Karl Lutchmayer, who was born to Indian parents in London, UK, began learning to play the piano at the age of six. He later studied music at the Royal College Of Music, London. Today, he has a prolific career as a pianist, and plays at concerts globally. Lutchmayer recently performed in Mumbai, and enthralled the audience with his 'conversational concert'.
Ask him about the concept that is popular in London, but not so common in India, and he says, "While music is essentially a language for musicians, for many audience members, it is just a series of pretty sounds. My conversational concerts (which have taken place in four continents so far) aim to bridge that gap by contextualising music, and giving suggestions on how to listen to each piece, so that the audience is really listening, rather than only using music as a backdrop."
Some of the pianist's earliest memories of listening to Indian classical music involve attending concerts with his parents in England. "As a student, I got the opportunity to hear masters such as late Pt Ravi Shankar (sitar player), late Ustad Alla Rakha Khan (tabla player), Ustad Zakir Hussain (tabla player) and Imrat Khan (sitar player)," says Lutchmayer, who performed to a packed house at the Good Earth Classical Soirée that was held on June 7.
The regular chamber performer has also associated with the Bombay Chamber Orchestra, on several occasions in the past. Talking about the collaborations, Lutchmayer says, "My first concert in the city was with them in 1993. Since then, they've invited me many times to play with them as a soloist."