotional emptiness, she follows a creative urge that commits to taking the listener back to a form of lost sincerity. “A piano, on its own, is a very vulnerable thing, and I want to share this moment with the listener.”
An artist who grew up between Paris and Montreal, Stréliski comes from a long lineage of Jewish musicians and was steeped in music from the two continents during her childhood. From an early age, she was moved by classical artists such as Chopin and Satie and by film music composers like Zimmer, Glass and Nyman.
Recruited by the advertising community at the onset of the new millennium, the musician also won several awards for her creations in that field: the CREA award for best Pan-Canadian advertising music in 2007; a Bessies at the Toronto Marketing Awards in 2010, and another CREA in 2014 for best music in a Quebec campaign.
Nevertheless, she felt a strong urge for free creation which led her to record Pianoscope, and to follow her path as a performer and full-time professional musician.
Billboard called Stréliski one of the foremost new stars in modern classical, and Noisey stated that her music is a contrast of depth and fragility that uncannily resembles the human condition itself.