Meet Marina Roznitovsky Oster

Reno Phil Harpist
Marina Roznitovsky_sized

What year did you join the orchestra?
I started performing with the orchestra in 2007, but became principal in 2019.

How long have you been playing music?
Since I was 5

How did you pick your instrument?
Well, that’s a bit of a funny story. I thought I had picked it myself until my mom heard me mention it to someone, she laughed out loud. Apparently, she had planned it all along. She would take me to symphonic concerts in Haifa, Israel and just waited for the moment I would comment about the harp. When I finally did at the age of 12, she caught that wave and asked me if I would like to try it out. In response (very certain that she is joking about it, since my after school schedule was packed with extracurriculars) I jokingly said “sure!”. The following week I had my first harp lesson and next thing you know – I’m all in.

I harp!

When you’re not playing with the Reno Phil, what would we most likely see you doing in your free time?
Free time?? Maybe when I retire… No really, ever since the arrival of our two daughters, our free time is spent together, playing, reading, dog walking, hiking.

What genre of music are you most excited to play?
Romantic and impressionistic music – it has the most harp.

What is your favorite piece of all time to play, and why?
Ah, that’s a trick question for a harpist! Many great compositions don’t involve the harp, like Tchaikovsky piano concerto No 1, or Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto no.2. But if I have to chose from compositions that do involve harp, it would have to be Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet. It’s just so well written. Or maybe I’m just biased, because of my Russian heritage. Luckily for me, its performed multiple times a year in every major orchestra in the US. So, plenty of chances to play this music!

If you could meet one composer/musician, who would it be and why?
I already have. During my first semester of college at Indiana University, my main teacher, Ms. Susann McDonald (the grande dame of the harp) was on sabbatical and we had 4 phenomenal substitutes, all very successful harpists from around the globe and former students of Ms. McDonald. One of them was Jana Boušková, who’s recordings have been inspirational for me during my first few years of studying harp. In addition to being a phenomenal performer, she was very kind and helpful as a teacher.

What is your favorite vacation spot?
It would have to be Tahoe, since it’s a heavenly place, right around the corner. Can you tell I don’t like long trips?

What do you think the audience would find surprising about you?
Perhaps that I speak three languages and am a pretty good tennis player.

What about performing live music brings you joy?
My Korean friend pronounces the word musician sounding like magician. I love that. Music is a universal language. You can create something magical with other people, sometimes complete strangers, and be connected by the resonance. It tells stories without words. It touches hearts without contact. It says everything and nothing at the same time. It is a beautiful experience that I am grateful to be able to share with others, musicians and listeners alike.


Reno Phil harpist Marina Roznitovsky Oster finds joy in making her audience smile, and we think she accomplished that with the element of surprise! We bet you weren’t expecting to hear this tune on the harp.