Class of 2017
Julija Bagdonavičiūtė performed on various concert stages in Lithuania, Italy, France, Germany, and Finland. She started learning piano in Kaunas, and recently entered the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Drama to study with Prof. Aleksandra Žvirblytė. Julija won prizes at the international contests in Rome and Paris. She received lessons from renowned piano professors, such as Eugen Indjic, Dina Yoffe, Kevin Kenner, and Staffan Scheja.
Gabrielė Bekerytė has won multiple prizes at competitions in Lithuania, Belgium, Italy, and Germany. She performed in top venues, such as the Wigmore Hall and the Fazioli Concert Hall. A native of Vilnius, she attended the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Arts up until 2014 when she moved to London. There she graduated from the Purcell School for Young Musicians, where she was mentored by Prof. Tatiana Sarkissova. In 2016 Gabrielė joined her class at the Royal Academy of Music.
Romanian-Hungarian pianist Leona Crasi started piano lessons at the age of three, continued her studies with Rodica Tarta at Sigismund Toduta music school and later with Dr. Ronald Shinn at Alabama School of Fine Arts. She currently studies at the Royal Academy of Music under the tutelage of Prof. Colin Stone. Leona has been awarded in both national and international competitions, and has performed recitals in Romania, England, Hungary, Spain, and the USA.
Bennet Eicke received his first piano lesson at the age of 7 in his hometown of Bad Gandersheim. In 2014 he joined the class of Gintaras Januševičius and started competing in contests, winning 1st prizes at popular German music competitions, such as "Jugend musiziert" and "Einbecker Klavierfrühling". A passionate concert organizer and host, Bennet is currently working for cultural centre "TangoBrücke" in addition to reading musicology and philosophy at the Georg August University Göttingen.
Matas Kaženauskas was born and raised in a little town of Veisiejai. Since 2015 he attends Juozas Gruodis Conservatoire in Kaunas, where his piano teacher is Reda Stabinskienė. He is also privately mentored by Gintaras Januševičius. Matas performed recitals in Lithuania, Germany, Poland, and Belgium. In April 2017 he was awarded the 1st prize at the national Alexander Scriabin piano competition in Klaipėda.
Dana Asnate Kļava received her education at the Riga Dome choir school where she spent 14 years and was taught by Ingrīda Kalnina. She recently joined the class of Arturs Cingujevs. As a member of the youth choir "Kamer" she performed works for choir and piano by Pēteris Vasks and Arvo Part, as well as solo pieces by Sergei Rachmaninoff on tour in Japan, South Korea, Philippines, PR China, Taiwan, Estonia and Latvia.
Karolina Kubalkova has made appearances in Germany, England, Poland, The Netherlands, with tours in Canada, the United States, and Czech Republic. At the age of 16 she was accepted to begin a Bachelors Degree at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Presently studying with Prof. Rustem Hayroudinoff at the Royal Academy of Music in London, she is active both on and off stage: she is working on a project to provide music programs for children with special needs and exceptionalities.
Živilė Kudirkaitė is a laureate of numerous international piano competitions in Lithuania and Italy. Just several weeks ago she was awarded the 1st prize at the Valsesia Musica International Competition. Živilė is a student of Donaldas Račys at the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas. She continues to seek out guidance from internationally acclaimed performers and teachers, such as Jerome Lowenthal, Andrei Gavrilov, and Alexander Puliaev.
Evita Lohu was born in Tallinn, and grew up in Kehtna, a small borough in central Estonia. She began playing piano at the age of 10 and was later accepted to study in Tallinn Music High school with Kersti Sumera and Mihkel Poll. Evita is a multiple prizewinner at the international competitions in Estonia, Latvia and Poland, and has performed recitals in some of the most important venues in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, and Poland.
Alina Markova graduated from Stasys Šimkus Conservatoire and studies now at the Academy of Arts of Klaipėda University with Prof. Tatiana Romaškina. She has also received artistic advice from Anne Øland, Jurgis Karnavičius and Alexander Strukov. Alina is a laureate of numerous national music competitions. Most recently she was awarded two prizes at the national piano competition "21st Century Art" in Klaipėda.
