London-based pianist Brigitte Subkov won numerous competitions during her teens and straight after graduating from the Royal College of Music in London, she played the hugely successful ‘Russian Revolution’ series in 2017 with sold-out events in both London and Switzerland. Brigitte was featured in Tatler UK as a modern classical-popular crossover pianist, artist and fashionista.
Brigitte can be seen in ‘Pretty Women’ which is touring in Switzerland. Pretty Women is directed by Cary Rick and features Madeleine del Real and Martina Rick.
It is a joy to welcome Brigitte to the blog:
Describe a typical day for you?
Actually, there is no month nor week that is identical in my life so describing a typical day is somewhat of a challenge. Usually life is filled up with different things, starting from intense piano practise, over to my fitness routines, beauty appointments, travels and public appearances. The usual catch-up with friends over champagne and oysters in Chelsea is always on top of my list, though! So there are days like that and days where I perform, which have more rituals to them.
If I have a concert in the evening, I like to wake up late so as to have enough energy for the night. Then, I usually spend the whole day at home, and going through my program, reading a book and having my hair and make-up done before the show. Solitude is important at those times so that I can focus entirely on the music. The perfect dress and style is always discussed and prepared days beforehand to ensure a smooth run on the concert night.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
Bumping into my Manager Lukas Kroulik, who is my all-in-one, the greatest organiser and style adviser but also a reliable shoulder to lean on! He keeps me grounded and has an incredible talent which draws the best out of people!
What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
I don’t leave the house without my handbag, which comes in all sort of shapes and sizes…Inside you’ll find my Chanel hand creme, my Cafe Nero loyalty card and my diary from Paperblanks.
What are your ambitions in life?
I am not aiming for a specific concert tour or job position right now, I simply want to live and experience it to the fullest. I am very happy in my current situation, I love the stage and I love to be out there, having the opportunity to share my music with other people and to make a difference. If things stay at least the same for the future, I would say that I am already achieving my ambitions.
Oh, and there is lunch with Justin Bieber of course… I’d love to hear him play some Beethoven live!
What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
Whilst at The Royal College of Music in London, I believed the ultimate aim for a pianist would be to win one of the big competitions, such as the ‘Tchaikovsky Competition’ but I’ve come to realise this is the stereotypical image society has created: one of the ‘genius pianist’ who has made it to the ‘top’ through sweat, blood and tears whereas generally the strings pulled behind stage are the crucial factor in those competitions and the decisions are often biased.
If one decides to go down a different path, it doesn’t mean that one is a better or worse player…And like Bela Bartok has put it: Competitions are for horses, not artists.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
To be honest, I don’t know. Although I like to plan and have my to-do lists, it’s difficult for me to even imagine where I’ll be in five years time. Life is unpredictable and I am open to anything great it throws at me!
What advice would you give a budding pianist?
Finding your own identity, your own sound is important. There will always be judgement and criticism, but no matter how big the pressure or competition is around you, if you do it your way – it will be the right way! Apart from that, loving your practice sessions and putting your whole soul into them is significant: never just play the mere notes, read in between them and project what’s behind them. And if things don’t work out your way just take it easy and have a glass of champagne.
Never give up on what you love. Stay with it despite it sometimes seeming that it could break you.
Finally, happiness is..
Happiness for me is the freedom to do what I want to do, and just being myself with the people I love.
Happiness is also having breakfast in bed with a decaf cappuccino (no chocolate on top!) and protein rich food! YUM!
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