Polina Tonchuk (Russia)
Polina was born in 1986 into a family of musicians in Irkutsk, Russia. She began her music career early on, winning her first piano competition (first prize) at the age of six and making her orchestral debut at the age of 11. Polina graduated from the Novosibirsk State Conservatory (class of Professor L. Smeshko) where she also completed her postgraduate studies. Since 2010, she is teaching piano performance, history of piano performance, and methodology of teaching piano at the Novosibirsk Specialized Music School.
Polina has performed in masterclasses for N. Lugansky, V. Kraynev, P. Badura-Skoda, K. Shcherbakov, V. Tropp, M. Gambaryan, M. Fouxman, A. Bonduryansky, V. Yampolsky, M. Lidsky, A. Mndoyanz, E. Mikhaylov, D. Burstein, and others. Polina is a prize-winner of nine international competitions, among them the International Piano Competition in Memory of Emil Gilels. She has also been the recipient of several government grants in Russia.
Polina has made numerous appearances with orchestras and has presented various solo and chamber programs in Kazakhstan, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Austria (including the famous Marble Hall of the Mirabell Palace, Salzburg), and all over Russia. She has regular concerts at the Grand and Small Halls of the Novosibirsk Conservatory. Polina’s debuts with the symphony orchestras of Tomsk and Kemerovo were so successful that she has become a regular participant of the Tomsk and Kemerovo Philharmonic Subscriptions.
Musical critics note a «faultless logic of structure» in Polina’s playing, and a «conductor’s possession of time» (Evgeny Ermakov, Odessa), as well as a «careful attitude to sound» and «extraordinary poeticism and spirituality in lyrical fragments» (T. Idrisov, Karaganda).
Polina Tonchuk possesses a wide repertoire which includes pieces from different genres and epochs.
In addition to solo performances, Polina Tonchuk frequently presents chamber programs and performs as a collaborative pianist. For many years, one of her most successful partnerships has been with the soloist of the Bolshoy, Mariinsky and Novosibirsky opera theatres, prize-winner of many Russian and International Competitions, soprano Irina Churilova. Together with Churilova, Polina took part in numerous vocal competitions, and was consistently awarded diplomas for best accompanist. Polina Tonchuk’s collaborative partners note her extraordinary ensemble intuition, strong emotional support, reliability on stage, as well as bright, yet delicate playing.
Polina combines her performing career with research activities. She is presently completing her dissertation, which is devoted to the fugue phenomenon. Her monograph, «Fugue as a Universal Art Concept» is currently being prepared for release.