Faculty & Workshops 2023
PIANIST & PEDAGOGUE
Individual Piano Lessons
"How I Practise"
"Concert in the Dark"
Gintaras Januševičius has built an exemplary multifaceted career as a piano performer, pedagogue, and event producer. His theatrical and educational recitals 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 Besançon, and Dresdner Musikfestspiele to name just a few.
Leading a private piano studio since 2012, in 2020 he joined the staff of his alma mater, the HMTM Hannover. In addition to his stage and pedagogical careers, Januševičius founded and directed several music competitions, international piano academies, and numerous concert series. 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 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 your piano lessons, you offer several group workshops. What would be their subjects this year?
In the mock practice sessions "How I Practise" I show my own practice routine from the first glance into the score. The sessions take place over several days, so students can see my strategies and follow my progress in real time. The workshop on sight-reading was successfully introduced during our "Intensive Bubble" edition in 2021 - I have since expanded it by making it more detailed and practical. The "Concert in the Dark" has been a staple of our program since 2019 and will again offer an exciting trip in time, showcasing the evolution of the music interpretation. A special 2023 offer was suggested by our students - this year I will dedicate a full lecture to explore and explain Beethoven's music language.
PIANIST & PEDAGOGUE
"Make Them Want to Discover Your Recital"
- Today's classical concert audiences vary more than ever. Still, if you needed to find a universal answer to fit most of them - what in your opinion are the things that the audience expects from a classical concert experience?
They surely expect harmonious beauty, story / meaning behind the music, an uplifting celebration, as well as the authenticity of the artist.
- Thinking outside of the standard repertoire gives you the joy of unearthing not well known composers and their works. What are your dearest musical discoveries?
The early piano works of Arvo Pärt! Such a contrast to his Tintinnabuli style piano pieces he is famous for. I’m always curious about “the early” works of composers (not necessarily the unearthed ones): what was his/her “road” before the fame came? What steps (works) were made before the music came to the point I met it. One of my recent discoveries - „Heights and Depths of Love“ by Žibuoklė Martinaitytė and the name of the french composer Mel Bonis.
Eglė Andrejevaitė made her name with conceptual piano recitals. Her 2020 programme "Chopin Haiku" and its version with the actress Birutė Mar "Winter In Mallorca" received acclaim in Lithuania as well as Australia and the USA. As the co-author of the sold-out music, fashion, and lights performance „Coco Chanel Project” she contributed to a new approach to contemporary music in Lithuania.
Andrejevaitė was studying with Konrad Richter at the Stuttgart University of Music and Performing Arts, with Halina Radvilaitė at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater, and privately with Mūza Rubackytė. Since 1997 she has been the recipient of numerous international competition awards in Bucharest, Kyiv, Rome, Paris, and Poertschach.
CELLIST & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Roundtable Discussion "Birth of the Concert: From Idea to Marketing"
Mindaugas Bačkus has been recognized as one of the most distinguished Lithuanian cellists on the concert stage, both in recital, and as a dynamic component of chamber ensembles and orchestras. His wide-ranging musical interests are being continuously revealed through intense exploration of his instrument’s (electro)acoustic, expressive, and theatrical possibilities. His insatiable desire to discover new worlds of cello sound has thus far yielded multiple collaborations with contemporary composers, jazz musicians, early music ensembles, theatre and dance companies.
Since 2009 Bačkus serves as the artistic director of the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra. In 2017, he founded the International Cello Festival and Competition in Klaipėda which has since hosted over a hundred cello professionals and aspiring young musicians from around the globe.
Roundtable discussions - a new KPM format, starting with the meeting with Mindaugas Bačkus, who's experience covers performances on the highest artistic level, working in the orchestra and chamber music formations, founding festivals and curating international projects. He is as well a sought-after pedagogue and a father to five children. In this meeting he will receive no more, no less than 25 questions, as each active participant will be asked to take an initiative in her / his hands for one topic. Mr. Bačkus will be happy to share his experience and thoughts in this relaxed event on the last day of the academy.
- Some people prefer "serious" concerts, the others wish for entertainment. Some people choose names, others are attracted by innovative programmes. Do you think there is a common thread, something universal about the concert that can get any audience satisfied?
There are definitely common expectations - to get through an experience, to get excited, to be impressed. This is the common thread between all consumers of culture. However that exact thing that gets one person impressed and excited varies with every individual.
TV & RADIO PRESENTER
"Speaking in the Language of the Audience"
- How important for a pianist or any music artist is the ability to speak fluently in public?
I think if you want to be understood correctly, broadcast some information, or just try to get along with the audience, it’s a good idea to practise public speaking. In general it’s quite useful when you communicate with the world. Everybody can speak fluently in public - it’s just a matter of practice.
- Many young artists nowadays have doubts whether they should try presenting their programmes. Is a bad presentation capable of ruining a concert experience for the audience?
Even if the artist performs wonderfully, a bad presentation can surely leave too many questions or even a bad taste in the mouths of the audience. Don’t get me wrong - sometimes it’s really best to let the music talk. But in many cases you should be prepared. 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 their own wishes. The artist feels bad, the audience feels bad and no one really needs it.
Generally, it is always a good advice to remember why one chose to perform that particular piece for this particular audience. If the artist knows that "why", he or she will be able to channel it into 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 pre-selection of the Eurovision Song Contest, as well from her work on numerous shows on Lithuanian National Radio and Television ("Dainų Dainelė", "Nacionalinė Ekspedicija") and LRT KLASIKA ("Mūza ant Peties", "Bazinis Akordas").
