Aleksandra Juozapėnaitė-Eesmaa, (born June 3, 1943, Graužiniai, Lithuania), pianist and piano professor. In 1949-61 she studied piano in the Vilnius M. K. Čiurlionis Art High School with prof .Olga Šteinbergaitė, in 1961-66 she proceeded at the Moskow Conservatory in the class of prof. Jakov Zak with whom she also graduated from her postgraduate studies. In 1976-77 she continued her studies at Conservatoire National Supérieure de Musique et de Danse de Paris with Yvonne Loriod, Claude Helffer and Pierre Sancan, while taking private lessons from Arthur Rubinstein. In 1960 she achieved the 3rd prize at a Unionwide contest of pianists in Minsk, in 1961 recived a diploma at a Unionwide contest of pianists in Moskow and in 1968 won the 1st prize and a special prize at the Čiurlionis Contest in Vilnius.
1968 marked the beginning of her pedagogical career, as she started teaching piano at the Lithuanian Academy of Music. She continued teaching there until her marriage in 1977 after which she moved to Estonia and became a piano teacher at the Estonian Academy of Music (in 1990 she became an associate professor and in 2002 a professor). The list of students includes Taavi Kerikmäe, Hando Nahkur, Andrius Vasiliauskas and Naily Saripova. Juozapenaite-Eesmaa has conducted master courses in Tallinn, Vilnius and Rennes (France), held classes at Stockholm University (1987), at the annual meeting of European Piano Teachers Association, at Lübeck Music College (1992) and at an occasion by Estonian Piano Teachers Association in Tallinn. She has written articles for Lithuanian, Estonian and German periodicals and has repeatedly been a member of juries of international contests of pianists, e.g. for the M.K.Čiurlionis contest in Vilnius, the Jāzeps Vītols contest in Riga, Tallinn International Piano Competition.
Juozapėnaitė-Eesmaa debuted very young - already in 1953 she performed Haydn´s Piano Concerto in D with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra. Her first recital took place in 1958. By now she has approximately 2000 concerts, either as the soloist for a chamber of symphony orchestra, as an accompanist or a member of a chamber ensemble, also in radio and television. The majority of her performances have taken place in Lithuania and Estonia, but she has also played in about ten of the former Soviet Union republics and in France, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Holland, Poland, and Sweden. She has performed at famous concert halls - in St Petersburg at the Philharmonic Great Hall and at Yusupov´s palace, in Moscow at the small hall of Moscow Conservatory and at the Tchaikovsky and Rakhmaninov halls, in Utrecht at the grand hallof the Music Centre and in Paris at Salle Michelet. She has been the soloist for the ENSO, the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, the St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra,the symphony orchestras of the Latvian, the Byelorussian and the Irkutsk Philharmonic, under conductors such as Balys Dvarionas, Margarita Dvarionaitė, Juozas Domarkas, Saulius Sondeckis, Jonas Aleksa and Donatas Katkus from Lithuania, Neeme Järvi, Tõnu Kaljuste, Peeter Lilje, Roman Matsov, Olari Elts and Arvo Volmer from Estonia, Leonids Vigners from Latvia, Tadeusz Chachaj from Poland, David Handjan from Armenia, Emin Khachaturian and Vladimir Noritz from Russia and Juan Matteuci from the Philippines. She has been an ensemble partner to singers Virgilijus Noreika and Regina Maciūtė, and violinist Aleksander Livont from Lithuania, singers Leili Tammel and Mati Palm, and flutist Jaan Õun and clarnetist Hannes Altrov, violinist Mari Tampere-Bezrodny, cellist Peeter Paemuru from Estonia, singers Jaakko Ryhänen from Finland and Chieko Okabe from Japan, cellists Karine Georgian from Armenia and Judith Révész from Hungary. She has also performed with the Čiurlionis Quartet from Lithuania and with the Lithuanian Brass Quintet. With these partners, and alone, she has made numerous recordings for radio (in Vilnius, Tallinn, Moscow, Amsterdam, Paris) and performed in television; some of her performances have been filmed as well (Lithuanian Film Studio, 1972, Estonian Television Film, 1979). Juozapenaite-Eesmaa participated in the Oliver Messiaen festival (1992) and the Haydn-Schubert festival (1994) in Vilnius, also in an international festival Piano 1998 in Tallinn, in the international Church Music Festival of Rapla (in 2002-03), international Christopher Summer festival in Vilnius (2006).
In addition to classical works, her versatile repertory includes mainly music by composers from Lithuania (M.K.Čiurlionis,Valentinas Bagdonas, Vytautas Barkauskas, Osvaldas Balakauskas, Feliksas Bajoras, Juozas Gruodis, Jonas Nabažas several premieres and interpretations), France (O.Messiaen, C.Debussy, M.Ravel, D.Milhaud, A.Jolivet), Prokofiev and Chostakovitch from Russia. She has also performed works by several Estonian composers (Heino Eller, M.Saar, Lydia Auster, Ester Mägi, Eugen Kapp, Artur Lemba, Raimond Lätte, Rudolf Tobias etc), as well as recorded them for the Moscow and the Estonian Radio.
Melodiya has recorded 6 LPs with her (mostly Lithuanian music, but also works by Messiaen and Estonian composers). She has played for 11 CDs, e.g. Lithuanian Greatest Artists, Vol 7: Aleksandra Juozapėnaitė-Eesmaa (Bonifa, Australia, 1998); Ester Mägi. Variationen (Antes, 1998); Čiurlionis. Piano Works (Semplice, 1996); Messiaen. Vingt regards sur l´Enfant-Jésus (Jade, France, 1992); Čiurlionis. Piano Miniatures (King Record, Japan, 1982); Heino Eller. Neue Musik: Dreizehn Klavierstücke über Estnische Motive, Die Glocken, Sonate No 1 (Antes 2000-01).
Olivier Messiaen.Vingt regards sur l ´Enfant-Jésus (Semplice.Vilnius Recording Studio 2001).
Awards, orders and decorations: Merited Artist of the Republic of Lithuania (1989), the Order of the Grand Duke Gediminas (of the Republic of Lithuania) (1999), the Heino Eller Award (2002).