Natalie Gerakis, through her careful and systematic efforts, has been established as one of the best soloists and chamber musicians in the world. The most important decision that made her into who she is today was her choice to move to Germany and make it her new home, leaving behind her Greece.
The Greek soloist lives in Stuttgart and her career is impressive. She talks about two cities, two countries but only one path in her life–music. When explaining why she left Greece and moved to Germany, she says that the biggest advantage of living in Germany is the fact that talented people are recognized.
“This is crucial for musicians and generally for whoever wants to stay creative, without having to test his endurance and patience on a daily basis caused by bureaucracy. Artists work and live as athletes. The quality of sleep is important as well as the level of focus when studying. The ability to work without interference, the quality in daily life, as well as the level of the studies offered by the National Academy of Music in Stuttgart were the main reasons why I left Paris that I was studying in 1998 and came to Germany. I decided to stay in Stuttgart, as here in the North the job market is wider. Also, it is easier to travel around the world to give concerts.”
Ms. Gerakis will head two music conferences in Germany and Greece next month. The second conference will take place in “About” cultural space in Psirri, Athens between September 14th and 21st.
The story of the Greek soloist is interesting. As a young child, she started learning the flute in the Conservatory of Athens and at 19 she left for Paris to follow her dream to discover the secrets of the famous “French School” of wooden winds. “I knew from an early age that when I would graduate from high school, I would leave Greece. Playing the flute is not the only occupation that I would like to have in my life. I often listen to my colleagues saying that if they could have the possibility to start from zero, they would, but according to my mentality, every person is able to occupy with many different things, even if our times ask for various specializations. However, if someone is good in one sector, in my opinion, he already knows the methodology of how to be good in other sectors as well. If my family would not have introduced me to music from a very early age, I might not have been where I stand today.”
Ms. Gerakis is experiencing the labor and social security of Germany but in Greece she is reconnecting to her roots. “I feel that the musicians of my era that have migrated are cultural Gastarbeiters. The reason why we did not come back was mainly the fact that a classical musician in our countries did not have another choice than becoming a state employee in order to live decently,” she explains.
The Greek audience will have the possibility of enjoying her presence at the Amphitheater of Theoharakis Institute on November 22nd, where she will present her program “From yesterday to today – modern and ancient mysteries for flute and piano”. She will be accompanied by the composer and pianist Mr. Minas Borboudakis, who lives in Munich.