Owen Mortimer

Meet the artist: Rokas Valuntonis

11:30, 8th February 2019

Winner of the 2018 Campillos International Piano Competition, Rokas Valuntonis is a multi-award-winning Lithuanian pianist now based in London

Did you always want to play the piano?
No, it was never really my choice, it was my mother’s. One day she told me: you’re signed up for lessons in the music school. I replied, ‘No way, forget it!’ I wanted to quit since the day I started – three times really seriously – but my teacher was very persistent. After a certain age I started to see the results and realised I was capable of producing these sounds. It’s really rewarding and satisfying.

What’s the role of a concert pianist today?
I don’t think it’s any different than it used to be. If you go through history, the artist is always someone who reflects the present. Events might change, but the role is exactly the same: to make people dream a little bit.

And when you’re not playing?
For three years I was seriously into nine-ball pool: I bought myself a professional cue, attended masterclasses, went to the championships and won the trophy. But after a while I thought, that’s enough.

City Music Foundation presents Rokas Valuntonis in recital at St Bartholomew the Great – London’s oldest Parish Church – on Thursday 2 May 2019

CMF is the recipient of this year’s Rhinegold Charity Fund


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