Biography

Aliya Alsafa is a pianist from Chicago, Illinois. She has participated in local, national, and international piano competitions. Aliya won First Prize in the primary division of the Emilio Del Rosario Concerto Competition, Chopin Youth Piano Competition, and Walgreens National Concerto Early Music Division. She also won First Prize in state and regional contests and Second Prize nationally in MTNA for composition.  Aliya has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards: she was a medalist and category winner of "Best Chopin Etude" at the 2017 Seattle International Piano Competition. At the MostArts festival last summer, she played with the orchestra at Miller Theater in New York as recipient of the Audience Favorite prize. Most recently, Aliya was awarded First Prize in the Sejong Piano Competition.

She has been praised for her artistry and musical sensitivity. Aliya has performed in several prestigious concert venues throughout the country: Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Ravinia Bennett Gordon Hall, Harris Theater, Merkin, and Benaroya Hall. As the youngest pianist, Aliya played for Orchestra Hall at Chicago’s Symphony Center for the “Keys to the City” festival hosted by Emanuel Ax. 

In 2013, Aliya was one of twelve pianists worldwide, selected for the inaugural Allianz Junior Music Camp through the Lang Lang International Music Foundation. She played in a masterclass as well as outreach concerts for schools in Munich, Germany.

At a young age, Aliya discovered her passion for music and began lessons at age four. She currently studies piano performance at the Juilliard Pre-College as a student of Prof. Matti Raekallio. She has also studied composition with Matt Hagle. In Chicago, Aliya is mentored by Sueanne Metz, President of 88 KeystoCure a (NFP.) She has previously studied with Mary Sauer (Principal keyboardist of Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Director of New Music School) Claire Aebersold & Ralph Neiweem (Piano-Duo in residence at Music Institute of Chicago.)  

Aliya enjoys community service and has previously performed at school outreach concerts, retirement homes, and fundraising events. She is a Davidson Young Scholar since 2010. Aliya also won 2nd place in the Northwestern University Midwest Academic Talent Search, a competition with over 12,000 students grades 3-9. She is currently a student at Whitney Young. Among her other interests are composition and dance.