December 8, 2023

A Home away from Home

Belarusian concert pianist Natallia Kapylova, who has made Bangalore her home, has a deep attachment to the music capital. “I’ve been in Bangalore for the last five and a half years. I love the city, its great weather and its friendly people. Even professionally, Bangalore’s people love music, especially western classical.”
Speaking to Metroplus before a piano recital at the St. Mark’s Cathedral Auditorium organised by The Forum For Teachers of Western Classical Music recently, she affirms that no other audience is as appreciative as the ones in Bangalore.
Residing on Bannerghatta Road, Natallia says she doesn’t feel like an outsider here at all. During her stay in Delhi, she had to take time to adjust to the place, culture and language. “But in Bangalore, I feel perfectly normal. I live here with my husband and daughter. The only problem is traffic which we try and avoid by not travelling in peak hours.” She adds that Minsk, from where she hails, is a sister city to Bangalore. “Just like we have a Minsk square here, in my city we have a Bangalore square. There are a lot of connections.”
She goes on to say that Bangalore has also become a space for musicians to jumpstart their fulltime career. “I’m happy playing the music that I love and even happier when I can share it with people who love it too.”
The concert pianist is also a jazz pianist. “I love jazz. But I don’t perform it so much since I like to focus on playing western classical music. I play a lot of old styles on the piano but I tend to fall in love with everything I play.” Known for playing a combination of Baroque, classical and contemporary compositions, Natallia’s favourite composers from her wide repertoire are Bach, Rachmaninov and Chopin.
Natallia says at the heart of her music is music itself. “Music in all its sincerity is what I believe in. Especially in concerts, I have to enter the space where the process of making music lies. I cannot do it readymade. It’s a dream come true when I’m there in front of the people and I try to bring music alive.”
Recalling her musical journey, Natallia says she began playing the piano when she was seven in a professional music school in Belarus. “I was taught by professors from the conservatory. It took 17 years of non-stop learning where I spent 12 years in the special music school and another five years in the conservatory after which I got my diploma.” She adds that in Belarus, if someone wants to take something seriously as a profession they have to start young. “It is possible even in India but there needs to be a good system of teaching classical music in place.” On her future plans, she says: “As long as I have inspiration and people who love what I play, I will love to continue playing music. I may also teach more.” Her message to upcoming musicians is simple: “Find a good teacher, practise hard, dedicate yourself and enjoy your music.”
Nattalia went on to perform Beethoven’s spectacular Sonata Op. 90 in E minor and two of Bach’s compositions in flamboyant proficiency. The ambidextrous pianist also performed the legendary Fantasie in D minor by Mozart and Liebestraum by Liszt among other timeless pieces by musical maestros. Chopin’s thunderous Prelude Op. 28. No 15 in D flat minor followed by the poignant Malaguena by Lecuona received standing ovations from the audience.