Audrey vardanega, piano
Praised as a “[musically] eloquent” (San Francisco Classical Voice) player “with the kind of freedom, authority, and strength…that one expects from the world’s finest pianists” and a “bewitching musical presence” (The Piedmont Post), Audrey Vardanega has performed as a solo and collaborative pianist across Europe, China, and the United States. She has received instruction from notable artists including Leon Fleisher, Thomas Adés, Gidon Kremer, Robert Levin, Miriam Fried, and Jonathan Biss. She currently studies piano with Richard Goode. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Musaics of the Bay, a nonprofit chamber music series dedicated to music mentorship in the Bay Area. 2019 highlights include her participation in Argentina’s New Docta Music Festival in August 2019, her two-part Beethoven Piano Sonata Project at the Berkeley Maybeck Studios, and the launch of Musaics of the Bay, a concert series and mentorship initiative founded by Audrey in the Bay Area.
Audrey has also been featured as a solo and chamber musician at venues including the Hangzhou Grand Theater, Festival Napa Valley, the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music, the Bilbao Conservatorio de Musica, San Francisco’s Old First Concerts Series, San Francisco’s Herbst Theater, the Berkeley Crowden School's "Sundays at 4" Concert Series, Festival del Sole Napa Valley, Rockefeller University’s Tri-I Noon Concerts Series, and the Berkeley Hillside Club Concert Series. Festival appearances include the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois, IMS Prussia Cove, and the Carnegie Hall Workshops. Audrey made her debut as a soloist with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra at the age of 11, becoming the youngest soloist in the history of the Bay Area's Midsummer Mozart Festival under the baton of the acclaimed Maestro George Cleve in the summer of 2010. She made her solo recital debut at the age of 12 with IMG Artists’ Festival Del Sole in Napa Valley, California. She was also a featured soloist with the Midsummer Mozart Festival in the summers of 2012 and 2013. Along with engaging audiences with solo recitals, she also engages with students in masterclasses and lecture-performances all over the world, including Hangzhou, China, Sonoma State University, and Berkeley's Crowden School. Audrey has also been interviewed and featured on various media outlets including Berkeley's "Piano" segment on KPFA 94.1 hosted by Larry Bensky, San Francisco's Classical KDFC, the Hangzhou China's Central TV Station, the San Francisco Classical Voice, and New York's WWFM, among others.
Audrey was born and raised in Oakland, California and began her piano studies at the age of six with Araks Aghazarian. She began formal piano training with Robert Schwartz at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music from 2002 to 2013 as well as formal composition training with Arkadi Serper at the Berkeley Crowden School from 2004 to 2013. Her past instructors include Seymour Lipkin, Jeremy Siepmann, Christopher Elton and Victor Rosenbaum. Audrey earned her B.A. in Political Science from Columbia University in May 2017 and received her Masters in Music in May 2019 from Mannes The New School under the tutelage of Richard Goode.
Audrey began composing music at the age of six. Her first composition is titled "Beauty of Heart" and was dedicated to the victims of 9/11. "Beauty of Heart" won the Music Teacher's of California's Composers Today Contest. She has composed numerous instrumental and vocal pieces, the most significant of which is an eight-movement ballet suite for full orchestra titled Zingara ("gypsy" in Italian). Zingara was premiered by the San Francisco Academy Orchestra under the baton of conductor Andrei Gorbatenko in October of 2012.