Valdone Arffa is an active performer, collaborative pianist, and teacher. A native of Lithuania, Valdone 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 competition to attend the United World College of the Adriatic, 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 with bachelor’s degrees in Classical Piano Performance and Music Education from Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, where she studied with Dr. Ludmila Lazar. She earned her Masters in Music degree in Piano Performance at Texas State University with Dr. Jason Kwak and Dr. Daria Rabotkina. She also holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Oberlin College.
Ms. Arffa has made her orchestra debut at the age of eleven with the St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra of Vilnius. She has earned awards in four Lithuanian national and three international piano competitions in France, Estonia, and Lithuania. Recently, she became a winner of the 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 Anton Nel, Marina Lomazov, Arthur Greene, Yakov Kasman, Christopher Guzman, Joseph Rackers, Haejeon Lee, Carol Leone, Idil Biret, Asaf Zohar, Hie-Yon Choi, Maurizio Baglini, Hyung-ki Joo, Gabriel Daubner, Nina Seregina, 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 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 one Ms.Arffa's greatest passions. She has recently relocated to Santa Monica, CA but continues to teach virtually at the Eastside Music School in Austin, TX and her own private studio. During her time at Texas State University she also taught Piano Techniques courses for undergraduate music majors. She is an active member of MTNA and a Steinway & Sons teacher. Her goal as a teacher is for her students to find a life-long joy in playing piano while developing healthy technical skills, creativity and interpretational knowledge. She seeks to create a positive environment where each student can explore their unique musicianship.