PIANIST, PEDAGOGUE & EVENT PRODUCER
Individual Piano Lessons
"How I Practice"
"Being a Self-Managed Artist: Portfolio, Website, and Social Media"
"Being a Self-Managed Artist: Choosing Competitions, Reaching out to Organizers and Managers"
"Window in Time: Concert in the Dark"
Since retiring from piano competitions in 2011 Gintaras Januševičius has built an exemplary multifaceted career as a piano performer, pedagogue, stage coach, and event producer. His theatrical and educational recital programmes have taken him on tours all around Europe as well as the USA, PR China, Japan, and Brazil. His festival appearances include the Chopin Festival in Duszniki-Zdroj, Mozartfest Würzburg, Festival Besancon, and Dresdner Musikfestspiele to name just a few.
In addition to his stage and pedagogical careers, Mr. Januševičius founded and directed four music competitions, two international piano academies, and numerous concert series. He frequently serves as a jury member at international competitions around the Europe. More information available here.
- What is your personal approach to teaching?
In my opinion, a great teacher must be capable of recognizing a student's individual potential and ideas and then must be willing to share their own knowledge and tools to help the student develop a great stage act. The goal of my work is to nurture a wide variety of artists with unique stories and voices and to help them reach out to as many audiences as they want. In my lessons I always put a student’s interpretation before my own and work on performance quality in order to make their interpretation work. In my view, no piece of music has just one superior interpretation - every new interpretation has a right to exist as long as it’s executed with unquestionable quality.
- Alongside to your piano lessons, you offer several group workshops. What would be their subjects this year?
Students responded very warmly to „How I Practice“, a workshop on efficient practice. It returns this year, revised and enriched by a large portion of helpful technical exercises from my personal routine. Another newcomer in 2019 „Concert in the Dark“ will also make its return with a new collection of rare and inspiring interpretations. The staple of our program, lecture on self-management, „Being a Self-Managed Artist“, will be split into two parts to enable us to tackle even more important issues like creating a portfolio, running a personal website, managing social media accounts, choosing competitions, and even learning to recognize predatory managers.
"Dress Rehearsal: Tips from a Professor, a Juror, and an Audience Member"
- You have a unique role at the academy. An evening before our concert tour you listen to performances by each student and give them your last piece of advice for successful performances. The time is quite short, how do you choose your priorities, what to talk about?
I have to pick the most important idea for the performer to follow and not to change anything that already works. It‘s a bit like walking on thin ice, but very rewarding. In every performance that core idea will be different - it may be the tempo, the image, the sound... is it the orchestra, or is it a sung melody, or a dialogue..? It must be a detail that influences everything around it. I aim to find it and work on it in depth.
- Did Lazar Berman have any special traditions for the day of the performance or tricks he used just before entering the stage?
Like the majority of artists of his generation, he suffered from performance anxiety. He treated his fears as necessary feelings and fueled his interpretations with them. On the day of the concert as well as immediately prior to performances he practiced, mostly in medium tempi, carefully listening to details. He practiced until the last moment before entering the stage to feel free and ready for, I may say, his dialogue with God.
Valentina Berman is an exponent for the Russian piano playing tradition, which harks back to the nineteenth century. She was a piano pupil of Avram Schatzkes, who himself studied with Nikolai Medtner.
For 26 years she was a respected teacher at the Central School of Music of the Moscow State Conservatoire. Together with her husband, the renowned piano virtuoso Lazar Berman, she moved to Italy, where she became a highly sought after piano professor, teaching high caliber pianists and serving on competition jurys. She actively teaches masterclasses in many European countries.
PHYSIOTHERAPIST & MASSAGE THERAPIST
"Relaxation and Balance"
Personal Massage Therapy Sessions
Meike Bistram graduated from Rohrbach School in Hanover, with a degree in physical therapy.
Since 2006 she runs a private practice which focuses on orthopaedy, neurology, and surgery. Mrs. Bistram also teaches courses in gymnastics and aquarobics. She has attended training courses in taping, chiropractic, back care, relaxation techniques, reflexology, and traditional Chinese medicine. In addition to this she has worked as an official medical advisor for Germany's womens' national volleyball team. Since 2016 she treats numerous musicians ranging from pianists to woodwind players.
