Valentina Lisitsa's YouTube secrets

Pianist Valentina Lisitsa burst onto the classical music scene after promoting her videos on social media. Using the internet alone, she's developed a loyal fan base and filled the Royal Albert Hall.

Valentina Lisitsa

Lisitsa listened to Bach from the age of four, and enjoyed pieces by Tchaikovsky before she was introduced to Rachmaninov. A particular favourite is his Etude Tableau Op. 39 No. 6, known as “Little Red Riding Hood”, which features on the new album, Live at Royal Albert Hall.

This piece also holds the key to Lisitsa’s YouTube success – despite not being as well-known as some of her other repertoire, it’s the first video that went viral. She says her audience got excited about the piece because they were each able to discover the music for themselves.

She maintains it's the internet, not her musical talent, that drives millions of people to watch her videos. "It’s amazing with the digital era and all the opportunity that the internet provides," she said.

After whipping up an online storm with her YouTube videos, it’s perhaps no surprise that Lisitsa’s Royal Albert Hall performance sold out without the help of a marketing team. She told Classic FM that this wasn’t the most nerve-wracking aspect to her concert, and neither was the playing itself: the worst part was addressing the audience beforehand. The album is available to pre-order online, and is out now on iTunes .

Listen to our interview with Valentina Lisitsa

Valentina Lisitsa plays Rachmaninov