“MUSIC IS A REFLECTION OF LIFE”
TEO GHEORGHIU and passion for the piano.
Mr. Gheorghiu, when did your parents notice your interest in the piano?
As far as I remember, my mother bought an old piano, but she had little time to play it. But I liked to fiddle around with it. I received piano lessons for my fifth birthday, and it was clear that I was able to learn quickly and make progress.
Do you think the term “child prodigy” is an appropriate one?
Not at all. Of course, there are young people with a great deal of talent, but in classical music there are few with both the technical skills and the ability to express themselves personally. This is only logical. After all, what does a 12-year-old know about life that they could express in music? So-called child prodigies are often just very well-trained children, and there is an unusual fascination with such children in society.
How did you go from being a talented child to a sought-after pianist?
The answer is simple: “Vitus.” That was the start of my career, but I was still just a child. It was only when I turned 19 that I found my own musical voice.
At the age of 12 you played a child prodigy in the film “Vitus.” How much of yourself do you see in Vitus?
There were some parallels, such as the pressure I increasingly felt in
connection with music. But I never felt like an outsider like the character I played in Vitus, for example. I never personally identified with Vitus.
But you’ve experienced crises, too?
Oh, yes. There have been times when I didn't have the space to develop myself musically and have fun with it. I was interested in football, girls, parties. When I turned 18 I started to work with a new teacher in London. He taught me how to express myself through music, how it reflects life.
Do you dream of music?
I rarely remember my dreams. If I'm not playing music, I'm listening to it. Music is such a part of my daily life that it rarely appears in my dreams, and I tend to remember the extraordinary events that occur in dreams.
Do you fall into a sort of limbo after a concert?
I definitely can't go to sleep afterward. There are moments during a concert when I almost lose control over the music – but never entirely. This is the perfect golden mean. The day after a concert, I often feel empty, the energy is gone.
Is there anything else in your life that is comparable to the passion you feel for music?
I love football, cycling, art, discovering new things while traveling – these are all passions of mine. They are important for my mental stability. If you spend the whole day just practicing music, you won't have a connection to real life. I need this in order to be able to develop my personal vision of a piece. The more intensely you live, the more intensely you can make music.
Teo Gheorghiu, 25, is a pianist and became famous for his role in the Swiss film “Vitus,” in which he portrays a highly talented boy who wants to become a pianist. Gheorghiu, a native of Zurich, has played piano since he was 5 years old and is a graduate of the London Royal Academy of Music. He lives in London.