Polina Osetinskaya: “Don’t be afraid to be yourself”

The uniqueness of music of Polina Osetinskaya is in its flexibility. 
Real connoisseurs of the piano music playing will see it as an example of brilliant virtuosity, equally manifesting itself both in the most complicated solo pieces and magnificent scores for piano and orchestra. Those for whom the soul of the musician, his emotions and feelings are valuable, cannot but be inspired by the exciting, sometimes gentle, then anxious story about the adventures of this soul, which find their expressions through the sounds.

The admirers of intellectualism with high enthusiasm will follow the sophisticated and often paradoxical structure of her concert programmes, the interchanging of different compositions, the dialogue of the composers through centuries and lands, performed by this virtuoso player. Finally, elegance, colossal charm, and scenic charisma mesmerize everyone.
The combination of these features makes Polina Osetinskaya one of the incontrovertible leaders of her generation of pianists.

— What is peace and quiet for you?
— It is the ability to cut off the outside noises together with the inside ones. There are sometimes more of them — worries, fears, anxieties, obligations. Achievement of peace and harmony inside is my priority in life.

— Why do you listen to your own records? 
— To grow and get better, to look at myself from the outside, as it becomes clearer which way to go.

— What is your measure of success?  
— Packed halls, love and gratitude of the audience.

— What was the most useful piece of advice you have been given? 
— Don’t be afraid to be yourself.
— Is a musician — as a professional, not as an individual — under any obligation for anything?
— Yes, a musician is obliged to the audience and colleagues — to perform the “approved program on a high artistic level” as stated in the contracts.
— What is the most extravagant feature of your personality? 
— An inability to make a beneficial compromise. 
— What is your biggest interest in life other than music?
— Figure skating, billiards, travelling.

— What books / films / musical compositions help you to get through hard times? 
— Everything by Handel. Leo Tolstoy. Kira Muratova. Anton Chekhov.

— Which composition of your repertoire remains important for you, irrespective of age and experience? 
— Schuman’s Etudes symphoniques, partitas of Bach. 

— For the finale, a signature question of Andy Warhol’s. Which question you have always wanted to answer but have never been asked? 
— What were the most unexpected gifts you have ever been given? Nobody is interested but there’s a lot there to feast on!
Interviewed in 2016