Famous Pianist Luka Okros will Play in Tbilisi in April

Exclusive Interview

The world-renowned Georgian pianist Luka Okros will return to his hometown Tbilisi to do a recital at the Tbilisi State Conservatoire on the 6th of April where he will play Schubert and Liszt. GEORGIA TODAY had the chance to interview the artist in the middle of his busy international tour.


How is the life of a 28 years-old international pianist?

The last years have been intense in many ways. I did debuts at some very important venues such as Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Liszt Academy in Budapest, Rudolfinum in Prague, Musiikkitalo in Helsinki, Konzerthaus in Vienna or Royal Opera House in Mumbai.

It is such an excitement to travel and perform in new cities for the first time, but it is an even bigger responsibility to return to a venue where you have already performed. I work hard to do quality performances each time.

Also, when I have free time, I try to spend it with my family and friends because time is the most priceless thing.


How do you feel about doing so many international concerts and how did it go until now?

It is a lot of systematic work and luck. It is not enough to be at the right time at the right place. You should also be ready to take every opportunity and show what you are able to do.

I am a very lucky person, I met really amazing people who helped me in difficult situations, and I am very grateful for them. It is quite a special period of my life, hard and intense, and full of sometimes difficult circumstances.


Is it sometimes tiring or stressful?

I enjoy giving concerts and meeting people, but traveling is sometimes quite tiring.

The very special thing about my profession is that you depend on the piano. You have to practice every day to be in a good shape, so you cannot go for holidays whenever you like. The last time I took holidays and did not practice piano was in June 2017, for five days.

I really love my profession so I try to enjoy every moment. Even if it is sometimes tiring and stressful, it is totally worth it.


What are the best moments for you?

The best moments are during the performance: some special seconds, when you feel this magical connection with public, as well as the end of the concert: ovations, incredible energy and adrenaline. After every concert, there is an arranged greeting session in the foyer of the hall where I perform. I really love it because I can communicate with the audience, get their opinion and feel their emotions.

I also have opportunities to get acquainted to incredible people and appear in amazing places. For example, few month ago I was lucky to get access to the legendary Bechstein Pianos Factory, where we filmed a video showing how the piano is manufactured step by step.

Finally, I love to communicate with the  press. It helps me summarising my activities and I like to share with the public.


You are going to be back to Tbilisi in April to do a recital of Schubert and Liszt, did you choose to play these composers?

I always try to choose the program myself, unless there are special requests from the organisers.

How do you feel about coming to your home town?

I am always a little bit more nervous to play in my home town, performances in Tbilisi are very important for me. It is something special to see familiar faces, family members and friends in the hall. The audience in Georgia has a very good taste and is well-educated, and I want to surprise them in a good way.  


Is each recital different according to the place where you play?

Every concert is different. It depends on lots of small details: your mood, how you slept the night before, which piano is on the stage, how it was tuned, the country you perform in… It also depends on the public: the temperament of the people and how noisy they are, their mentality and culture, their level of music education and how emotional they are in general. All of that matters in the final result.


You are working on a personal album, how is it going?

I love to compose the music, I wish I had more time for that.

I am currently working with the UK-based company Master Music Publications to publish my compositions. The first piece was published in February and many more are coming. It is really exciting and I still cannot believe I am doing it. I hope I will manage to record CD with my own compositions next year.

Meanwhile, I am waiting for my new Chopin CD which we have recorded on Bechstein piano this winter. It will be presented in July during my concert at the Southbank in London. It will be my second major album. The first commercial CD recording of Schumann was released on the DiscAuverS label in Paris.


What is your current biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge is to have enough time and power to do all the things I want to do and achieve the goals I have in mind. I would like to do more composing, write some film music, as well as try myself in conducting, but my schedule definitely does not allow me to do everything together, so I try to compose and do things step by step.

One day I would love to make a music festival in Georgia. I would be happy to invite my international friends to my homeland and show them my country and culture. I could also invite lots of talented musician to come here, I think that Georgia has an enormous potential in arts.


You already have an amazing musician career, how do you think the future will be like?

There are lots of venues I have not performed in yet, lots of beautiful pieces of music I have not played. I would love to have opportunities to perform more with orchestras and play chamber music as well.

I am never satisfied and as I reach one goal, I immediately have some new ideas and targets. That is why life is always full of adventures.


Would you like to add anything?

I am looking forward to this upcoming season. In April I will have debuts at the Berlin Konzerthaus, as well as Luxembourg’s Philharmonic. I will return at the National Philharmonic of Ukraine (Kiev) and Het Concertgebouw on the first of June. I cannot wait for July, as I will make my debut at the Southbank of London, as well as travel to Montevideo to perform at the legendary Teatro Solis. As far as I know, I will be the first Georgian pianist to perform there.


The interview has been edited for more clarity.

To find out more and buy tickets for the concert: https://www.lukaokros.com

Photo source: www.lukaokros.com/photos


Related Article: Luka Okros: A Young Georgian with Fast Fingers


By Gabrielle Colchen

22 March 2019 19:55