Organiser of the competition

MINTARĖ KANOPKAITĖ – VELIČKIENĖ is a pianist, teacher expert, founder and director of the Company “Muzikų Forumas”. She makes presentations at various conferences and holds seminars.

In 1999, M. Veličkienė graduated with honours from the National M.K.Čiurlionis School of Art and continued her studies at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre under prof. L.Drąsutienė. She completed her bachelor’s degree studies in 2003 and in 2005 earned her master’s degree.

In 2003-2004, M. Veličkienė studied at the Madrid Royal Conservatory under prof. Joaquin Soriano.

In 2018, she received her master’s degree in UNESCO Cultural Management and Cultural Policy at Vilnius Academy of Art.

Mintarė Veličkienė is a laureate of multiple national and international competitions in Canada, Greece, Italy, etc.

For her achievements in the field of music, M. Veličkienė was awarded by the Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus (1999), Chairman of the Lithuanian Parlament Artūras Paulauskas (2001) and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė (2014).

Since 1999, she has taught at Vilnius B.Jonušas Music School. Her students are the winners of dozens of national and international competitions in Denmark, Spain, Cyprus, Italy, Malta, etc.

M. Veličkienė is the author of the publication ‘Playing the Piano. Theory and Practice of the Basics. Exercises, Tasks and Arrangements’.

Being the leader of the Company Muzikų Forumas, she constantly organizes virtual conferences, seminars for teachers of music and art schools of Lithuania.

Since 2020, Mintarė Veličkienė has been a music editor and creative manager of the composer Tomas Juzeliūnas’ compositions for piano.

Chairman of the jury

STEN LASSMANN has been regularly appearing as a soloist and chamber musician since winning first prize in the Sixth Estonian Piano Competition in 2002.  He has performed all over the world, and in some of the most prestigious venues, such as the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, Purcell Room in London, the Grand and Small Halls of the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in Moscow, the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatoire Concert Hall in Milan and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. He has toured Beethoven’s Fifth Concerto and Prokofiev’s Second Concerto with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, and played the Estonian premiere of James Macmillan’s Second Concerto with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. This season will see Sten performing Khachaturian Piano Concerto with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, all Bach multi-keyboard concerti with Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, recitals with all-Chopin programme and the recording of Ester Mägi complete songs with Maarja Purga, Artur Lemba complete songs with Arete Kerge and Heino Eller´s complete works for cello with Valle-Rasmus Roots.

Sten Lassmann started his musical education at the Tallinn Central Music School in 1989 and continued his studies at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre with prof. Ivari Ilja. He later studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris with prof. Brigitte Engerer and at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Ian Fountain. A major musical influence also comes from his father Peep Lassmann, an esteemed professor of piano at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and a former student of Emil Gilels at the Moscow Conservatoire. In 2013 Sten Lassmann was awarded PhD at the Royal Academy of Music in London for his research on the Estonian composer Heino Eller. He has also received the Heino Eller Music Prize (2011), the Estonian Cultural Endowment annual music prize (2015, 2021), and in 2018 was elected Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM). Currently Lassmann is senior lecturer of piano at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and the artistic director of the international festival KLAVER in Tallinn.

Since 2008 he has been engaged in a project to make the first-ever recording of complete piano works by Heino Eller for Toccata Classics in London. The series will cover all of Ellerʼs 206 piano compositions on 9 CDs, and the last installment will be published in early 2023. Sten Lassmann is also an avid chamber musician and in the last years has performed recitals with the violinists Stanislav Pronin, Pavel Berman, Natalia Lomeiko, Mikk Murdvee Katariina Maria Kits, Movses Pogossian, Robert Traksmann, Triin Ruubel and Anna-Liisa Bezrodny, soprano Arete Kerge, bass Pavlo Balakin and cellist Valle-Rasmus Roots.

Member of the jury

GONZALO GARRIDO-LECCA, a composer and music teacher. In 2000, he graduated from the National Conservatory of Lima. In 2007, he obtained a licentiate degree in music in composition at Madrid Royal Music Conservatory (prof. Antón García Abril, prof. Manuel Martinez Burgos).  In 2018, he was awarded a doctor’s degree in musical arts in composition at Michigan State University (prof. Ricardo Lorenz, prof. Jere Hutcheson) and in 2019 he received a master’s degree in music theory from the same university.

Gonzalo Garrido-Lecca is the author of more than 50 works, including pieces for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, symphony orchestra, as well as for band, choir and electronic media. He has also written compositions of incidental music for theatre plays, documentaries, choreographies, and video art.

The composer has collaborated with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Peru, Dolce Suono Ensemble, the Verdehr Trio, conductors Gustavo Dudamel, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Carlos Andrés Botero, and Fernando Valcárcel, saxophonist Timothy McAllister, flutist Mimi Stillman, pianist Mario Alvarado, video artist Mustafa Hulusi, choreographer Patricia Awapara, as well as with YMusic, The Brooklyn Ryder, Musique 21, Circulo Trio, North/South Consonance, Henri Mancini Institute Ensemble, ConTemptus Ensemble, Ensemble Surbon, etc

Gonzalo Garrido-Lecca’s music has been performed all over the world. It has been played throughout the USA in such cities as Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Bloomington (Indiana University), Houston, Boston, and also in many other countries of the world: Germany, France, Spain, England, Romania, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Peru.

