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15 Questions to Polina Osetinskaya

img  Tobias
Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Hello. Presently in Moscow, things are going different.

What’s on your schedule right now?

A few recitals with Beethoven, Brahms and Liszt, Schittke Piano Concerto.

If you hadn’t chosen for music, what do you think you would do right now?
There is so many ideas in my head of what to perform, life won’t be long enough to accomplish all that.

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?
Richter, Argerich, Tchaikovsky Symphonies, Maria Callas,
Mahler, Kremer, Desyatnikov, Alperin.

What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?

Responsibility is the hardest, true freedom  is the best.

What’s your view on the classical music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
To say there is a crisis, is to say nothing. I don’t understand why it is still alive. Read Norman Lebrecht’s book “Who killed classical music”.

Some feel there is no need to record classical music any more, that it’s all been done before. What do you tell them?
Me, in particular, would never record many pieces among the piano repertoire, because there is no point. But the new music, or music that has been rarely recorded, or the one you feel the best, can and should be recorded.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
The complete concentration, where mind and heart go along, technique do not dominate on a thought and felling, and something personal to say is revealed, can be considered as a good live performance. Of course, from the professional and technical point that should be flawless, not to disturb the main goal of any artist.

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?

The deepest understanding of what’s written in the score, the composer’s intention. True stylistic identity.

True or false: It is the duty of an artist to put his personal emotions into the music he plays.
It is not a duty, but it happens no matter what, subconsciously!

True or false: “Music is my first love”
False. Life is a first love.

True or false: People need to be educated about classical music, before they can really appreciate it.
Mostly true, but there are always exceptions.

You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?
Lots of combining – premiere of a new music along with Haendel’s “Dixit Dominus” , chamber music, programs that have an idea, and not just music to be played for 265th time. Performers – musicians whom i respect or like, but the ones who are not tired of being a creative, thoughtful, progressive and talented.

What’s your favourite classical CD at the moment? 

“My Mus.3”  of  young Moscow minimalist composer Pavel Karmanov.

Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were you at it?
Violin. In two weeks i was able to play Paganini caprice in A-minor and lost the interest immediately. Harpsicord and organ – i was giving a recitals on these instruments and still do sometimes. Hammerclavier. And a guitar.


Polina Osetinskaya


Mozart, Piano Concerto 24 (Sony Classics) 1994
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2 (Ars Tokyo) 1996
Rachmaninov, Prokofiev (Antrop) 2000
Field/Hummel (Bel Air Music) 2001

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