Join us for a celebration of the musical traditions of Mexico and the Baltics. Four pianists will introduce and perform both classical pieces and traditional folk songs from various regions of Mexico, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Come meet the pianists and enjoy additional cultural activities in the lobby following the concert.
Lithuanian pianist Dainius Vaičekonis enjoys an international career as a recitalist, concerto soloist and collaborative artist throughout the US and Europe. His programs often feature composers of the Baltic countries and in 2020 he directed the Godowsky Festival in Seattle. With his wife Asta he performs in duo piano recitals, livestream events, radio appearances, and CD recordings. The winner of many European competitions including the International Schubert Competition in Germany, Dr. Valčeknonis is now Associate Professor of Music at Seattle Pacific University.
Lithuanian pianist Asta Vaičekonis has performed extensively as soloist and chamber musician in the US and Europe and was honored as “best collaborative artist” at the International Chamber Music Competition in Kaliningrad, Russia. With her husband Dainius she has performed duo piano concerts in Lithuania, Israel and United States. Asta is currently a staff pianist at Seattle Pacific University and holds teaching appointments at both Seattle Pacific University and Music Works Northwest.
Fernando Garcia Torres
An enterprising and discerning recitalist, Mexican pianist Fernando Garcia Torres is known for his diverse repertoire and engaging presentations. He has performed recitals in most of Europe, China, India, Africa, Central and South America, the United States, and Mexico. For many years Dr. Garcia Torres was Director of the Escuela Superior de Música del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, where he remains a full professor of piano. He has also served as National Coordinator of Music and Opera and General Director of the National System for Musical Development for the country of Mexico.
The study of various languages, the oboe, the piano, the voice and the orchestra have been major focal points for James Demster’s artistic interests. With special places in his heart for German Lieder, French mélodies, Mexican songs, American songs, Japanese opera and Spanish zarzuela, he enjoys integrating aspects of teaching, coaching, accompanying and conducting. Throughout his 30 years living in Mexico, James Demster has held many positions including musical preparer at the National Opera of Fine Arts and director of Coro del Teatro de Bellas Artes.