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Kasparas Mikužis - Piano

Interview

1- Your first piano teacher was Liudmila Kašėtienė. How do you recall those days and your formative master?

The years I spent studying with Liudmila Kašėtienė were probably one of the most important ones. In this period she introduced me to the classical music and made me discover the passion for it. Even now, I still go to her for advice on a piece of music sometimes, or any other matter, as she always knows how to help and what to say.

2- Is your family musical?

The only two musical people in my family were my aunts, one of them who was a music teacher at school and the other one who had a piano. After, I started learning the piano my aunt gifted me the piano she had, I still use it when I am at home.

3- You are currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music with the pianist Diana Ketler. How is this progressing?

So far it has been only a few months, but it has been great, very exciting and fresh. She is a world class pianist, chamber musician, conductor and an amazing person to be looking up to, I am very excited to be working with her.

4- Since 2011 you have performed in the yearly Christmas concerts held on the Champs Elysées in Paris organised by ‘SOS Talents’. Can you tell us more of this supporting organisation and presumably the unique atmosphere of these Christmas concerts?

I am very thankful to Michel Sogny, the founder of the foundation, for making this all happen. Me and other fellows of the foundation, we work with Michel during the year, have some masterclasses, some concerts and in the end of the year foundation organises this Christmas concert in December which concludes the year. There are quite a few people from the public who come to this concert every year to support us and see how all of us have changed and improved. I was very lucky to be part of this!

5- You are the laureate of an impressive 22 international competitions. Does anyone particularly stand out for you?

Probably B. Dvarionas International Competition which I did in 2016 in Vilnius. It was the first year that I have started studying at National M. K. Ciurlionis school of arts in Vilnius, the first year that I have moved from home and started living alone which at the time was a big challenge for me. Winning this famous competition in Lithuania gave me confidence which was extremly needed at that time and motivation to do more and dream bigger.

6- In 2017 you received a letter of gratitude from the president of Lithuania for your role in representing Lithuania on an international stage. How does this honour feel like?

It was a great honour to be awarded by the president among all the other young people who also succeeded internationally, it obliged to keep working even harder and strive for more. I was also asked to give a gratitude speech in the name of all the people who were awarded which was a big responsibility but even bigger honour.

7- In the West we know very little about Lithuania’s classical music tradition or any of its composers. Do you think you are in a position to introduce some of this work through your performances in the future?

Certainly! I always try to have some Lithuanian works in my repertoire and include them in any concerts, there are so many great composers which have not been discovered by the majority yet and it is our responsibility of all the Lithuanian pianists to promote them.

8- How often do your practice?

I practise every day of an average of 5 hours. Of course, there are days when you can do more than that, as well as, when you cannot practise at all. I also work with the score alone off the piano which sometimes helps much more than the actual practise.

9- Would you consider teaching music in the future?

Most of the musicians are teaching and this is usually a big part of their job. I think and hope that I will be teaching as well, as this is a huge and important part of the music world. So far, I have tried teaching my sister which was fun to do, but also required a lot of patience.

10- What advice would you give to young musicians at the start of their journey?

Follow your dream, devote yourself one hundred per cent to it and see what you will discover.

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submission March 2020