- Pianists daily spend many hours in unhealthy body positions. What are the most common physical problems, related to piano playing?
One of the most common problems is pain in the neck and shoulder area, which can lead to numbness or tingling of the fingers. Needless to say, it is very dangerous for those who must be able control their fingers in the finest detail. Another common problem is posture. A rounded back may lead to compression of the internal organs, including the heart, the lungs, and the stomach.
- How much time daily should we invest in exercises, to stay healthy?
Not much! Four or five exercises can be completed while doing some other work, f.e. tooth brushing or walking. We all take small breaks between practice sessions - why not to use that time too? Even 10 minutes a day will bring a significant effect.
DANCER & DANCE INSTRUCTOR
Improving Posture, Health, and Mood with the Help of Dancing"
- Dance and music are inseparable. How can pianists profit from learning to dance?
Dancing helps to form a healthy posture, improve coordination, develop body flexibility, and, what is important to every artist - strengthen one's confidence. Movement is also a valuable tool, which helps to better understand musical styles and expressions. Our body movements can recreate emotions and feelings awakened by the sounds of music. The goal of my dance lesson at the KPM academy is to encourage the students to learn their body and discover new musical ideas through movement.
- You dance on various European stages as well as teach people of different ages and backgrounds. You are also a mother of two young and talented artists. Is the ability to multi-task necessary to artists of our generation?
Being universally educated opens a great amount of doors. Every engagement offers wonderful discoveries; we can learn a lot about our primary profession in every other field. I encourage all my students to develop a broad outlook and to not be afraid to look around for inspirations and experiences. Broad-minded people are always more interesting in every aspect.
Born and raised in Klaipėda, Ana Buchovskaja-Zamulskienė graduated from the national M. K. Čiurlionis Arts School as a ballet dancer. Since 2014 she has been a soloist at the Klaipėda State Music Theater, where she created the role of Marina in "Zorba the Greek" as well as the title role in the modern interpretation of "Giselle". In 2019 she joined the ballet company of the Kaunas State Music Theater and also made her debut at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
Since 2013 Mrs. Buchovskaja-Zamulskienė teaches ballet lessons for different age groups.
ACTRESS & SPEAKER
Actress and stage coach Adrija Čepaitė teaches stage language and rhetoric in various universities around the world. She is a sought after mentor, teaching various politicians, CEOs, and businessmen the secrets of public speaking, writing speeches and giving interviews.
In 2012 she entered the Guildhall School of Music and Drama to take classes with Patsy Rodenburg. Her teachers and inspirations also include Kristin Linklater, Lenard Petit, and Yuri Vasiliev.
- Some artists claim that by talking on stage and presenting their pieces they successfully fight the stage fright. Is the ability to speak in public connected to self-confidence?
Oh, massively! Speaking in public is an act of sharing the idea, sharing the message. If the speaker believes in the idea, (s)he speaks with an overwhelming confidence and thus gets the audience to listen with great interest. However if someone just speaks about oneself, brags and tries to show off, it's doomed for a failure.
- You mentor business people, politicians, singers. Will your work with pianists be different from the work with people from other fields?
Musicians far more naturally understand the concepts of "giving", "translating", "create a flow", among many others. This way it will be easier for me as a teacher to find the right connection with "the audience", as we speak the same language. Every person has an individual set of capabilities, experiences, but as far as I know artists, they rarely lack determination. If one is capable of spending a majority of their life with 88 keys, in my view they don't have problems with the will power. And the rest is simply technique.
TV & RADIO PRESENTER
"Stage Presence and Presentation"
- Many young artists nowadays have doubts whether they should try presenting their programmes. Is bad presentation capable of ruining a concert experience for the audience?
