Kristina Marinova, pianist

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music and who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?

Honestly, the inspiration seemed to just be programmed into my DNA, and I was born with a
pre-destined path in life. I’ve always known that. Fortunately, my parents, both engineers,
recognised and helped foster that innate desire wherever and however they could. They took
me to concerts at a very early age, I remember watching Aida when I was only three years old.
My grandmother, also a non musician, adored the opera, knew the librettos by heart, and would
recite them to me. They became my bedtime stories. She used to call me “My little Clara Wieck”

I’ve looked on life with a great curiosity, and through the years, I’ve always found inspiration from all of my teachers. They have helped me in many different ways in my development as an artist.

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

Finding the perfect balance in life. I knew that one day, I wanted to have children, because I so love and admire them. I am now truly blessed with two of my own. Alone, being a performer, is
challenging enough in its own way, and it becomes even harder when one adds the demands of
motherhood. My time is no longer my own, requiring me to work off hours- late at night, or really
early in the morning when everybody is still sleeping. In addition,with kids one has to expect the
unexpected, which is a real challenge to control.

Which performances/recordings are you most proud of?

Frankly, I am my toughest critic, I always require a lot of myself and demand for more in performances.

Which particular works/composers do you think you perform best?

Obviously I love music and find all kinds of works, composers, styles and genres quite enjoyable. However, I believe that the Russian composers, particularly Scriabin and Rachmaninov come more organically to my artistic understanding and creative impulses. I also have been told that I interpret Scriabin well. It is easier for me to play Rachmaninov because of my large hands and really long fingers.

There is greatness in all composers and I truly love including different styles in my repertoire. Bach’s Goldberg Variations is my next big recording project.

What do you do off stage that provides inspiration on stage?

Interacting, playing with, and inspiring my children. We are constantly learning from each other. I love seeing the world through their curious eyes, they keep me youthful and full of energy, as well as constantly on my toes. I try to set an example for them. They also inspire me to do something great with my gift. In return,I try to inspire them to grow up to be good people and
give back to the world. They love music and singing, and I love accompanying them while they

How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?

I meditate on the meaning of my performances and what message I want to leave with the world. My aim is to inspire new audiences, to be inclusive and open to the people who attend my concerts by mixing pieces for a variety of listeners, creating programs that are unique and
stylistically contrasting. Connecting to themes that are modern and relevant. As people have
different interests and likings, it is important to me to reach out to each and every one of them. My goal is to touch their hearts in a meaningful way.

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?

Of course Carnegie Hall, one of the most beautiful in the world. I will be performing there on
January 31.

What do you feel needs to be done to grow classical music’s audiences?

Audiences need to have a great emotional experience, they need to be moved. People want to
feel something after a long day at the office. Establishing a deep connection with my audience is
of utmost importance to me. Outreach and lecture presentations are also always helpful, especially for the younger people. Bringing understanding of the compositional ideas and
musical matter are critically important in order to connect the work to the listener.

What is your most memorable concert experience?

I remember every concert and how I felt, starting at the age of 6.

As a musician, what is your definition of success?

Being both authentic and versatile at the same time. Sustainable and flexible in time. Reaching
your audience on the deepest level and communicating the message that you carry within you.
Also being a good athlete, we are vessels and need a good machine to operate.

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?

Be patient and persistent. Keep walking the path that you envision for yourself. You are special,
magical in your own way. Build your strength while acknowledging your weaknesses, so long as
you are taking steps to improvement, you are going to be successful. Accept who you are and
be kind to yourself. Love and take care of yourself, don’t be harsh because self doubt is the worst it will only bring to your playing tension and stress, which you then carry to the stage.

Celebrate your successes with your friends and loved ones. Always listen to your heart and follow your dreams! Don’t let anybody define you!

What is your most treasured possession?

My Steinway.

What is your present state of mind?

Creating magic

Kristina Marinova’s 4 RHAPSODIES, a collection of vibrant, dynamic, and technically demanding works for solo piano by Ernst von Dohnányi, Astor Piazzolla, Franz Liszt, and George Gershwin, is available now.

Kristina Marinova has been described as a virtuoso pianist with extreme energy and youthful vibrancy. Her crystal clear and beautiful sound enhances her stormy expressions and performances, full of grace and style, all the while giving the opportunity to find the richest worlds of timbre and colours and while becoming one with the music.

Kristina enjoys a multifaceted career as a concert pianist, collaborative pianist, music educator, lecturer, music director, conductor, and vocal coach. She is the President of WPTA Collaborative Piano ( World Piano Teachers Association) .

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