The young saxophonist and bubbly pianist met at the Zurich University of the Arts, where they were both studying towards the Master with a Specialization in Solo Performance, Valentine as a soloist, Akvilé as an accompanist. Their friendship and enthusiasm helped them to build an extremely strong personal and musical relationship.
In 2019, AKMI Duo received the prestigious Swiss Ambassador Award, after being awarded second prize in the prestigious Salieri Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition in Verona in 2018 and first prize of the Orpheus Swiss Music Chamber Competition in 2018.
The duo regularly appears on stages both in Switzerland and abroad and has been invited to perform at numerous music festivals and events in Europe, including the KKL Lucerne, Wigmore Hall, Radio France Montpellier, Capella St Petersburg, Lucerne Festival, Label Suisse Festival, Musikwoche Braunwald, the Swiss Chamber Music Festival in Adelboden, Festival autour d’un piano and Zurich International Saxfest.
Valentine and Akmilé are truly passionate about modern and contemporary music, performing with undisguised joy. They have built up a repertoire that is wide and varied, encompassing everything from sonatas to tango, by composers from countries as diverse as Lithuania and the USA. They both enjoy solo careers alongside their commitment to the duo, and have won numerous awards at international competitions.
The duo releases their first album « Beyond the Wall » in November 2023 for Avie Records.