FRANZ LISZT / CARL MARIA VON WEBER
Polonaise brillante, Op. 72, J. 268, S. 367 (1819/1851)
Franz Liszt's 1851 version for piano and orchestra of Carl Maria von Weber's solo piano work Polonaise brillante, Op. 72, J. 268.
Hailed for “artistry of poetic and observant sensitivity” (Gramophone), internationally acclaimed pianist Rasa Vitkauskaite released her debut solo CD Reflections on Ongaku Records in 2014, featuring works by Beethoven, Ravel, Guastavino and Liebermann. Fanfare Magazine highlighted the release on its cover, praising her “scintillating pianism” and dubbing her “a Beethoven interpreter of penetrating insight.”
Winner of the Grand Prix at the Mendelssohn Cup Piano Competition in Italy, Rasa Vitkauskaite has won top prizes at numerous prestigious international piano competitions including First Prizes at Les Rencontres Internationales des Jeunes Pianistes (Belgium), the competition in Taurisano (Italy), and the Rubinstein Piano Competition (Paris). Recently, she was awarded the Westmont Fellowship at the Montecito International Music Festival in Santa Barbara, California. In 2007, Rasa won a Kathryn Wasserman Davis $10,000 grant that supported her tour promoting peace in Israel. In her native country of Lithuania, Ms. Vitkauskaite has garnered top prizes at six national competitions.
Recent recital tours have taken Ms. Vitkauskaite to China, South Korea, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, and across the United States. Her solo engagements include the Kaunas, Latvian and Kaliningrad Philharmonic orchestras, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, I Solisti di Perugia, and the Boston Conservatory Orchestra. She has appeared at festivals in Assisi (Italy), Madrid (Spain), Mexico City, Caracas (Venezuela), Taiyuan (China), Porto (Portugal), and Moscow (Russia).
An avid chamber musician, Ms. Vitkauskaite performs regularly with world-renowned clarinetist Jonathan Cohler. MusicWeb International praised her as “a master” on the duo’s 2014 release of American Tribute (in honor of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013), and as “a brilliant and sympathetic partner” on their 2013 release Romanza, featuring works by Schumann, Prokofiev and Guastavino. American Record Guide singled out her "subtle musicianship and exceptional skill" on Rhapsodie Française, the 2008 debut duo CD with Mr. Cohler.
Ms. Vitkauskaite studied with Jūratė Karosaitė at the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Arts in Vilnius, Lithuania, from which she graduated with honors. She then won a scholarship to study at the United World College of the Adriatic in Italy, where she studied with Alberto Miodini. Upon graduating, she was awarded the prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma with highest grades in music. Subsequently, she completed her Bachelors and Masters Degrees at The Boston Conservatory, where she studied with Michael Lewin and won the H. Wilfred Churchill piano scholarship competition both in 2007 and 2008. She also completed a Graduate Performance Diploma under Randall Hodgkinson.
In addition to her active performing career, Ms. Vitkauskaite is a dedicated teacher and adjudicator. She has many students both at the Concord Conservatory of Music, where she is on the faculty, and in her private studio. She is also the piano faculty at Youth & Muse International Summer Music Festival at the Boston Conservatory. Ms. Vitkauskaite frequently serves as a judge for Massachusetts Music Teachers Association events. Recently, she also judged the Steinway Society Piano Competition. In 2009, she launched a new piano program for inner-city children in Boston after winning a $5000 Fellowes Athenaeum Fund grant.
Ms. Vitkauskaite is the pianist of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.