Oksana is a Russian born pianist and composer who has been playing the piano since the age of five. She pursued the American Dream of making it big as an independent artist in spite of the challenge of learning a different culture and language. She began her studies in Kazakhstan and won her first competition at age 9. In 1993 she moved to the U.S. and settled in Florida with her family. 8 years later she graduated with honors from Florida State University in August 2001. She has since performed hundreds of concerts, including two world tours of Europe and Asia. She is also the first Russian-born female pianist to perform for deployed U.S. Troops. Already a household name across the USA, (she appears regularly on HSN alongside cosmetic mogul Adrienne Arpel and on PBS with Scott Houston ‘The Piano Guy’), Oksana is currently collaborating with Olympic gold medallist Oksana Baiul in a dynamic project that brings their respective art forms together. Oksana was recently nominated ‘Woman of the Week’ by CBS in Los Angeles, CA (see link below) and has been invited to perform at the United Nations Headquarters.
Here are a few of her answers to our questions:
What has been the key to achieving the level of excellence that you’ve reached in your life?
“Persistence. The willingness to get up and to keep going no matter how many times you might fail. Many people give up after a few failures. When one fails, it’s important to remind oneself that to lose a battle does not mean to lose a war.”
As you look back on your first ten years after college, what would you do differently?
“I would relocate sooner to areas that are more appreciative of the arts, such as L.A., Las Vegas, or New York. It is wonderful and inspiring to be around fellow artists who are equally focused in making their dreams come true, in places where there are more opportunities and appreciation for what you do.”
Were there ever pressures from society telling you to be or do something else, and how did you block this and pursue your passion?
“My answer to that is follow your heart. If you truly have a passion and love what you do, and can formulate a realistic plan to achieve your dreams instead of simply dreaming, do not listen to others discouraging you and move forward with the development of your strategic planning. I wake up every morning happy and looking forward to a new day, full of creativity and excitement. This was my reward for deciding to pursue my passion. Even with all the challenges typical of my industry, I will never regret having followed my dream. If nothing else, one day when I am old I will not blame myself for not having at least tried.”
View Oksana’s CBS Woman of the Week story here:
Woman Of the Week