Even if the artist performs wonderfully, bad presentation can surely leave a bad taste in the mouths of the audience. In my humble opinion, it's not a good job if speaking with the audience lacks a natural flow, spontaneity, or a personal approach. I have seen young artists prepare speeches and read them from the paper in a silent and shy manner - this might even leave an impression that one was forced to present despite own wishes. The artist feels bad, the audience feels bad and no one really needs it. One more thing that can ruin a good impression is false information - the artists will immediately lose audience's respect, if they would try cheating their research or intelligence. Always do your homework - Astor Piazzolla wasn't from Spain and Debussy's name wasn't Carl. Bloopers like these can't gain you credibility.
- What advice could you give a young artist who is determined to speak to the audience for the very first time tonight?
Every person is different and if I got to know that young artist, I would make my advice more personal. Generally, it is always a good advice to remember why one chose to perform that particular piece for this particular audience. If the artists knows that "why", he or she will be able to channel it into the enthusiasm and passion. The audience waits for the artist with support, looking forward to hear something fresh, new, and authentic. Trust yourself and trust your audience and you will both enjoy a memorable evening.
Gerūta Griniūtė is well known to audiences as the presenter and juror of the Lithuanian national preselection of the Eurovision Song Contest, the hostess of the LRT KLASIKA show „Muzikinis pastišas“ as well as numerous other shows on Lithuanian national radio and television.
She graduated from the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Arts as a pianist and received her bachelor degree in piano performance from the Lithuanian Academy for Music and Drama. She went on to obtain a masters degree in analytic journalism at the Vilnius University.
SINGER & VOCAL COACH
Individual Vocal Lessons
Donata Jan has recently joined the faculty of the Hanover University of Music, Theater, and Medias. Trained both as a singer and a pianist, she collaborated with many renowned from the worlds of jazz and pop, including Lutz Krajenski, Carl Keaton Jr., Donatas Montvydas, and James A. Simpson. In 2016 she joined the "CK Voice Lessons" school, famous for mentoring future participants of the Eurovision Song Contest as well as shows like "The Voice" and "The Voice Kids".
In 2017 she formed a trio with Hervé Jeanne and Matthias Meusel, former members of the Roger Cicero band.
- Why should every pianist add singing to the list of tools, helpful to learn and perform their pieces?
Phrasing simply can't exist without a natural sense for breathing and the continuous sound of the voice. Every great melody was written with singing in mind. Voice can express so many different emotions and colors... Once pianists or other instrumentalists learn the capabilities of their voices, they start viewing their sound and timing from a new angle. They start playing more comfortably and with more natural expression. Furthermore, singing trains the ability to improvise which eventually can give an artist a push to maybe compose their own pieces.
- Some students may feel uncomfortable about singing in front of a teacher, even as friendly as you are. What can you say to shake their anxiety off?
I used to have this issue myself, and every teacher should aim to create a trustworthy environment to achieve good results in the lesson. My goal is to inspire students by getting to know their musical tastes and learning goals. Listening to songs, analyzing them, as well as singing together helps a lot, even if a student brings only modest knowledge to the first lesson. The best inspiration however is fun - this is why the KPM Karaoke night has been a staple of the academy since its' inception. Needless to say, I am looking forward to discovering the inner Tina Turners, Tom Joneses, or Bruno Marses in this years' students.
PIANIST & PEDAGOGUE
"Concerts for Children: Shaping the Next Generation of Music Lovers"
- Children’s audience is the most honest of all. They don’t hesitate to call you boring or fall deeply in love with you. What would your one suggestion to those who are to perform for the kids for the first time ever?
I believe the most important thing is to be very enthusiastic from the first second you see the children and let them all know that YOU love playing your instrument. As soon as children feel this connection between you and your piano, they will listen to you. Through carefully chosen repertoire you can aim to enrich the children’s understanding of different stories through music, for instance by playing a piece or two which they might recognize and love, everyone will be involved in the music.
- What is your very first musical memory from your childhood and what impact did it have on you?
I grew up in a small town in Romania under communism without much exposure to live music. My first realization of the importance and beauty of music came through my first piano lessons. I remember my piano lessons being just wonderful! I also remember how special I felt when I went to my piano lessons and how gentle and kind Mrs. Cosma, my piano teacher was. I remember very well the warm voice and how reassuring she was during the lessons and how much I loved playing the pieces which were chosen for me! This is something I always have and will always continue to give back to my own pupils - the feeling that each one of them is a very special little person.