Monika Mašanauskaitė has won numerous prizes at international competitions, among them the Scriabin Piano Competition in Paris, Concurs de Joves Intèrprets de Piano de Catalunya in Barcelona, and the Bamber / Galloway piano competition in Glasgow. As a result, she received many invitations to perform recitals around the Europe. In 2016 she enrolled at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she is mentored by Prof. Fali Pavri and Prof. Aaron Shorr.
Prize winner of 12 international piano competitions Karolina Pancernaitė has also given solo performances in Germany, Denmark, Czech Republic, Lithuania, France, Sweden, Portugal and United Kingdom. Born in Kaunas, she started playing piano at the age of six. After graduating from the J. Naujalis Music Gymnasium, she got accepted to study in Royal Academy of Music in London with Prof. Christopher Elton.
The youngest pianist of the academy at the age of 15, Simonas Poška is a student of Eglė Jurkevičiūtė at the National Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis Arts School. He is a laureate of numerous national piano competitions, winning his first prize at the age of 12. In 2014 he made his orchestra debut with the VDU Chamber Orchestra, performing Keyboard Concerto in F minor by Johann Sebastian Bach. He received lessons from acclaimed pianists, including Mūza Rubackytė and Petras Geniušas.
Saulė Pukinskaitė made herself a name with virtuosity and well thought-out interpretations. At the age of 16 she often organizes her own recitals on various stages of Western Lithuania and successfully participates in international competitions. Her most recent win - Grand Prix at the international piano competition "Trofeo Musicale". Saulė is a student of Birutė Buinevičienė at the Eduardas Balsys Gymnasium of Arts.
Jonas Šopa is native from Mažeikiai. He currently studies at the Stasys Šimkus Conservatory in Klaipėda with Virginija Ruzgienė. Jonas is a prizewinner of international piano competitions in Lithuania, Latvia and Austria. He is a skillful performer of jazz music, as well as a member of various folk music ensembles. His interests also include photography and IT.
Airinė Taučaitė is our only participant from Juozas Naujalis music gymnasium in Kaunas. At the age of 17 she has already been awarded prizes at 13 international competitions in Lithuania, Great Britain, Italy, Latvia, France, Estonia, and Czech Republic. She is mentored by Rasa Rinkevičiūtė. She performed her orchestral debut in 2002 with the orchestra of her gymnasium, conducted by Jonas Janulevičius.
Mexican pianist Daniel Torres started playing piano at the age of 14. He is now a student of Fryderyk Chopin University of Music with Prof. Jerzy Romaniuk and Prof. Ramiro Sanjines. His debut with the Lublin Philharmonic Orchestra led by Kazimierz Brzozowski took place in 2014. Since then he has been invited to perform at important festivals in Mexico and Poland. In 2015 he won the first prize at the inaugural International Polonaise Festival in Warsaw.
Diana Voronetskaya, upon receiving a toy piano as a present at the age of 6, started to dream about becoming a professional pianist. She won her first international prize at the age of 11, and has gone on to win numerous competitions in Russian Federation, Ukraine, Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Portugal, and Moldova. She is currently a student of Prof. Anatoli Lapikus at the Academy of Music, Theatre and Fine Arts in Chisinau.
Kristina Yorgova won critical acclaim both as a soloist and chamber music partner, performing recitals in Bulgaria, Norway, Great Britain, France, and Germany. She is also a skilled organ player and an experienced piano teacher. Since 2013 she is a student of Prof. Fali Pavri at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Her favorite composers are Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and Prokofiev.
Lina Žutautaitė is a prizewinner of 11 international piano competitions. She received her first piano lesson in her home town of Kretinga at the age of 8. This year she graduated from the Stasys Šimkus Conservatoire in Klaipėda, where she was mentored by Virginija Ruzgienė. Lina performed recitals in Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, and Austria. She draws inspiration from such artists as Woody Allen, Ivo Pogorelić, and Maya Plisetskaya.