Polina Sosnina is the 2018-19 Walford Davies Organ Scholar at the Temple Church and Organ Scholar at St Martin-in-the-Fields. Prior to her role at the Temple Church, Polina read Natural Sciences at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where she was organ scholar for three years under the direction of Jonathan Hellyer Jones. She went on to hold the Graduate Organ Scholarship at the Catholic Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs alongside the Organ Scholarship for St John’s Voices in her fourth year of study.
Polina has been fortunate to have studied with a number of acclaimed organists, including Anne Page, David Graham, Gerard Brooks and William Whitehead. She has a particular interest in French repertoire and has undertaken study trips to Paris, Moulins and Souvigny. As a soloist, Polina has performed at UK venues including All Hallows by the Tower, Wymondham Abbey and St John’s College, Cambridge, and in France at L’Eglise Prieurale, St Pierre et St Paul in Souvigny, Moulins Cathedral, La Madeleine and St Clotilde in Paris.
She has also performed as a chamber pianist with the Britten Sinfonia Academy; first as a member and later as a guest pianist. In March 2017, Polina was awarded first prize in the Brian Runett Organ Competition at St John’s College, which she now holds alongside a Lincoln Award for organ performance and the Macfarlane-Grieve Prize for music from Magdalene College. She was also awarded first prize in the Essex Organists’ Association 2018 competition and performed as a semi-finalist in the IAO/RCO Organ Playing Competition in August 2018.
Following her graduation from Cambridge, Polina took the role of Assistant Director of Music, and later Director of Music, at St Thomas of Canterbury Church, Brentwood. There, she conducted the church’s three choirs, accompanied regular choral services and was responsible for training the choristers and probationers. In her six months as interim Director of Music at St Thomas’, Polina trained 11 choristers for the demanding RSCM Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards and organised several collaborative projects to raise the profile of the church’s Girls’ Choir. However, Polina’s interest in music education extends beyond the world of the Anglican choral tradition. She has worked for the musical charity Thetford Voices since 2011 and organised musical outreach projects both as a student and more recently in Brentwood. Polina is also a keen conductor and singer; she is the former musical director of the Magdalene Consort and the Magdalene Vocal Society, and sang on the recently recorded Christmas album by Magdalene College, Cambridge.