Ancuta Nite graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She has won numerous prizes and performed across Europe as a soloist and with various orchestras. A passionate music educator, she founded the Nite Piano School based in Glasgow and recently joined faculties of both the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the University of St Andrews.
Mrs. Nite has been an ambassador for Hospices of Hope since 2008. Her fundraising efforts have included numerous performances in many venues, including London’s Globe Theatre. Up to this date she has raised over £20.000 for the charity.
MACDARA Ó SEIREADÁIN
"Psychology as a Backbone to a Stage Career"
Personal Psychological Coaching Sessions
Macdara Ó Seireadáin is a native of Dublin and a First Class Honours graduate of both the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover and Royal Irish Academy of Music. He is principal clarinet of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the founding member of the critically acclaimed Dublin-based chamber music group, the Ficino Ensemble.
A multiple prizewinner, in 2010 Mr. Ó Seireadáin won the inaugural Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year competition and has performed throughout Europe, the USA, Canada, China, Chile, and India.
- Psychological comfort on stage is one of the core ingredients of a good performance. Is it something that largely depends on each character separately, or is it a learnable skill, everyone can master?
Comfort on stage is comprised of many different factors and is built upon the stable foundations of good preparation, mock performances, and being attuned to how your body reacts under stress. Everybody has their own individual approach and character, however, there are a number of techniques that can be learned to help better achieve mental quiet and focus when performing. Just like learning any new skill, it takes time to master in the practise room before bringing this onto the stage, but it is a skill that everyone can master if worked upon.
- Aside from your lecture, you offer personal psychological coaching for the students of our academy. You don‘t issue any schedule for it - students are expected to make the first step and ask you for an appointment. Is it part of the learning process?
It is a conscious decision as advice is most effective when it is sought out. By leaving the first step up to the students, it ensures that any work begins only when they are comfortable. Starting with an open mindset is an important factor is improving performance skills, and coaching is at its most effective when the student is ready. With this approach, our work together begins when the right mindset is present.
CONDUCTOR & MUSICOLOGIST
"Narrative Recitals: Shaping Your Performance by Adding Music to the Story or Story to the Music"
- Why in your opinion are narrative recitals gaining more popularity, especially among audience members who don‘t belong to the field of professional musicians?
Most of the repertoire performed by classical artists nowadays is up to 300 years old and has been interpreted countless times by many great minds. Adding a narrative to a recital helps reshape well-known pieces and therefore gives an audience the possibility of connecting with the individual story a pianist wants to share in a recital. This way audience members can connect both to the specific meaning of the music in the presented context as well as to the performing pianist and his individual perspective on the piece. This in turn improves the emotional experience and the sense of "understanding the music" as well - without the precondition of being an "informed" audience member.
- Many traditional audience members find modern music difficult to enjoy. Can a well created narrative fix that issue?
Most definitely it can. Adding a context to an unknown piece creates expectations and therefore attention, adding a storyline within the music helps to map out complex musical processes. In its core, music is always about fundamental things like emotionality, expressivity, energy, conflict and resolution. If a narrative can show up those basic and relatable qualities in the performed music, it helps immensely in giving audience members access to music they have no experience with.
Bennet Eicke is the first of many alumni of our academy to join us with their debut lectures on our "Junior Lecturer" program. The goal of this program is to provide our students with more varied platforms to help them launch their careers and gather necessary experience.
As a pianist, Bennet Eicke was awarded 1st prizes at popular German music competitions, such as "Jugend musiziert", "Einbecker Klavierfrühling", and the inaugural international German-Chinese piano competition in Hamburg. Since the age of 16 he hosted the concert series at the "TangoBrücke" concert house in Einbeck, providing insightful narration to classical and children's concerts. In 2018 he graduated from the Georg August University Göttingen with the bachelor's degree in musicology and philosophy. Same year he enrolled in the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Music University in Leipzig to study piano and conducting.