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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » April 28, 2011
Culture
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Piano Genius
April 28, 2011   
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Moscow-born musician Lukas Geniusas, who has a reputation as one of the world’s most exciting young piano virtuosos, talked to Dominik Skurzak before a recent recital in Warsaw.

You have won many international awards, including second prize in the 16th Frederic Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw in 2010, one of the most difficult piano competitions in the world. You have played with many good orchestras. You are 20 years old. What is the most dangerous thing for you at the moment in terms of your career as a pianist ?
I think for every pianist of my age and in my situation there are several dangers that should be carefully watched. First and foremost, hackwork, careless treatment of your professional skills due to a large amount of work (concerts in this particular case). A young artist should find the time for improving his mastery.

The Chopin Competition is a really tough test for pianists. Was it a difficult experience for you as a pianist?
This competition was a special one and it influenced me not only as a pianist but also as a person. I was going through a sort of hard period in my life, and the Chopin competition, its staff, all the fellow competitors and many others helped me through. As a pianist I have received unique training in how to be in the best possible shape for a long period of time.

Famous piano professor Vera Gornostaeva is your grandmother. Does this help?
It helps on one hand and hinders on the other. We have a distinctive and unusual kind of relationship, which implies that it is a close family connection and a student/teacher kind of relationship at the same time.

In Poland, your image is often that of an attractive, good-looking young piano virtuoso... Do you like this kind of image?
Why not? This is not the worst reputation you can think of—although stereotypes are never a good thing. How can they do justice to someone and their individuality in its completeness?
Which of the living pianists do you consider to be the greatest artist? Which of them touches the deepest part of your soul?
I greatly admire some of the pianists living today. Radu Lupu for me is the strongest upholder of the musical culture of Europe. He has numerous qualities that I value highly. Boris Berezovsky is another special person among contemporary pianists for me. I could talk about him at length. In an absolutely unique way he combines qualities that are otherwise incompatible.

Lukas Geniusas won second prize in the 16th Frederic Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw in 2010 and a special award from the Frederic Chopin Society for best performance of a polonaise in the second stage of the competition.

Geniusas was born in Moscow in 1990. He has both Russian and Lithuanian nationality. He began learning to play the piano at the age of five in a preparatory class of the Frederic Chopin College of Music in Moscow. He graduated with top honors in 2008. The fact that he was born into a family of musicians played a major role in his musical development. His first teacher was his grandmother Vera Gornostaeva, an outstanding teacher and professor at the Moscow Conservatory of Music. Before he turned 12, he took part in a number of international festivals and competitions. He performed with many orchestras, including the symphony orchestras of Hamburg and Duisburg in Germany, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the State Orchestra of Lithuania, and the St. Petersburg Capella. He has worked with conductors such as Vladimir Ziva, Andrei Borejko, Saulus Sondeckis, Dimitri Liss, Jonathan Darlington, and James Loughran. He has given concerts in France, Spain, Poland, Lithuania, the United States, Germany and other countries.

Geniusas has a broad repertoire of music ranging from Baroque compositions to pieces by contemporary composers. At the age of 18, Geniusas boasted an impressive track record of 10 solo recitals and eight piano concerts with an orchestra.
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