November 2015 Issue: Spotlight on Oksana KolesnikovaSoundtrack of the American Dream

Oksana’s fingers caress the keyboard; then rapidly pound on it, only to moments later delicately touch the keys once more. She releases the music’s energy on the piano’s keys with a presence that transfers from extremely hot to tragically cold. It’s likely she doesn’t even notice her transformation as she swifts and sways through the uproar and the delicacy of the piece. It’s like watching someone making love to the beauty of the music without leaving their chair. Her connection to the music is that intense. It’s as though the piano is an extension of Oksana’s arms, as if a piano was in the room when she was born; impatiently waiting for her to make it her own. The piano is victorious; it has a lifetime of music for Oksana to release. Just when you think you’re safe from emotion; perhaps even devoid of its depth, the universal language of music is reverberated into your heart straight from the soul of this pianist protégé. Oksana Kolesnikova can play a thousand songs… anything from Beethoven to the Beatles; Mozart to Madonna; Chopin to Clapton.
oksana_smile_reducedWith long blonde hair and porcelain skin, the beautiful 36-year-old not only commands attention for her music; but from her ethereal beauty alike. The combination results in an audience who finds themselves on a harrowing journey as Oksana performs another masterpiece. Regardless of your background, her music will touch you. The melodies take people out of the slums and into the symphony; out of the war and into comforting peace; far away from the cold into a blanket of warmth. Oksana was freed from any limitations from her home-town of Siberia to profound liberation on a piano’s keys. She is forever grateful to her parents who noticed her interest in the piano and signed her up for music lessons. She was five-years-old, and it was an opportunity that would forever change the course of her life. “I was always drawn to the piano, my mom (a teacher) used to take me to work and I would hang out there with her students… and there was a piano there.”

Not long after, Oksana and her parents moved to neighboring Kazakhstan where Oksana continued music lessons with various professors whom she credits for displaying a genuine love for the instrument. Their collective adoration only enhanced her ever-growing passion for the piano. Oksana found refuge by expressing herself in her impassioned melodies while living under the harshness of the USSR. Each key she touched took her a heartbeat closer to the possibilities awaiting her in America; although she had no idea it was America that she’d eventually call home. “America was this dream land that was so unattainable.”

Oksana remembers. “And whatever I could do… just to live there was enough.”

But, she would do far more than simply live in America… she would revolutionize it, one stroke of the piano at a time. With each completed musical achievement, she became a thousand miles closer to a destiny of unimaginable success. With every award honored, another oceans-length journey toward accomplished performer, and eventually teacher of her treasured art. Finally, in a fashion reminiscent of a Hollywood-movie, Oksana and her family moved to Florida. They were the lucky recipients of winning a much-coveted green card in the lottery making their wildest dreams a reality. And from the shores of Florida’s white sands, Oksana throttled head-on into the world of fierce American competition; winning every time. “I don’t let competition discourage me because it’s everywhere you go… I get inspired by the competition and become better and bigger.” That much is crystal clear.

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