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 Theater. She went on to obtain a masters degree in analytic journalism at the Vilnius University. In addition to her TV and radio credits she is also an acclaimed presenter at most important Lithuanian festivals and competitions.
MACDARA Ó SEIREADÁIN
CLARINETIST & PERFORMANCE COACH
"Psychology as a Backbone to a Stage Career"
Personal Coaching Sessions
Macdara Ó Seireadáin is a native of Dublin and a First Class Honours graduate of both the HMTM Hannover and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. In 2019, after holding orchestral positions in Austria and Germany, he joined the RTÉ Concert Orchestra as principal clarinet. In addition to this he is a member of the Dublin-based Ficino Ensemble with whom he has recorded several acclaimed CDs.
A multiple prizewinner, in 2010 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. Alongside a busy performing career, he lectures on performance psychology and has coached musicians worldwide to orchestral audition and competition successes.
- 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 practice room before bringing this onto the stage, but it is a skill that everyone can master if deliberately 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 that a 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 in 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.
"Freelance Lifestyle: Challenges But Opportunities"
- Artists are often represented as dreamy and disorganized people. In your opinion, how important for a professional musician is it to learn organisational skills and structure?
I think this myth about artist disorganisation is true only in a way. Most freelancers (not only artists) have a challenge to balance out all activity. It's simply because we are not told by a boss what to do and nobody structures our days from 8 to 5. Therefore if you have a clear business direction, you have greater chances for success. You need to think about your career as if it was a company / an organisation. Imagine, if a company like Toyota or Samsung had no idea where it is developing in one, five, or ten years? We would not have new cars. They have a vision, so an artist needs one too.
- Many artists like solitude and feel the most comfortable being on their own. Is networking and socialisation at all important in music? If yes, are they learnable skills?
Most of us are introverts, especially artists. We are emotional and fragile too, that is why we can appreciate and share beautiful art with the world. This is our strength. So it is absolutely normal that we need to switch from the inner life into the "sales mode" at times. When we know why we are doing this, what is the goal, it becomes easier. That is motivation. On the other hand, when we learn that numerous rejection in sales is more normal than odd, we can accept this as not personal. This is life: it takes hundreds of seeds to grow a tree.
Prof. dr. Titas Petrikis is an award-winning composer, who has scored over 40 films, composed music for theatre, TV and radio productions, and has released several independent music albums.
In addition to the Diamond Award (European Independent Film Award), Jury Prize (Festigious International Film Festival), and Honorable Mention (Global Film Festival Awards), Petrikis became a finalist of the Talent Campus Volkswagen Score competition in Berlinale 2007. His music for films was nominated for the Lithuanian Silver Crane Best Music Award five times.
BODYBUILDER, TRAINER & AUTHOR
"How Healthy Lifestyle Affects Brain Function"
Physical Training Session
Andrius Pauliukevičius has dedicated almost 25 years of his life to training. He earned countless awards and accolades in European bodybuilding championships and additionally competed in various strongman competitions.
A sought-after personal trainer, he also worked with the Lithuanian military and police, helping to train their personnel. He is also the author of six popular books, covering topics ranging from nutrition and fitness to mental toughness and resilience.
- In your training session you will be demonstrating exercises for people who spend many hours every day in a sitting position. These exercises are easy to perform even in domestic conditions. Are they enough to keep the body in shape?
These exercises are enough to have a strong waist, keep muscular flexibility, and avoid back and neck pain. They are especially important for people who spend hours sitting and not able to invest hours into physical activity.
- The nutrition among students and artists often appears chaotic and not involving too much thinking about the quality of the food, portions, and rhythm. Usually we blame the lack of time or money. Is there a way of having balanced nutrition without a lot of investment?
Preparing eggs or porridge in the morning is neither a luxury nor time consuming. Neither is having greek yogurt or curd for a snack. Healthy lunch or dinner could be some cooked meet or fish with a side of buckwheat, pasta, potatoes, maybe a tomato - all this usually for the price not higher than a greasy sandwich at a gas station. It is just a matter of developing the right habits.
DANCER & DANCE INSTRUCTOR
Street Style Choreo Lesson
- How can classical pianists profit from a choreo dance lesson?
Dancing choreo is impossible without being relaxed. If the person manages to relax, flexibility and fun will follow. In my lesson I would love to give everyone a feeling of a better understanding of an own body. We will invoke our flexibility and musicality, exploring the R&B music with our bodies and relaxing as a group.
- Some people, especially the shy ones, might feel afraid to take the first step towards dancing. What advice can you give, helping them overcome their anxieties and an uncomfortable feeling?
Leaving your comfort zone is never pleasant. But like everywhere it is a necessary step towards learning and progress. I invite everyone to see this as an opportunity to learn new and fun things, new techniques, and forget your daily troubles for a short while. There is no pressure, no tension, just the group energy and emotional exchange, happening through the body language. Making the first steps shouldn't involve "bad" or "good", just "unwind".
Žieda Žilakauskaitė is known through her numerous appearances in various TV projects and her collaboration with the Lithuanian pop singer Donny Montell. Having started her training at the age of three, she has won over fifteen awards solo and with various dance crews.
A passionate dancer and choreographer, she is teaching various groups at the acclaimed ANT Dance Studio. She is constantly visiting dance camps around Europe, including the Shay Program (Netherlands), HDI Dance Camp (United Kingdom), and Fair Play Dance Camp (Poland) to name but a few.