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Oksana, the Piano Girl

img  Tobias

Connections between music and the movies have been plentiful and of a rather two-edged nature - did we really need to see Britney Spears and Bon Jovi try to act? While it seems to be a sort of duty for a modern-day popstar to take on Hollywood (apart from setting up an own line of perfumes, clothes and nail polish), Classical musicians have shied away from any serious film-engagements. Even Anne-Sophie Mutter's performance at Germany's biggest TV-show "Wetten Dass" yesterday can hardly be interpreted as a move towards TV fame. That's why we're happy to announce that Oksana Kolesnikova has now stepped up a gear by becoming a regular guest at an already renowned and beloved series.

The series is called "The Piano Guy" and is already entertaining, educating and exciting millions of viewers - not bad for a program that focusses on how to play the piano. The man behind this is Scott Houston, who started things with a special called "Play Piano in a Flash". The basic premise was simple: There's a huge group of people out there who would love to play the songs they love on those wonderful black and white keys, but are afraid because they thought they needed profound theoretical knowledge (which they didn't possess) or at least a few music lessons (which they didn't dare to take because of fear of embarassment). Why not, Houston thought, show them that they could navigate their own way through the learning process and that they could make their profound wish become reality. To everybody's delight, as well as - admittedly - surprise, millions felt this was just what they wanted to see. Scott Houston became a TV-favourite and saw interest in his videos and books surge astronomically. The inclusion of Oksana Kolesnikova in his show is both a logical progression as well as a step that could give Classical and New Age music a well-needed boost. There will be more interaction, more variety and - if that is no taboo - more fun. Kolesnikova has already been dubbed the only true heir to Liberace (his showmanship still second only to Elvis) and her presence should be more than just refreshing. The shooting of the new episodes took place at the headquarters of Mills James Productions in Columbus, OH. The only sad point is that you will have to wait until April of next year until you'll actually be able to watch the program (even though we have been promised a sneak preview by Oksana's management).

The next news item may not have to do with the movies, but it does deal with a certain "Citizen K": Kolesnikova has finally been awarded American citizenship. To celebrate the occasion, she will throw a special Christmas party in sunny Clearwater Beach, Florida, which will include lots of fine food and an even more exquisite menu of Classical, modern and self-penned compositions. Actual swearing-in will take place on January 18th. (and mark a second chance to party). Born in Siberia, Oksana relocated to the States in 1993 and has since won the Florida State Young Artist Competiton, been granted a scholarship, studied at Florida State University and entertained US troops on various occasions, all the while releasing six CDs and collaborating with several world-renowned artists.

So it looks like music and film are about to enter a fruitful new phase - and your TV could actually prove to be worth its money once in a while, instead of serving as a piece of plastic to fill the empty space on your table.

Homepage: Oksana Kolesnikova
Homepage: Scott "The Piano Guy" Houston
Homepage: Mills James Productions

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