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- Margarita Capas: From Lithuania to Castleton »
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Autumn 2021Margarita Capas: From Lithuania to Castleton
Margarita Capas is a pianist and piano teacher based in Castleton. She was born in Klaipeda, the third largest city and only port in Lithuania, in 1984, ‘a small, cosy town near the seashore where you hear seagulls early in the morning and jazz late at night - it has a very special place in my heart’.
Both her parents were musicians; her late father played trumpet and her mother is a pianist who studied at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.
Margarita started to play piano at the age of eight, practising at least couple of hours a day. She explained: “I did show interest much earlier by trying to figure it out on my own. I had a piano method book (which I still have and will cherish for the rest of my life) and I used to sing words from the book and play random notes searching for correct harmonies. I always wanted to play like my mum and was very frustrated that I could not. Only later I realised that it takes years, decades of consistent practice and incredible determination - no matter the talent!"
Following in her mother’s footsteps, Margarita also went on to study at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. During her six years at the Academy, she married and gave birth to her son before graduating with two master’s degrees.
After graduating, Margarita successfully auditioned for a scholarship at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) as a Junior Fellow in Accompaniment – hence the family move to England in 2009 when she was 25.
She explains from being young she always felt she would leave Lithuania because whilst she loves the country, she knew she would want to also live ‘somewhere else’.
Margarita and her husband decided to settle in Castleton to be near her cousin’s family.
The move wasn’t easy: the first year she struggled with the language and there were many other challenges in the early years. She said: “I am so grateful for all the people here that helped me. I have met so many kind, generous and helpful people here, which I will always appreciate.“
Her first taste of ‘teaching’ piano came as a teenager when her mum let her earn some pocket money by helping with “practice assistance” for her students.
She went on to gain Qualified Teacher Status, and now teaches piano from her home studio. She currently has 40 students, and a waiting list.
Margarita said: “I tell my students this journey will not, should not, stop. There is an incredible amount of piano repertoire to explore, technical challenges to overcome, thousands of events to play at. The concerts that we organise (themed piano concerts twice a year) are one of those. Oh, what incredible, emotional, exciting events these are!”
Her dreams include: “Opening a music school, which could include other instrumental teachers; organising master classes, festivals, and competitions; write a piano method book, and a book about my teaching experience, but I will leave the latter one to the far away future, because even though I have seen a lot already, it still feels like I have just started."
- Junior Fellow in Accompaniment at the Royal Northern College of Music
- Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
- Master’s Degree in Music Education
- Master’s Degree in Piano Accompaniment
- Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance
- Second prize at the International Young Pianists Competition in Copenhagen in 1997
- Diploma and a prize for the best performance of a work by a Lithuanian composer at the Second International Competition of Student Accompanists in 2005