June 25, 2008 12:00 ET

UNICEF Canada Names 13-Year-Old Piano Sensation as National Youth Representative

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - June 25, 2008) - UNICEF Canada is proud to announce the appointment of 13-year-old music prodigy, Jan Lisiecki, as a National Youth Representative.

"I am absolutely delighted to welcome Jan as our newest National Youth Representative. Jan is an inspiration to his generation and to us all," said Nigel Fisher, President & CEO, UNICEF Canada. "Jan combines his commitment to excellence with genuine warmth and concern for disadvantaged young people struggling against adversity towards a better tomorrow. His talent, his music and his voice will help us all make the world a place fit for children."

Born in Calgary, Jan has been studying piano since age five at Mount Royal College Conservatory and already has a series of major Canadian titles to his credit. Among his many accomplishments, Jan won first place at the National Finals of the Canadian Music Competition from 2003 to 2006, an astonishing four years running. In 2005, he was honored with the CBC Galaxy Rising Star Scholarship.

At age nine, Jan made his orchestral debut with the Calgary Civic Symphony and to date he has performed with 19 acclaimed orchestras around the world. He has since become an international sensation, performing across Europe and the United States where, on May 18, 2008, he made his Carnegie Hall debut.

This summer, Jan will be taking part in the Festival of Sound, Canada's premier summer classical music event in Perry Sound, Ontario. He will be featured as the 2008 RBC Stockey Young Artist, performing in the Opening Gala, Piano Gala and with the Festival Orchestra.

Jan has also performed for UNICEF at the annual Chefs for UNICEF fundraising gala and at a volunteer appreciation event. As a UNICEF Canada National Youth Representative, Jan will participate in various campaign activities to encourage Canadians to support the essential work UNICEF is doing to save and improve the lives of the world's most vulnerable children.

"UNICEF believes every child should be healthy, educated and protected, and I strongly share these beliefs," said Jan. "I feel very privileged to live in a country where I can be happy and healthy, go to school and be able to create my own future. Since I was blessed with the opportunity to learn how to play piano, I feel it is my responsibility to share the beauty of music with others."

"I will give my best to make music from my heart, with the hope that it will enhance the lives of others. Nothing would make me happier than if I could help UNICEF's mission to make the world a better place for all children," he said.


UNICEF is the world's leader for children, working in 156 countries and territories to save, protect and enhance the lives of girls and boys. UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, promotes quality basic education, protects children from violence, exploitation and AIDS, and is the world's largest provider of vaccines for developing nations. A global leader in emergencies with six decades of on-the-ground experience, UNICEF saves and rebuilds children's lives in natural disasters and conflict. UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from individuals, businesses, foundations, schools, associations and governments.

Contact Information

  • UNICEF Alberta
    Holly Davidson
    Regional Director
    (403) 270-2857, ext 8204
    Email: hdavidson@unicef.ca
    UNICEF Canada
    Karen Snider
    Media Relations Officer
    (416) 482-4444, ext. 8831
    Email: ksnider@unicef.ca