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Vestard Shimkus - Piano

"Vestard Shimkus is a PHENOMENON! He has his own personality, self-confidence and technical brilliance. Some people may talk about the end of the age of the classical music but when you hear a Shimkus' performance, you can be sure that classical music is quite well."
(Paavo Jarvi, conductor)

"Being a published composer himself, Vestard Shimkus is a SUPERB pianist and gives the music everything the composer could ask for."

(American Record Guide, November 2010)

Born in Latvia, on August 21st, 1984, Shimkus started to gain international recognition after debut performances with the BBC Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchèstre National de France, Czech Philharmonic, KREMERata Baltica, NDR Symphony Orchestra of Hamburg and Borodin Quartet in such concert halls as Konzerthaus (Vienna), Tokyo Opera City, Radio France (Paris), Dvoràk Hall (Prague), Berwald Hall and Konserthuset (Stockholm), Auditorio Nacional (Madrid), Palau de la Musica (Barcelona), Sala Verdi (Milano) and Oriental Art Centre (Shanghai), among others. He was the winner of several international piano competitions, including the 55th Maria Canals International piano competition in Barcelona (Spain, 2009) and the 5th Bad Kissingen KlavierOlympiade international piano competition (Germany, 2007).

Shimkus began his piano studies at the age of five in Riga and subsequently studied with Dmitri Bashkirov and Claudio Martinez Mehner in Madrid, Daniel Pollack in Los Angeles, and Vadim Suchanov in Munich.  He also studied composition under Peteris Vasks.

Vestard Shimkus has collaborated with such conductors as Lawrence Foster, Andris Nelsons, Vassily Sinaisky, Karel Mark Chichon and Woldemar Nelsson and has given concerts throughout Europe, USA, the Middle-East, China and Japan. He has been invited to perform in the Kissinger Sommer Festival (Germany), Bergen Festival (Norway), Gidon Kremer Festival in Lockenhaus (Austria), Schleswig-Holstein Festival (Germany) and others.

Shimkus has received numerous awards, including the "White Star" order of Estonia and the Golden Order of Poland for an outstanding contribution to the concert series dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frédéric Chopin.

Some of his compositions have been published by "SCHOTT Music & Media". He has released six CD albums and his Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra was premièred in July 2008.

Shimkus also plays jazz and has given several solo concerts consisting just of his spontaneous piano improvisations.

He is represented by the German agency "Beckerkoncert".