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Date: 29/07/2010
One to watch

Anna Vinnitskaya


‘I grew up in a small town called Novorossijsk among the mountains in southern Russia. My becoming a pianist was always the dream of my parents, who are both pianists. As a child I didn't think about what I wanted to do - I just listened to and played classical piano music. I was six when I started learning the piano with my mother. My dad, who was not only a classical but also a jazz pianist, wanted to teach me jazz piano but unfortunately I did not follow his wish. As a child I thought it was enough to learn classical piano. Nowadays I regret this. I was seven when I made my first public performance, and nine when I did my first solo recital, at the college in Novorossijsk where my parents taught. I did several concerts there and developed a big repertoire: Bach, Mendelssohn, Mozart and some small jazz pieces.
My family found a very good professor named Sergej Osipenko in Rostov-on-Don, and we moved to the province so I could study with him. Eight years ago I moved to Hamburg in Germany where I studied with Evgeni Koroliov, who trained in Moscow with the great Chopin specialist Lev Oborin. Koroliov's approach was to 'sing' the piano. He showed me what music really is and how to really love music - how to breathe music. His Bach was incredible, and his recording of the Goldberg Variations is one of the greatest. He has been a huge influence on me, but I have no particular favourite pianist - all the great pianists have power and insight in specific repertoire. I also like Brendel in the Romantic repertoire, and Rachmaninoff playing his own music, for example.
Winning the Queen Elisabeth Competition was a huge surprise. After the competition I was invited to play with many big orchestras with very good conductors around the world. lt was very exciting but also difficult because although I have a big repertoire I was unprepared to play so many concerts. Now, three years later, l'm glad I won because it is a huge honour and has brought so many opportunities.
Growing up in Russia meant that I learned much Russian piano music, but I also love the Impressionist composers, as well as Brahms and Schumann. What is my favourite repertoire? I cannot say. lt is the repertoire I am playing. So this year I like Ravel and Debussy, and next year I may play something else. I want to learn all the genius pieces of the piano repertoire - there are enough for my whole life.'
CHLOE CUTTS, International Piano – July/August 2010
Anna Vinnitskaya's second recording with the Deutsches Sinfonie Orchester/Gilbert Varga is released by Naïve in November.



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