Vytautas Smetona Plays Brahms, Chopin & Smetona

Vytautas Smetona Plays Brahms, Chopin & Smetona (Navona Records 6296)

Pianist and composer Vytautas Smetona was born in Cleveland. His parents, Birute and Julius, and paternal grandparents narrowly escaped the 1940 Soviet invasion of Lithuania and his grandfather, Antanas, was the last President of independent Lithuania.  Vytautas made his New York recital debut in 1976, and a career was launched  His first recording was released in 1979 and favorably reviewed in the Plain Dealer and the San Francisco Chronicle. His musical career was interrupted in March of 1983 after a final performance given at Xavier University in Cincinnati. He returned to school, earned master’s degrees in mathematics and operations research, and became a Fellow in the Society of Actuaries. He established a consulting firm but never lost touch with music as he continued to reflect and study. After a prolonged absence, he has once again become active in musical life.  This is his latest recording, made at Oberlin College in 2018 & 2019. The big work is Brahms’s Piano Sonata No.3. Four pieces by Chopin and an original piece by Smetona from 2015, the Fantasy in F minor, fill out the program.  (Note that the link sends you to the Navona Records website.)

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