Press clippings


Thomas Zehetmair and Varvara in Winterthur

… Last year she won first prize, the audience prize and the Mozart prize at the Concours Géza Anda in Zurich, and her Mozart playing is indeed characterised by a highly tasteful, lively sense of articulation, copious subtle shades of colour and above all a lovely understanding for the inner life of this music …

Neue Zürcher Zeitung – 1 November 2013 – Alfred Zimmerlin

A pleasant Mozartian surprise

The Russian pianist Varvara at the Schwetzingen Festival

… Varvara displayed grandiose colouristic riches in the Romeo and Juliet Suite op. 75 by Prokofiev that crowned her programme. She never let it turn into a sensationalist parade of individual numbers, instead allowing us to experience it as a seamless, thrilling narration at the piano.

But without the wonderful little Mozartian farewell by this sympathetically modest Russian, we would have missed an important little piece of the jigsaw on this morning in Schwetzingen.

Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung – 16 May 2013 – Klaus Ross

New emphases at the piano

… Besides all her stage presence, Varvara’s greatness lies in her modesty, paired as it is with a brilliant technique and an exemplary “full body” approach to her pianistic touch. Her playing is always mellow and flexible, and incredibly smooth even in her fortissimo … When Varvara plays, you hear new lines of melody, new emphases, new connections. Music of this quality becomes an epiphany, an emotional roller-coaster into which Varvara entices her audience – in her own modest, wonderful, brilliant way.

Kronen Zeitung – 22 October 2012 – Thomas Nussbaumer

Artistic assessment by the jury

This pianist’s unconditional determination to shape her interpretive actions and her desire to explore boundaries undoubtedly make her an exceptional talent. In order to achieve all this, she is prepared to dare everything with her brilliant, if at times unconventional pianistic technique. Her recital with works by Chopin and Mozart and Schumann’s Kreisleriana climaxed in a rapture of extreme emotional states that nevertheless seemed tempered by an alert, superior musical intelligence.


Varvara possesses the unusual ability to make nuances and connections audible that most pianists overlook heedlessly. Her interpretation of the C-major Concerto K 467 by Mozart here marked the absolute highpoint of the competition, which itself culminated in her own cadenzas to this concerto that came across as provocatively spontaneous. On the other hand, her final performance, her interpretation of Beethoven’s c-minor Piano Concerto, was surprisingly ‘classical’. It was above all in the cadenza of the first movement that something again shone forth of the amazement that the appearance of this pianist has caused in this competition.