Born in Latvia, on August 21st, 1984, and began to gain an international recognition after debut perfor- mances with BBC Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Czech Philharmonic, KREMERata Baltica, NDR Symphony Orchestra of Hamburg, Borodin Quartet in such concert halls as Konzerthaus (Vienna), Konzerthaus (Berlin), Tokyo Opera City, Radio France (Paris), Berwald Hall (Stockholm), Konserthuset (Stockholm), Moscow Conservatory, Palau de la Musica (Barcelona), Sala Verdi (Milano), and Oriental Art Centre (Shanghai) among others as well as after becoming a 1st-prize- winner of several international piano competitions, including the 55th Maria Canals International piano competition in Barcelona (Spain, 2009) and the 5th Bad Kissingen KlavierOlympiade international piano competition (Germany, 2007).
Vestard Shimkus began his piano studies at age of five in Riga and subsequently studied with Dmitri Bashkirov and Claudio Martinez Mehner in Madrid, Daniel Pollack in Los Angeles, Vadim Suchanov in Munich, has also studied composition under Peteris Vasks.
Shimkus has collaborated with such conductors as Lawrence Foster, Andris Nelsons, Vassily Sinaisky, Karel Mark Chichon and Woldemar Nelsson and has given concerts throughout Europe, USA, Middle-East, China and Japan. He has been invited to perform in Kissinger Sommer Festival (Germany), Bergen Festival (Norway), Gidon Kremer Festival in Lockenhaus (Austria), Usedom festival (Germany) and others.
Shimkus has received numerous awards, including the “White Star“ order of Estonia and the Golden Order of Poland for an outstanding contribution to the concert series dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederic Chopin.
Some of his compositions have been published by “SCHOTT Music & Media“. He has released four CD albums and his Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra was premiered on July 2008.
Shimkus also plays jazz and has given several solo concerts consisting just of his spontaneous piano improvisations.