Styling by LizPR Photographer: Bo Huang; Hair and Make-up: Ivy Lam
Praised for her “fabulous sense of style and musical expression well beyond her years”, Charissa Vandikas is establishing herself as a pianist with a promising future. The 18-year-old pianist was recently featured in CBC’s prestigious list, “30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30”. Representing Ontario, after completing a 2014 fall tour around the province, she won the 2015 CFMTA National Piano Competition held in Vancouver. She has been the recipient of several awards in various competitions, including the Canadian Music Competition, the OMFA Provincial Competition, and the Toronto Sinfonietta Concerto Competition. Recently, she was selected as one of the three winners of the Glenn Gould School’s Concerto Competition and will perform with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra in the 2016-2017 season. Both of her chamber groups, the Vandikas-Ruan duo and the Vandikas-Jimenez duo took the first and third place, respectively, in the 2016 Glenn Gould School Chamber Music Competition. Charissa and her duo partner, Linda Ruan will also be the featured Stockey Young Artists for the 2016 Festival of the Sound this summer.
Charissa has performed in masterclasses with Leon Fleisher, William Aide, Robert Silverman, John Perry, Jamie Parker, Igor Roma, Ilona Timchenko, and Paul Komen. She was awarded the 2014 North York Music Festival Founder's Award, which included a scholarship to attend the Peter de Grote Summer Academy in the Netherlands. While there, she received the Haydn Jeugd Strijkorkest Soloist Award and will be featured as a concerto soloist in 2016. She has appeared as a soloist in the Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Music Society concert series and in the Canadian Opera Company’s lunchtime concert series.
Charissa made her orchestral debut with the Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2013 under the baton of David Fallis. At the age of 13, she received her ARCT Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music, and completed her Licentiate Diploma in 2015, receiving First-Class Honours with Distinction in both. Major influences include former teachers, Janice Lin and current coach, Dr. Michael Esch. Graduating from Unionville High School’s Arts Unionville Program, Charissa was presented with the Melody Adams Award and scholarship for music. She is a recipient of a 2015 grant from the Newmarket Celebrates the Arts Grant Program. Charissa currently studies with Professor John O'Conor at the Glenn Gould School, Royal Conservatory of Music under full scholarship through the generosity of The Janet & Bill L'Heureux Piano Scholarship.