Village Harmony

Polina Shepherd

Polina Shepherd (Skovoroda) was born in Siberia and grew up in a home where songs were regularly sung at a family table. Now an internationally-renowned singer, she brings the songs of the Steppes and the Shtetl up to date with passion and haunting soul. Her singing, though based on traditional forms, cuts a sound deeply rooted in east European Jewish and Russian folk. Growing up in Tatarstan also placed her close to Islamic ornamentation and timbre, which can be heard in her unique vocal style and four-octave range.

While living in Kazan (capital of Tatarstan, Central Russia) and studying at the State Academy, Polina joined Russiaʹs first klezmer band after Perestroika, Simcha (1990-2000). She soon became the principal Yiddish choir leader of the former Soviet Union, composing original material for large groups of voices and touring internationally with her Quartet Ashkenazim (1991-2007).

Polina moved to the UK in 2003. A pianist and composer as well as performing artist, she also  works as an educator leading choral workshops internationally. Polina’s specially-developed choral teaching methods are based on specific East European sound, ornamentation, modal experimentation with attention to stylistic details, history and context.