FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2018 7:00PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2018 2:00PM
Performers representing each Baltic nation will join forces to present a concert exhibiting the depth and breadth of Baltic traditional and contemporary performing arts. School children, choirs, folk ensembles, and dance troupes will participate in creating a joyful and diverse program. The concert finale will include a massed choir of all performers singing in all three Baltic languages.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2018 5pm -6pm
Biru Bar is a traditional Lithuanian folk music ensemble that has travelled all over the United States keeping Lithuania alive in all of our hearts... Find Out More
Sponsored by: Lithuanian Council for Culture, Lithuanian Foundation Inc., Lithuanian American Community Inc., Lithuanian Federal Credit Union "Taupa".
The Vilnius City Municipality St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra (artistic director and chief conductor – Modestas Barkauskas, conductor emeritus – Donatas Katkus) is a collective widely known for its universality, professionalism, and artistic imagination. The orchestra is an eagerly awaited guest not just in prestigious concert halls in Lithuania and abroad, such as the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, the Harpa in Reikjavik, the Berwaldhallen in Stockholm, at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, or the Royal Palace in Warsaw, St. Petersburg’s M. Glinka Hall, or Moscow’s P. Tchaikovsky’s Conservatory, but also in less predictable places like outdoor stages or even sand quarries…
The orchestra was formed in 1994 by the initiative of professor Donatas Katkus, who at first envisaged creating a baroque orchestra. At the time there were few ensembles in Lithuania who were dedicated to performing music of this era, and the director was guided by the principles of the Russian romantic school for its interpretation. Talented, young Vilnius musicians from various orchestras in Vilnius gathered at the first rehearsals of this new collective and held their first concerts in February of that same year. In 1995 they took the name of St. Christopher – the patron saint of Vilnius and travelers; Monsieur Kazimieras Vasiliauskas blessed the orchestra at the Vilnius Arch cathedral. At first playing music by Italians A. Corelli, A. Vivaldi, T. Albinoni and other baroque composers, the orchestra soon took to interpreting the music of contemporary Lithuanian composers. Many have noted that the St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra stands out from other collectives in Lithuania for its special stylistic universality. Having earned the reputation of a “baroque orchestra” and the reviver of rare partitures, musicologists have termed the orchestra “an excellent base for all of Lithuania’s composers’ conceptions”. Today its repertoire boasts over thirty opuses by Lithuanian authors: from early music to works by students from the Lithuanian Academy of Music. The orchestra has performed almost all of the string pieces by F. Bajoras, B. Kutavičius and O. Balakauskas. It gives no less attention to the music of contemporary foreign composers, playing works by P. Vasks, E.-S. Tüür, J. McCabe, Shin, A. Ruoff, R. Sierra and other composers. The orchestra is open to all kinds of initiatives and unconventional projects, it also gladly performs rock, pop, jazz music.
From its very inception, the intensive work schedule of the St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra has led to its wide recognition as much in Lithuania as abroad. The collective has successfully represented Lithuania at international events, such as the festivals Strefa Ciszy, Ogrody Muzyczne, Probaltica and Wratislavia Cantans (Poland), Tubin (Finland), Pärnu (Estonia), Europäisches Musikfest Münsterland, Kaskados, Mystik und Maschine, Berlin Jazz, Hermann Hesse (Germany), Berlioz (France), Reykholt (Iceland), and elsewhere.
The orchestra regularly collaborates with well-known Lithuanian and foreign collectives and soloists. We can mention the singers Kerstin Avemo (soprano), Charles Castronovo (tenor), Violeta Urmana (soprano), Alfredo Nigro (tenor), Virgilijus Noreika (tenor), the violinists Maksim Vengerov, Alexander Rybak, Anton Barakhovsky, Jacques Israelievitch, Moti Shmidt, the pianists Maria João Pires, Leonid Chizhik, Konstantin Lifschitz, Tamami Honma, Petras Geniušas, Julian Joseph, the cellists David Geringas, Dominique de Williencourt, Marko Ylönen and Maria Kliegel, as well as Camilla Hoitenga (flute), Petras Vyšniauskas (saxophone), Linda Maxey (marimba), Martynas Levickis (accordion), Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (conductor), indie rock band „Colors of Bubbles“, famous Australian beatboxer Tom Thum, plus many others.
