Graduate of the The Juilliard School in New York and prize winner of more than a dozen competitions, Lithuanian violinist Justina Auskelyte received awards from two successive Presidents of Lithuania for her musical contributions to her country. Besides appearances at every major concert hall in Lithuania, Justina has performed at Lincoln Center in New York, Wiener Musikverein, National Concert Hall in Dublin, among others, and has appeared in several renowned festivals, including Ravenna Festival, Festival Gasparo da Saló and Vilnius Festival.
Justina was a laureate of the National Balys Dvarionas Violin Competition from 2000-2006, and in 2008 she was the Grand Prix Laureate of the 8th International Balys Dvarionas Competition. She took first prize at the 2006 International Saulius Sondeckis Competition and at the 2007 National Raimundas Katilius Competition. In 2009 she won second prize at the Third International Jascha Heifetz Competition, and has also won distinction in other international competitions in Latvia, the Czech Republic and Romania.
As a soloist Justina Auskelyte has performed with orchestras such as the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra, Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, Coin du Roi Italian Baroque Orchestra, St. Christopher chamber orchestra and others, as well as distinguished chamber ensembles, including Čiurlionis String Quartet and Musica Humana.
In 2016 Justina gave her debut performance at the Wiener Musikverein, performing H. K. Gruber’s “Nebelsteinmusik”. Concert was broadcasted by the Local Viennese Television W24.
In 2018 summer, together with pianist Cesare Pezzi, Justina appeared at the International Ravenna Festival, performing complete Violin Sonatas by Johannes Brahms. The concert was recorded live and is available to watch here. In 2018 fall violinist debuted at The National Concert Hall in Dublin, where together with RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and Gavin Maloney she gave the Irish premiere of V. Kennedy’s Violin Concerto “Dreams”. The live recording is available here.
In 2009 Justina has started a long lasting partnership with Italian pianist Cesare Pezzi. Two musicians have met during their studies at the International Music Academy “Incontri col Maestro” and debuted as Duo Auskelyte Pezzi in July 2009. Since then they have been performing around Europe and the United States including numerous prestigious festivals and world known institutions.
In May 2017 Duo Auskelyte Pezzi presented to the public the first worldwide recording of the complete works for violin and piano by the Lithuanian composer Balys Dvarionas ('BALYS DVARIONAS: Complete Works for Violin and Piano'). The recording was released by the largest classical music label Naxos Records and has been enthusiastically reviewed by international critics.
In 2018 Duo Auskelyte Pezzi debuted at the International Ravenna Festival and at the moment are working on their newest recording project that will mark the 10th anniversary of their friendship and collaboration. The new album will include violin and piano masterpieces from different musical eras and will contain 10 works, each having a personal bond with the musicians themselves. The album will be released in fall 2019.
Justina's artistry comes from a distinguished lineage of teachers. For a number of years she studied with the renowned violinist Pavel Berman at the International Music Academy “Incontri col Maestro” and later at the Academy “Lorenzo Perosi”. Simultaneously she continued her studies at the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy with the distinguished professor Jurgis Dvarionas. Justina also mastered her playing technique with the legendary violin professor Boris Kuschnir at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz and later at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna. In May 2015, having studied under the guidance of the late Stephen Clapp and Laurie Smukler, she gained a Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School in New York.
Currently violinist is based in Sweden, Malmo. Passionate about bringing classical music to wider audiences as well as promoting it to the younger generations and eliminating the barriers between the performer and the listener, Justina has started her new project “Violinist on a Bike”. She takes finest live classical music performances from concert halls and brings them directly to people’s ordinary everyday lives. You can learn more about the project by visiting www.violinistonabike.com.