Valdone Arffa is an active performer, collaborative pianist, and teacher. A native of Lithuania, Ms. Arffa is a graduate of National M.K.Čiurlionis School of Arts in Vilnius where she studied piano performance with Albina Siksniute. After winning the United World College Music Scholarship, she continued her studies in piano and chamber music with Igor Cognolato at the International Chamber Music School of Trio di Trieste, in Duino, Italy. Ms. Arffa graduated summa cum laude from Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University with bachelor’s degrees in Classical Piano Performance and Music Education (with emphasis in choral conducting). She studied with Dr. Ludmila Lazar. Ms. Arffa also holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Oberlin College. She is currently working on her master's degree in Piano performance at Texas State University, under the tutelage of Dr. Jason Kwak.
Ms. Arffa has earned awards in four Lithuanian national piano competitions and three international competitions in Lithuania, France, and Estonia. She has made her orchestra debut at the age of eleven with the St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra of Vilnius. Recently, she was one of the two winners of Texas State Concerto and Aria Competition 2020. She received an Honorable Mention and “Best Sonata” Prize at the Cremona International Music Academy and Competition in 2017 in Italy. She was also one of the four finalists at the Aeolian Classics Emerging Artist Competition 2019. In 2018, she was accepted as a member at Musicians Club of Women based in Chicago, IL. Ms. Arffa has given solo and chamber music concerts in Lithuania, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and the United States. She has performed in masterclasses with several leading pianists including Idil Biret, Asaf Zohar, Hie-Yon Choi, Maurizio Baglini, Gabriel Daubner, Nina Seregina, Valentina Berman, and Muza Rubackyte.
Ms. Arffa is a passionate collaborator, specializing in vocal repertoire. She regularly performs with soloists and choirs. She was the accompanist for the Northbrook Community Choir, and is currently holding a Graduate Instructional Assistant position with the Treble Choir at Texas State University. In the summer of 2018, she was accepted and participated in the Orvieto Musica Festival in Italy, where she was one of the two pianists who performed with the Art Song and Intensive String program participants. In the fall 2019 she performed in "Rudolph Ganz Festival" in a piano duo with pianist Alyssa Conde. In the summer 2019, she was accepted and participated in the "Source Song" festival in Minneapolis, MN as part of the duo with mezzo-soprano Micah Gleason.
Teaching is another great passion for Ms. Arffa. She is currently working as a privately piano instructor at the Eastside Music School in Austin, TX and her own private studio. She is an active member of MTNA and a Steinway & Sons teacher. She seeks to inspire her students to find the life-lasting joy and meaning in playing piano, while helping them build the skills and knowledge needed to become the best musicians they can be.