Master Class with Vytautas Smetona

  • Saturday, March 10, 2018
  • 9:00 AM  12:00 PM
  • Music Conservatory of Sandpoint, 110 Main Street, main auditorium.
  • Teacher Recommendation Required
  • Class Fee $45 for participants, viewing the class is open to the public for a suggested donation of $5.
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Vytautas Smetona was born in Cleveland, Ohio. His parents, Birute and Julius, and paternal grandparents narrowly escaped the 1940 Soviet invasion and subsequent occupation of Lithuania. Vytautas’ grandfather, Antanas Smetona, was the last President of independent Lithuania. The family arrived and settled in the United States in 1941 via a route through Germany, Portugal, and Brazil. Vytautas’ father, Julius, was an attorney, and his mother was a musician.

Vytautas’ principal teachers were his mother, Birute, and brother, Anthony. He studied theory and composition with the noted composer Starling Cumberworth. Birute was a concert pianist whose teachers included Robert Casadesus, Yves Nat, and Leonard Shure. She appeared as soloist with the noted German conductor Franz von Hoesslin. Vytautas’ older brother, Anthony Smetona, was also a pianist and a graduate of the Mannes College of Music and the Juilliard School. His teachers included Rosina Lhévinne, Nadia Reisenberg, and Leonard Shure. He was a laureate at a number of international piano competitions and made his European orchestral debut with the Hamburg Symphony in the Brahms B-flat Piano Concerto. 

Vytautas has an avid interest in composing as well as performing. He has written a number of original works including his “Canonic Variations and Fugue” for strings. Most recently, he completed “A Country Song” (a work whose title belies the fact that it is a serious composition with contrapuntal elements written in the style of the common practice period) which appears in “Back”, a music video featuring Mr. Smetona. He is currently finishing his “Fantasy” for piano.