Many congratulations to EMS Piano Tutor, Viktoria Goncharova, for winning the International Piano Competition in Paris. Alex Buckle met with her to ask some questions about the competition and life in the UK after leaving Ukraine.

1. You moved from Ukraine just over a year ago and now have a busy performing career in London. How are you finding performing in and around Ealing?

Undoubtedly, I am thrilled to continue my performing career in London. Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to showcase my musical talents through several piano concerts and a magnificent Christmas organ concert at St. Gabriel’s Church, Pimlico. The reception from the London audience, especially in Ealing, has been incredibly warm and appreciative. It is always a pleasure to share the beauty of music with such a receptive audience.

2. You recently won a major Piano competition in Paris. Can you tell us a little more about it?

The recent piano competition in Paris was an incredible experience. Gathering over 100 musicians from around the world, it was a highly competitive event. I was not only honored to receive the first prize but also thrilled to be recognized by the Standing European Committee on Culture, Science, and Education. Beyond the recognition and awards, what truly made the competition special was the opportunity to connect with talented musicians and form lasting friendships. Participating in competitions serves as a personal challenge, and I am grateful to be able to inspire my students through my own experiences.

3. What have you most enjoyed about working with EMS?

Working with EMS has been an absolute delight. The team of teachers at EMS is not only exceptionally skilled but also exhibits qualities of integrity, positivity, responsiveness, and creativity. Collaborating with them during team training sessions and masterclasses has been immensely enriching. The exchange of knowledge and ideas has allowed me to expand my musical horizons. I feel privileged to be a part of EMS and contribute to its vibrant community.

4. What advice can you give to young children in Ealing who would also like to pursue a career in music?

To young children in Ealing aspiring to pursue a career in music, my advice would be to cultivate a deep love for what you do. Dedicate yourself to your craft and immerse yourself in the world of music. Practice diligently, but remember that passion and genuine enjoyment are the driving forces behind great musicianship. Explore different genres, experiment with new techniques, and embrace the boundless creativity that music offers. Above all, believe in yourself and your abilities, and never stop pursuing your musical dreams.

5. Do you have any exciting competitions or performances coming up over the next few months?

The upcoming months are filled with exciting prospects for me. In the early autumn, I have a series of solo concerts planned in West London, where I look forward to sharing my music with the local community. Towards the end of November, I will have the privilege of performing a charity concert at the esteemed Royal Academy of Music, combining my passion for music with a noble cause. Additionally, as Christmas draws near, I will be presenting a series of captivating organ concerts, embracing the festive spirit. Alongside these performances, I will continue guiding and preparing my students for their forthcoming exams and our highly anticipated annual class concert. The months ahead are brimming with music and opportunities for growth.

Alexandra Buckle, Deputy Head of Service (Ealing Music Service)