Torrey Pines High School alum brings ‘Paris to you’ with free concert series

By Claire Harlin

Torrey Pines High School alumnus Zachary Deak, 25, has been studying piano in Europe since he left Solana Beach at 18, and now he has returned to share what he’s learned with his homeland.

“I’ve played in Europe, at the Chamber Music Fest in Portugal, I’ve played London, Paris, all over France really,” said Deak. “It’s difficult studying so far from home, but it’s nice to come back here and share that, bring back what I’ve learned and let people participate.”

Deak is putting on a four-part music series called “From Paris to You,” and he is literally doing just that. He already played the first show of the series, sponsored by the FanFaire Foundation, in Point Loma on April 15, and he said it was so much of a success that he looks forward to his three next shows: April 24 in Carlsbad, April 28 in Rancho Santa Fe and April 29 in La Jolla. The Rancho Santa Fe concert is free and will be held at 2 p.m. at the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club, located at 17025 Avenida de Acacias.

To make the concert even more special for Deak, he will be performing with his girlfriend of three years, violist Virginie d’Avezac de Castera. Deak and Bordeaux-born Castera have put together a diverse program of music, from Baroque to the 20th century. The two both started their musical careers at age 5.

Deak began studying piano as an Encinitas preschooler, and later got his first taste of France when his family spent a year there a little over a decade ago.

“When I was 14 my dad took a sabbatical, and we went as a family to Paris to live for a year,” Deak said. “Because of that, I got a taste of the musical world in Europe and in Paris, especially. There was so much going on there and I fell in love with it.”

Deak said he also met a very influential teacher, who he returned to study under later.

The FanFaire Foundation, which is responsible for the production, is a nonprofit public charity organization created in reaction to the deteriorating state of music and science education, according to the organization’s website.

Deak said he is happy to put on a concert with FanFaire because it’s important to expose the public, especially kids, to the world of classical music.

“So many people I’ve met, even those with no real connection to classical music, come up to me after a concert and say how much they enjoyed it. It’s universal,” said Deak. “If someone can just get there and see it, a concert can really can change lives, in terms of beauty or pleasure. It’s one of the great art forms … No matter what your level of interest is, you can’t come to classical music show and not feel something.”

For more information and to see a video of Deak’s recent “From Paris to You” performance in Point Loma, visit

  1. Contact Ev Laserna at 760-666-1810 for more information.