Vytautas Sondeckis was the first Lithuanian winner of the Australasian International Cello Competition. Born in 1972, he is the son of the famous conductor, Saulius Sondeckis, his mother having been a pupil of the great Russian cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich. His mature education took place at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He then became a student of David Geringas in Lubeck, and in 1996 became Assistant Principal Cello of the NDR Symphony Orchestra. Since his 1997 competition success he has been in considerable demand as a solo cellist.