About

Pianist Monika Mašanauskaitė is the art director and founder of international mastery courses and festival “Kaunas piano fest”. On stage, Monika can be seen as a solo performer, as well as a chamber ensemble member. Amongst the pianist’s newest achievements – first place in the Tony and Tania contest of non-traditional Russian music in Scotland and also the first place in the „Josep Mirabent I Migrans“ chamber ensemble contest in Catalonia.

Monika Mašanauskaitė has performed in the Edinburgh “Fringe” festival (Scotland), „Classica Al Raco de la Calma“ festival (Sidges, Spain), Festival Musique et Patrimoine en Vienne et Gartempe (Saint-Savin, France), as well as performing a concert in the mansion of Prince Charles of Wales „Dumfries house“. As a solo performer, Mašanauskaitė performed recitals in the halls of Teatre Metropol (Tarragona, Spain), Quintaine (town of Chasseneuil-du-Poitou, France), New Lanark concert hall (Scotland), as well as the Kaunas Philharmony.

For her achievements in international contests, Monika has been awarded letters of gratitude by the presidents of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė and Valdas Adamkus.


Kaunas and I

I associate Kaunas with creativity and hospitality. I remember that the reason for me leaving Kaunas to study in Vilnius in 2014, and then going off to Barcelona one year later, was to see as many different cultures and people as possible.

But what happened was even greater. While traveling through different countries for grand piano studies, I started organizing international piano mastery courses and the festival “Kaunas Piano Fest”, which became a center of many different cultures in my hometown of Kaunas. Between 2018 in Kaunas and now I took in pianists from more than 10 different countries, and more than half of them are artists I’ve met in my musical path and befriended. Kaunas, once almost unknown on a map, became a fantastic and well-known city to them, full of culture, positive energy, and welcoming people. And it helped me remember that Kaunas is my biggest source of inspiration. Such positivity and an encouraging community, which I came to know through my artistic activities, cannot be found anywhere else on earth.

And even though I’m planning on staying in Vienna for a few more years before returning, distance never stopped me from feeling like a part of the Kaunas community.

 

Without a doubt, you must always look forward and think about different possibilities for improvement. And I would like to take a moment to appreciate Kaunas and applaud its daily improvement.

Around a month ago I was talking to a 16-year-old (the age when you want to run away the most) girl from Kaunas. We were sitting in a café near the Soboras and she told me:

–    I want to study and live in Kaunas; I don’t want to go anywhere else at all. Look around you, how beautiful it is! Laisvės avenue is one of the most beautiful streets for me.

I looked around and realized, that this is exactly what I wish for Kaunas. For people to stay here and build their lives and the community. I firmly believe that this isn’t an illusion. I’m sure that more and more people will find their place in Kaunas, in a space where nature, architecture, business, culture, and science intertwine into one.