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Polina Skovoroda grew up in a home where songs were frequently sung at table after eating borsht and drinking homemade wine. Her grandfather, a veteran of the second world war, played bayan (button accordion) and her mother, a professional singer, would often sing for hours while Polina listened with the hungry ears of a child, learning deeply rooted traditions throughout her childhood years. Now she is a highly experienced workshop leader and performer. Since moving to the UK, she has toured and taught internationally. She has taught for Glyndebourne Education and the Natural Voice Practitioners Network and is now leading four choirs in Brighton and London.
As a solo performer she presents a variety of original compositions and traditional songs: lyrical and epic songs, ritual calendar music for pagan and Christian holidays, wedding songs, dance songs and other folk songs. Another part of the repertoire represents much loved by native Russians Art Songs (Romances) from the 18-19 centuries. Polina has toured with her solo show ‘Songs of the Steppes and the Shtetl’ in Russia, USA, Iceland, Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, Brazil and other countries.
Her latest collaborations include Sklamberg & the Shepherds (Russia-USA-UK) who blend Klezmer and southern Mediterranean Music featuring a UK leading klezmer Merlin Shepherd; The Stranniki with an ‘avant bard’ Psoy Korolenko (Russia/US), a take on the Wandering Jew and the Russian Vagabond; and The Izba, the Shtibl and the Global Village: a melange of Russian and Yiddish songs with the lead singer of the Grammy winning Klezmatics Lorin Sklamberg (NYC).
Here is Polina Skovoroda live on BBC World, Jan 3 2011