Then on came Polina Leschenko with some of the most poetic and devastatingly beautiful piano playing I have heard in an account of Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto that had ‘masterpiece’ stamped all over it. The playing by pianist and orchestra in the gorgeous slow movement stopped time; and my heart. What a night.
(with Joseph Swensen and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra)
- The Herald, 14 February 2010, Michael Tumelty
Polina Leschenko was born in St Petersburg into a family of musicians and began playing the piano under her father’s guidance at the age of six. Two years later she performed with the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra in St.Petersburg. At the age of 12 Polina made her UK debut at the Barbican Hall in London playing Beethoven’s “Emperor” concerto.
Since then Leschenko has worked with prominent orchestras such as the Salzburg Camerata, Hallé Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony, Bern Symphony, Russian National Orchestra, I Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan, Orquesta de Euskadi and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Polina has given critically acclaimed recitals and chamber music concerts at such renowned venues as the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Mozarteum in Salzburg, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Berliner Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Cité de la musique in Paris and the Opera House in Sydney.
An accomplished and admired chamber musician, Polina Leschenko also performs frequently at many festivals, including the Salzburg Festival, Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano, Verbier, Risor, Stavanger, la Roque d'Anthéron Aldeburgh, Oxford, Cheltenham, Stift, Istanbul,Lockenhaus and Musiktage Mondsee.
Regular collaborations with artists include Martha Argerich, Ivry Gitlis, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Ilya Gringolts, Mischa Maisky, Torleif Thedéen.
In 2003 Polina Leschenko recorded a debut CD for EMI Classics in the series ‘Martha Argerich presents...’ with works by Liszt, Chopin, Kreisler/Rachmaninov, Brahms and Bach/Feinberg. She has also recorded a well-received disc of Prokofiev chamber music with Martha Argerich, Christian Poltéra and Roby Lakatos, for Avanticlassic. Her recital disc – featuring an all-Liszt program including the B minor Sonata – was released in May 2007 to great critical acclaim, receiving a “Choc” du Monde de la Musique.
Polina’s most recent CD’s include a recital CD entitled “Forgotten Melodies” (Avanticalssic), Mendelssohn double concerto with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Richard Tognetti (BIS), a recording of the Dvorak piano quartet op.87 on EMI Classics as part of the “Martha Argerich and Friends Live from the Lugano Festival” series and with Patricia Kopatchinskaja the CD “Deux” released in 2018 in collaboration with Alpha Classics.