While being Vilnius Municipality orchestra, the collective constantly takes part in charity events meant for the wellbeing of the city. Social risk groups are integrated by inviting people to the concerts for free, attention and appreciation is also shown to volunteers of such organizations as National Blood Centre, Lithuanian Riflemen‘s Union, Lithuanian National Defense Volunteer Forces. The orchestra together with such organizations as Lithuanian Caritas, M. Rostropovich Charity and Support Foundation, Children‘s Hospital, Lithuanian Jewish Community, public and concert institutions in Lithuania and abroad, embassies organize charitable events.
Mentioning the most recent project of the orchestra, March 8-16, 2018, with the help of the embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Ukraine, Lithuanian Council for Culture, and Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania among other partners from Lithuania and Ukraine, the orchestra took a tour to Ukraine, specifically visiting the frontline zone of the East Ukraine. During the tour the orchestra not only gave free concerts and led educational events, but brought the support collected together with Lithuanian Caritas to the people of Ukraine.
Modestas Barkauskas – new Art Director and Conductor of St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra (from 2018)
Professor Donatas Katkus – Honorary Art Director and Conductor of St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra
Hando Nahkur is one of the leading pianists of his generation. He has won many top prizes in international piano competitions in Italy, Greece, Russia, USA and Canada. He has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Golden Medal of Merit for promoting Estonian cultural life and music (Canada), Harold von Mickwitz Prize (USA) and the Diplomat of the Nation Certificate of Merit by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Estonia). He has performed in Italy, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Denmark, Finland, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Canada, Israel and Russia. In the United States he has performed in more than twenty states. His CDs have won awards globally: “DeusExClavier” was named “Record of the Year” in Germany. He has appeared with many orchestras in Canada, USA, Costa Rica and Europe. He holds five degrees from four American universities: Yale University, New England Conservatory, Texas Christian University and Southern Methodist University. He is a frequent guest at international music festivals.
More info: www.handonahkur.com
Before moving to Boston, MA in 2001, Ilona Kudiņa was orchestra artist in the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. Following her previous CDs On the Bridge (2006) and Amber Flute Quartet (2010), Ilona's third and latest CD Nothing but Illusion (2011) showcases her jazz flute style. Ilona's academic credentials include a Professional Diploma in Music Performance from Berklee College of Music and a Master of Arts in Music Performance from Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music. As a performer, composer, arranger, and professional musician, Ilona has taken part in hundreds of performances in all genres. She has been an advocate for music for flute by Baltic composers. In 2016, she received the American Latvian Association's Lifetime Achievement Award for success in the music field and for promoting Latvian music and culture in the USA.
More at: www.ilonakudina.com
Silvia Padegs Grendze is a freelance violinist from the NY tri-state area. As a freelance violinist Silvia has played nationally and internationally in major music venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. She received her bachelor of music degree from Manhattan School of Music, studying with Erick Friedman and Burton Kaplan. Silvia Padegs Grendze plays an 1864 Samuel Nemessanyi violin.
Violist Andra Voldins Dix is an active chamber and orchestral musician in the Boston area. Equally passionate about teaching, Andra serves on the faculty at Phillips Academy in Andover and Noble and Greenough School. She received a Bachelor of Arts in music from Harvard University and a Master of Music in viola performance from Boston University's School of Fine Arts. She resides in Newton with her husband and three children.
Born in 1952 in Toronto, George Juris Kenins has been an active musician, teacher and lecturer among Canadians and North American Latvians. A graduate of the University of Toronto’s music and education faculties, he worked as a music teacher in Toronto schools for over 30 years, while maintaining a career as a cellist, conductor, composer and arranger, writer and lecturer, and music administrator. For the past three Latvian Song Festivals in Canada, he has been chair of the music committee, and currently is chair of the Latvian Song Festival Association in Canada. For the XV Latvian Festival of Song and Dance in Canada (Toronto, 2019) he is chair of the organizing committee. His choral and chamber music compositions have recently received premieres in Canada, the United States and Latvia. The Latvian State Choir recently premiered his song "Es gribētu!" (I wish) and commissioned a new sacred work for August 2017 “Missa brevis latviensis”. He is vicechair of the Latvian National Federation in Canada and chair of the World Federation of Free Latvians Cultural Foundation. Currently, he conducts the Toronto choir “Ziemelis”, is the cellist for Toronto’s „Empire Trio”, plays with the Canadian folk ensemble "Poor Tom", often performs as a duo with Toronto violist Artur Jansons.