Rudolf Budginas (pronounced bud-guinness) was born into a family of musicians in Lithuania. He began his studies at the age of four and made his debut at the age of nine with the Lithuanian National Symphony. Subsequently, he trained at the prestigious Moscow Conservatory. Thereafter, he rose to international prominence performing solo concerts throughout the world.
Moving to the United States in 1994, Rudolf’s passion has become to expand the accessibility of classical music to wider audiences. When not playing solo concerts, he joins his musical group, “Rudolf Budginas: Cutting Edge Classics ” and stellar guest musicians to perform concerts that brilliantly balance pop, jazz and well-known classical works.
Rudolf is known for interacting with the audience by presenting information and humorous asides about the program. With his charmingly accented English, he talks about the impetus for his new concerts, “I felt that after my strictly classical recitals, I was questioning if I had more to offer to my audiences. It was clear that they loved classical music but I felt there was more I wanted to do. I want to present an evening with more variety of musical styles. I want to keep my audience constantly surprised and excited throughout a concert. Also, I really enjoy working with other creative and talented musicians – that inspires me, too. So the hoped for result will be that we will create something new.”
In “Rudolf Budginas: Cutting Edge Classics “, Rudolf creates his own arrangements for piano bass, percussion and guitar of classic and jazz hits such as “Claire de Lune,” “Moonlight Sonata”, Bizet’s “Carmen” and pieces by Chopin and Brubeck. This meld of musical genres shows how classical music has influenced contemporary music.
Rudolf shows the audience the direct musical line from Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody” to Johnny Cash’s “Walk the Line” and how Billy Joel might have drawn on classical structure to get to “Piano Man”.
“I like to relax the atmosphere of the concert,” says Rudolf . “Because, you know, the concert is a very formal thing. I like people in general. I like to talk to them. And when you have friendly atmosphere, when you explain what they’re going to hear, it’s much better, it’s much easier.”
As an accomplished soloist Rudolf has performed in Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Budapest, Salzburg, Cologne, Copenhagen, Tokyo, Riga, Moscow, Los Angeles, Seattle and Fort Worth. His artistic poetry, virtuosity, and passionate interpretations have received critical praise. He came to the United States upon being awarded a full scholarship at USC where he earned a doctorate in music. He resides in the San Luis Obispo area of California’s Central Coast and teaches at Cuesta College. He is the Conductor/ Chamber Music Director at Thomas Aquinas College