Pianist Vestards Šimkus’ childhood hero was Corporal Bennett from the series “Bordertown” / Article

Pandemic-limited, world-demanded pianist Vestards Šimkus has been at home much more often than usual this year. The show “Good luck, anniversary!” invited, he gladly comes to a conversation in Jaunmoku Castle Park cozy, still summer gazebo.

The shooting location is not randomly selected. Namely, Vestards’ native house “Vecmokas” is very close – across the railway. He has lived here since childhood, now with his new family: his wife – the charming and talented singer Elīna Šimka – and his son Bernard. Jaunmoku Castle Park and its surroundings are an inspiring place for walks.

“No one asks me in confusion: what are you doing there, far from the city? It’s so boring there! ” smiling tells musician. “But I really like it here, I don’t long for the bustle of the city. Bernard also has a much happier life here! ”

By the way, in the romantic garden of Jaunmoku Castle, on the moonlit night, Vestards seduced Elīna. “We met at a concert where we both had to perform,” the musician recalls. “During the rehearsal, I noticed an extremely charming girl in the hall. We were not familiar.

I had never seen such a beautiful girl. And I felt that I could no longer focus on making music… ”

Vestard is lucky. He has lived in an atmosphere of wise love since childhood. His father, a well-known guitarist and composer in Latvia Gunārs Šimkus, was one of the pioneers of Latvian original rock, together with Vilnis Šmīdbergs he formed the group “Katedrāle” in the 1960s. After the breakup of the group in the 70’s, he played in the teams of Raimonds Pauls, also in the legendary “Modo”. Vestards’ mother Iveta Šimkus is a philologist and poet.

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“My mother is a literate person. She never reads her poetry, gives it to me to read. I get to know him best when I read him, ”comments Vestards. “As a child, she spoke so cleverly and interestingly that I only listened,” the musician laughs. “And maybe that’s why I started talking late myself!”

Be that as it may, Vestards got a lot sick in the early years, so his parents decided to move from Riga to the countryside. Groomed the garden, bought goats and chickens. “Believe it or not, I live outside, drank goat’s milk – and my pneumonia didn’t bother me anymore,” Vestards recalls.

Nature is one of Westest’s closest friends. His sense of nature and faith in God unites him with the composer Pēteris Vasks, who was originally a composition teacher at the Emīls Dārziņš Music School. Later, Wax entrusted Vestard to play his opuses.

Another true friend since childhood is the book. Now Vestards is planning to read. Every day for at least half an hour or an hour. Before the concert, he never worries, but reads a book with him until the last moment. Then get dressed and go to the stage. Sounds pretty incredible, though

reading is one of the ways to calm the artist’s always flowing temperament.

“I always have too much energy, that’s why I’ve never drunk coffee or cola, I don’t use sugar,” Vestard, as always, surprises. “But I learned to read while sitting on my mother’s lap,” the artist continues. One of the first books was Max and Moritz. I read and was able to repeat the whole text of the article by heart. ”

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Vestard complains that his good memory sometimes worries him. “It simply came to our notice then. Others have long forgotten, I only remember every detail – Also music – I always play by heart. ”

In every name and gesture of Vestard, one can feel the freedom and openness of the spirit. The subtlety, attentiveness and sensitivity inherited from the mother, the tradition and erudition of the family culture, as well as a good sense of humor – these are the qualities that characterize Vestards Šimkas. An aristocrat of the Spirit, nurtured by love. It is in personality that seems to be the secret of his talent.

The conversation with the artist, the winner of many world-class competitions, is easy and cordial. Although he does not have a TV set at home, he is interested when the interview can be watched. And he remembers how Latvian Television once became his favorite.

In my childhood, the series “Bordertown” was shown, and Corporal Bennett was my absolute hero, which I tried to imitate in every way.

Dad even says that I became bold from a fearful boy, not afraid of anything anymore. ”

There is no doubt that Corporal Benenet would be very proud today of the little boy Westward, who has had so much nausea to conquer the world’s great music scene.

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