Polina Nazaykinskaya – “Simply Brilliant”

Danielle, Rebecca, and Tiffany reflect on the gifted young composer Polina Nazaykinskaya whose works “Haim” and “Lamentation of the Bird” will be featured on Sound Impact’s debut concert October 6th.


Polina Nazaykinskaya

By Rebecca Jackson

I first met Polina face to face in May of 2012.  She traveled straight from the airport to our first rehearsal of “Haim”.  When we initially exchanged greetings she was both shy and elegant.  “Wow, what a beautiful and warm person,” I thought.  In stark contrast, as soon as we began working on her score, she picked up the baton and revealed the spirit of a commanding lioness.  I would have imagined someone four times her size to radiate such emotional commitment and passion for music!!  The next time we met was later that year when she and her husband Alexei hosted me in New Haven.  I have many fond recollections of my stay with them, but the most pronounced was the joy on Polina’s face as she took me down to her newly modeled studio.  She sat at her piano and began to play many excerpts, encouraging me to join in and “jam” with her.  Her husband Alexei sat nearby in a small chair as she ecstatically played into the night.  This memory, yet vivid, was when Polina transparently revealed her essence.

By Tiffany Richardson

I had the privilege of meeting Polina last year when we performed “Haim” together in DC for the first time.  I was struck by Polina’s maturity and intensity, such remarkable qualities for a young composer, qualities that shine through in her composition.

Performing “Haim” was such an amazing and exhaustive experience, and served as an impetus moving forward in my life.  For me, this performance was deeply emotional and motivational.  “Haim” evoked such a wide range of feelings, from guttural pain and fear, weaving through an endless sense of determination and hope.  “Haim” reminded me of why we perform, and how musical performance should always serve a greater purpose for humanity.

I deeply admire Polina for her true generosity of spirit, and her deep commitment to meaningful music.  I believe this is why we’ve connected through a shared mission, and why Sound Impact will continue to bring us together.

By Danielle Cho

I only came to know Polina a year ago through Rebecca, but even before I met her in person, I knew she was someone special with a deep and kind soul.  In Fall 2012, we had the pleasure of performing her piece “Haim” twice in the Washington DC area.   At a house concert in Mclean, we had one of the most incredible audience responses, and it was one of the musical highlights of my year.  At our first rehearsal of “Haim”, in the first few minutes, I already had chills running down my spine.   Polina perfectly captures the essence of David Arben’s miraculous life story – a story of pain and suffering, but one that also offers hope and joy.  “Haim” has moments of lush romanticism with interjections of loud chords on the piano that evoke this juxtaposition of beauty and pain.

As an advocate of contemporary music, I find it special when I have the opportunity to work firsthand with a composer and to know his/her thoughts behind the composition.  The creative process becomes that much more fulfilling.  Polina’s music has a special power of stirring something to the depths of your soul.  Please join us on October 6th at the beautiful Saint Luke Catholic Church in Mclean and experience the incredible “Haim” for yourself.   www.musicinmclean.org

Polina during a recent interview at Yale: https://yalemusic.digication.com/polinamusic/Press_reviews_interviews

Polina Nazaykinskaya was born in Togliatti, Russia on January 20, 1987 and has been studying music since the age of 4. After graduating with honors from the the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Russia with concentrations in violin and composition, Polina earned her Masters of Music Degree from the Yale School of Music. Her professors at Yale included Christopher Theofanidis and Ezra Laderman. Currently Polina is pursuing Artist Diploma in composition at the Yale School of Music.  In the last four years her music has been performed by Russian National Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Yale Philharmonia Orchestra, Youth Symphony Orchestra of Russia, Omsk Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Metro Opera and others. Polina`s music has garnered numerous national and international awards and received raving reviews in the press. In 2010 “Sony-Music Russia” label released a CD that featured Polina`s symphonic poem “Winter Bells”.  In addition to being a composer Polina is an active violinist and a conductor.


Polina and violinist Nick Kendall “jamming” post-concert


after our “Haim” performance in 2012