Aurelia Shimkus was honored with the “ECHO KLASSIK 2016” in the “Young Artist of the Year” category for her recording “B-A-C-H – I Call ‘to You” (“An extraordinary debut”, Der Spiegel). She was born in Riga in 1997 and started playing the piano at the age of four. Already at the age of 9, she won first prize in the Latvian Competition for Young Pianists. At the age of eleven she gave her first solo concert at the International Chamber Music Festival in Kaunas (Lithuania). In April 2013 she made her debut with a recital in Germany and in the same year she became a prizewinner in the “Kissinger Klavierolymp” competition. In 2014 she was selected as a scholarship holder of the Mozart Gesellschaft Dortmund. As a soloist, she performs with orchestras such as the English Chamber Orchestra, the German State Philharmonic Orchestra Rhineland-Palatinate, the Dortmund Philharmonic, the Georgian Chamber Orchestra Ingolstadt and the National Symphony Orchestra of Latvia. Aurelia Shimkus performed at the Konzerthaus Dortmund and is a guest at international music festivals such as the Kurt Weill Fest, the Kissinger Sommer, the Interlaken Classics Festival, the Next Generation Festival Bad Ragaz or the Puplinge Classique Switzerland. Aurelia Shimkus first began her education with Aurelia Shimkus at the music school “Emils Darzinš” under Professor Sergey Osokin (Sergejs Osokins) in Riga, and continues her studies at the Cologne Academy of Music and Dance with Prof. Claudio Martinez-Mehner. Master classes she graduated u.a. with pianists like Dominique Merlet, Bernd Goetzke, Pavel Gililov, Peter Jablonski and Ian Fountain.