Baroque Music from the Greatest Movies of All Time: Polina Osetinskaya, Virtuoso Pianist


Baroque Music from the Greatest Movies of All Time
“Clear and flawless articulation at every level, and an earnest demeanour.” – Gramophone, U.K.

“Plainly a pianist of a superior order” – KlassiskMusikk, Norway

“Her crystalline articulation drawing rich colours from the keyboard” – Ludwig Van Toronto, Canada

The sublime virtuoso pianist and human rights advocate Polina Osetinskaya returns to Toronto for her Canadian solo debut featuring music from some of the greatest films of all time. Show One Productions and Cherry Orchard Festival present Baroque Music from the Greatest Movies of All Time ─ a sprawling program featuring works by Bach, Handel, Purcell, and Rameau. Saturday, June 3, 8 p.m. at Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West. This solo debut launches the tour of a program that will also be presented at Boston’s Berklee Performance Center, San Francisco’s Herbst Theater, the Lighthouse Artspace Chicago, and New York’s Kaufman Concert Hall at the 92Y. Tickets, starting at $48, may be obtained at the hall box office or online. More info is also online at

Music by Bach, Handel, Purcell, and Rameau have been prominently featured in movie soundtracks like Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, Jean-Paul Genet’s Casanova, not to mention in films by Tarkovsky, Greenaway, and Bergman. These works have become some of the most popular and enduring musical masterpieces in history. In Baroque music, Osetinskaya has found a harmonious companion for cinema classics that, for her, “Gives you a feeling of being protected. Baroque music is much more objective than music of the 19th century, for example. Everyone, and every emotion, can be found in this music.”

Osetinskaya’s genuine charm and impeccable attention to musical detail will make you understand why she rose to international acclaim as a soloist in demand by the greatest conductors on stage today from Carnegie Hall to Vienna’s Musikverein and London’s Barbican Centre. She began her career at the age of five and was soon recognized as a wunderkind, giving her first solo concert at the age of six and going on to study with Marina Wolf and Vera Gornostaeva. She’s since performed on international stages ranging from Rome’s Teatro Argentina, to Germany, Poland, Israel, Tokyo, the United States, and more. She’s also collaborated with the likes of Maxim Vengerov, Alexander Knyazev, Julian Milkis, Theodor Currentzis, and more. Osetinskaya is also a published author with a harrowing reflection on her childhood in her memoir, Farewell Sadness. Hers is a contemplative mind with reflections across a wide horizon, creating in various genres, including on the theatrical stage wherein she both acts and performs as a musician.

Osetinskaya has been a life-long human rights advocate, supporting political prisoners, performing charity recitals for patients in hospice care, and working as a trustee for Oxygen Foundation to support children with cystic fibrosis. Elsewhere, she has been vocal about her anti-war stance while remaining in Moscow, and has faced cancellation of her concerts in all state and government concert halls. In an interview with VAN Magazine, Osetinskaya reflected on how her childhood has prepared her to adapt to this censorship: “I remember when I was seven, [I] would go to the concerts of the big rock groups like Aquarium that were playing concerts in private apartments. This kind of underground culture of the early ‘80s is suddenly coming back. I’ll continue to play in those places, because the people who can’t leave Russia or prefer to stay in their own country and fight as they can for truth need art and music to heal their pain.”



The Talented Mr. Ripley, 1999; Dir. Anthony Minghella
1) Italian Concerto in F

Solaris, 1972; Dir. Andrey Tarkovsky
2) Chorale prelude “Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ” (“I cry to you, Lord”)

Fingers, 1978; Dir. James Toback
3) Toccata in E minor

Breaking the Waves, 1996; Dir. Lars von Trier
4) Sonata No. 2 in E-flat for flute and harpsichord (attributed to Bach)
II: Siciliano

The Godfather
, 1972; Dir. Francis Ford Coppola
5) Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor

Barry Lyndon, 1975; Dir. Stanley Kubrick
1) Suite No. 4 in D minor
III:  Sarabande

HENRY PURCELL (1659—1695)

The Draftsman’s Contract
“, 1982; Dir. Peter Greenaway
1) Ground in C minor


4 days in France
, 2016; Dir. Jerome Raybaud
1) From “Pièces de Clavecin” in E minor

2) Le rappel des oiseaux (The calling of birds)

The Maid, 2016; Dir. Pan Chang Uk
3) Tambourin (Tambourine)

Casanova, 2015; Dir. Jean-Pierrel Jeneut
4) La villageoise (The Villager)

5) From “Pièces de Clavecin” in D
Les tendres plaintes (Tender complaints)
Les Niais de Sologne (The Fools of Solon)
Les Soupirs (Sighs)
La Joyeuse (The Joyful)
L’entretien des Muses (Conversation of the Muses)
Les Cyclopes (Cyclops)

Autumn Sonata, 1978; Dir. Ingmar Bergman
2) Chaconne with variations in G

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