He taught at the College of Music at Michigan State University, New Music School in Chicago, Music School of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Peruvian University of Applied Sciences in Lima, National Conservatory of Music of Lima.

Member of the jury

IRINA FEDČENKO-CARBONARO is a dedicated piano teacher and a concert pianist. She was born in Ukraine and grew up in Lithuania.

Irina Fedčenko-Carbonaro studied in Klaipėda S.Šimkus conservatory, teacher D.Černiauskaitė’s piano class.  In 2004, upon winning a scholarship, Irina specialized in piano performance at Escola Superior de Música e Artes do Espectáculo Porto, Portugal, under prof. Miguel Borges Coelho.

In 2005, Irina earned her master’s degree at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, prof. J.Karnavičius’s class.  She is a  winner of several national piano and chamber competitions and has performed with Klaipėda Symphony Orchestra.

The pianist participates in music festivals as a soloist and accompanist; she is also often invited as a jury member in international piano competitions.

Since graduation, teaching and accompanying have taken the central stage in her life. Her students are the winners of international piano competitions in various European countries and America. Some of them are currently studying music in famous music institutions of the world.

At present, 11 years of permanent residency in Malta have provided her the opportunity of teaching piano at Malta Visual and Performing Arts School as well as Malta School of Music.

Member of the jury

DENIS GROTSKY is a great pianist and talented composer, doctor of science, winner of many international piano and composition competitions, member of SACEM. (Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music) of France.

He studied piano (prof. V.Nosina) and composition (prof. G.Tchernov) at the Gnesins Academy of Music in Moscow, Russia. During his studies, he actively participated in cultural and organizational activities: in 2008 – 2010 he was an assistant to the Lithuanian cultural attaché in Russia Juozas Budraitis, in 2010 – 2011 he assisted the Ambassador of Lithuania to Russia Antanas Vinkus.

Denis Grotsky arranged over 50 cultural events at the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to Russia.

In 2007, D.Grotsky wrote Piano Concerto and some years later he composed Concerto for Double Bass and Symphony Orchestra which received wide recognition in the world.

Since 2011, the pianist has lived in Paris (France) and is still involved in his cultural activities: he performs in Russia, France, Austria, Italy, Finland, Greece, Ukraine, Lithuania, etc., gives piano and composition master classes, teaches music, writes compositions and film scores.

Denis Grotsky is a jury member of many international competitions.

Member of the jury

AIDAS PUODŽIUKAS is a Lithuanian pianist who has performed in Lithuanian, American, Asian and European concert halls. The pianist also appeared in a number of international festivals, including the Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara, USA), Pieš’tany Music Festival (Slovakia), Piano Institute at Colby (Maine, USA), Sarasota Music Festival (Sarasota, USA), ASIA – EUROPE New Music Festival (Hanoi, Vietnam).

A.Puodžiukas is a laureate of fourteen international competitions: Maria Canals Competition in Barcelona, Yamaha Foundation of Europe in Vilnius, Heida Hermanns Piano Competition in the USA, A. Dvořák Piano Competition in Vilnius, A. Richmond Piano Competition in the USA and many others.

In 2005, in collaboration with the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra (conductor Martynas Staškus), the pianist recorded Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No1 by Vytautas Bacevičius. A.Puodžiukas played his debut performance of this Concerto in 1999 during the Gaida festival in Vilnius in collaboration with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Robertas Šervenikas.

Aidas Puodžiukas was born in Vilnius in a family of musicians. He started playing the piano when he was six. In 1998, he graduated from the National M.K.Čiurlionis School of Art under teacher expert M.Lapėnaitė. Having received a bachelor’s degree at the Lithuanian Academy of Music in the class of teacher Aleksandra Žvirblytė, A.Puodžiukas entered the Juilliard School of Music in New York where he studied under prof. Jerome Lowenthal. Starting from 2003, the pianist continued his studies at Boston University College of Fine Arts under prof. Anthony di Bonaventura. The pianist completed his master’s degree and was awarded a prestigious Artist Diploma.

A.Puodžiukas improved his performance skills under the guidance of famous pianists and educators: Emanuel Krasovsky, Lev Natocheny, Igor Laszko, Lazar Berman and Peter Eicher. He also studied chamber music under Raphael Hillyer, a member of the Juilliard String Quartet, as well as together with the Muir String Quartet members.

Since 2021, A.Puodžiukas has been the Head of the Department of Piano at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and he teaches piano at the National M.K.Čiurlionis School of Art.

The pianist has given master classes in Lithuania, the United States, Italy, Denmark, Serbia, and Latvia. A.Puodžiukas is a jury member of many national and international competitions.