Mariya Orlenko performs with the Richmond Orchestra

In the lead up to our season opener, we have taken the time to hear from this amazing local talent and learn about Mariya's rising career in music.  Join us October 29, 2016 at 7:30pm for an incredible performance from international piano competition winner Mariya Orlenko.  

Russian Romantics
October 29, 2016 7:30pm
Richmond Pentecostal Church
9300 Westminster Highway, Richmond

Learn more about our Russian Romantics concert on October 29, 2016 from our event page:


1. Who are your three musical heroes?

My first hero is J.S. Bach, because he uncovered so much of the potential of the new instrument that he had in front of him - the Well Tempered Clavier - that we still feed off his discoveries today in composing new music. My second hero is Michael Jackson, because he was living and breathing the music he created - he beat boxed every little track in every song that you may not even notice at first, but it all came from inside him, he was music in the flesh. He wanted to make people happy all over the world, and if you didn't take a closer look at the way his life unfolded, you'd think that he was the happiest man in the world. My third hero is Prokofiev. He sacrificed his comfort and security so that his own people - the people of USSR - could have the opportunity to know his music. He left the civilized world, where he was already popular and successful. He decided to spend his life in a totalitarian society where he was even deprived of the right to be buried decently after his death.

2. What is your favourite piece of music?

My favourite piece of music is the one I am working on now, so it's Prokofiev’s Third Concerto.

3. What are the most challenging aspects of the Prokofiev concerto? And why did you choose this concerto?

Well, actually, I am not the one who chooses the concerto. Maestro Malmberg chose this for me :) I would say the most challenging part is that this music is so crazy, so insane, but I am coming out with a beautiful dress, like a princess. And you can't be so crazy when you're a princess, you know. It’s hard to find a balance.

4. In 2015, you won first prize at the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition. Can you describe your experience?

Before, I had read about love between an artist and an audience. However, when I went up on stage, I only felt anxious and afraid that the audience wouldn’t like me. But after finishing my first round at the Virginia Waring Competition, I heard someone yell "Bravo!” And I felt so grateful, so thankful that they liked me even though my Bach was a disaster. So it’s really during the Virginia Waring Competition that this mutual affection between me and the audience was born.

5. How was your experience in Beijing?  And what experiences did you take from it?

It was really great. Eye opening. Being in Beijing, it was my first time in a city where I don’t even have the slightest idea of what people are saying around me. But even being in a new city, with tall buildings everywhere, and dusty air, I felt at home. I don’t know how to explain it. The people there are so kind, and you can just feel it, even though you don’t speak the language.