Interview with Stelios Kerasidis

Interview by Vassilios Nicolaos Vitsilogiannis

Stelios Kerasidis was born in Athens in 2012 to Fotis and Agathe Kerasidis, both pianists who now teach him. Stelios first performed in public at the age of three. Stelios says his favourite pianist is the late Canadian Glenn Gould, best known for his technically demanding renditions of Bach variations. Stelios has shown a flare for composing. His two earlier works were written for his sisters, Veronica and Anastasia, and like “Isolation Waltz”, were met with critical acclaim. He will receive the Giuseppe Sciacca International Award for Music 2022.

Hello Stelios! Please tell me what would be your answer to my question that you are too young to play piano professionally.

The truth is that despite what I have achieved, I do not feel like a professional. I am a kid who loves music and with many hours of practice and perseverance, I try to reach a high level. I'm glad people love my music and come to my concerts!

What influenced you to practice music and specifically the piano? Were you influenced by watching your father play the piano or did you find your own way to express your emotions?

Certainly, the fact that I was listening and watching my father playing the piano made me want to explore this instrument. I loved the sounds he was making and it definitely helped me that my father was by my side every step
of the way. Today, I have my own way of expression and my own music which expresses my own feelings and concerns.

What made you compose “The Waltz of Isolation”?

The quarantine period was difficult and hard for everyone. I felt the need to compose a melody that I would dedicate to those who lost their loved ones to give them a little courage and strength. I didn’t even imagine that my music
would travel around the world.

Do you remember at what age you wrote your first composition?

Yes of course! My first piece was Veronica which I dedicated to my big sister when I was 6 years old!

What is the process you follow to compose a piece?

I just think about things and situations that I love or on the other hand, anything that troubles or saddens me, and then I sit down and make melodies with the corresponding images on the piano. Sometimes, they come out easily
sometimes not so easily.

You have given recitals to places that are of cultural heritage but also of unsurmountable value. How do you feel about this?

I am in awe. It is the most important for me of all to play in such places, especially in places with history and culture. The memories from the evening at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the columns of Olympian Zeus will accompany me for the rest of my life.

Which artists do you admire the most and would you like to collaborate with at some point?

I admire Bach and Chopin, but collaborating with them now seems a bit difficult (laughs)!

We know that a pianist needs several hours of study. Do you have time to engage in your hobbies?

Of course, I have time to play, do my homework, watch movies, play sports and generally do what a child of my age would do. I study piano no more than one to two hours a day.

You have received several awards and the international media have featured you widely. I know you are at an early age and if I asked you what are your future plans you would tell me that you are too young, but tell me what makes you happy and content?

I am mostly happy with music, my friends and of course with my family. Also, the world with its love and support makes me swell with pride!

What would be the three wishes you would make if you had a magic lamp?
Firstly, I would wish for not any child to starve in the world.
Secondly, I would put a piano everywhere in every school and every home and
every conservatory!
Thirdly, I would vanish the winter so we would have summer all year round.

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