For Liana Forest, Oceania Cruises has become a home away from home as she plays the piano and sails throughout the world aboard our ships. Today, she shares with us her musical past, her love for Oceania Cruises and more.
How did you get your start in entertainment and music?
I was classically trained in Russia and inherited my teacher’s passion for the music of the 19th-century Romantic period, especially Chopin and Rachmaninoff. My training was very rigorous and prepared me for the career of a concert pianist. Before I was invited to perform on cruise ships, I was fortunate to perform in concerts around the world, both as soloist and with symphony orchestras. I also very much enjoyed recording my three CDs of Romantic piano music and appearing on national European TV shows.
More recently, I felt inspired to merge my classical virtuoso background with popular and jazz styles to bring to the stage my fresh and original arrangements for piano with a show band.
What do you love about performing on board Oceania Cruises?
Being a traveling entertainer, I get to meet wonderful people from many parts of the world and make new friends on every cruise. Because the language of music is universal, it helps bring together people of different cultures and backgrounds, by opening their hearts. After people come to my shows they want to share their stories with me which touches me very deeply.
I love performing on board Oceania Cruises and making my contribution. I find the staff and crew so warm and welcoming, and I feel like I am with my family each time I return.
Can you explain a bit about the types and styles of music you play?
During my shows, one can expect to hear classical, popular, Latin, big band swing and jazz. From the haunting melodies of Chopin and Debussy to modern renditions of Bach, from the brilliant exuberance of Sabre Dance and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue to my own medley of everyone’s favorite piano concertos by Tchaikowsky and Rachmaninoff.
Do you have favorite songs to play?
I enjoy playing all kinds of music, but when I sit down at the piano at home I am still drawn the most to the Romantic period of the 19th century – the music of Chopin, Debussy and Rachmaninoff. I also love to play Gershwin as well as some Broadway show tunes, especially West Side Story.
What musicians inspire you?
Some of the lesser known but very special musicians who also enjoyed blending together different styles of music and performed as headliners with show bands are my inspiration: Carmen Cavallaro (often called the Poet of the Piano), Jack Fina, and Peter Nero.
Next time you’re on board, don’t miss the chance to enjoy some of our new world-class musical performances and our talented guest entertainers like Liana!