Event Guide

  • 2018-11-29



28 November – 14 December, Christmas Jazz 2018, all over Estonia

Christmas Jazz is a two-week intimate festival suitable for Christmas time which fills the churches, concert halls and clubs with beautiful jazz music in late November and early December. The headliners of Christmas Jazz are Portuguese singer and songwriter Salvador Sobral and one of the absolute top artists in American vocal jazz – Lizz Wright. Salvador Sobral found his way into the hearts of Europeans with his bossa-influenced piano ballad ‘Amar Pelos Dois’ which brought him victory in the 2017 Eurovision song contest. Salvador’s sensitive music and performance that respects traditions fits perfectly into the pre-Christmas mood. Salvador Sobral will be performing two concerts in Estonia – in Tartu on 2 December and in Tallinn on 3 December. Another headliner of Christmas Jazz is the deep and velvety-voiced Lizz Wright who is sharing the stage with the Estonian Dream Big Band lead by Siim Aimla. The singer has released six albums and received only praise from critics and listeners alike and she has also conquered the top of the Billboard charts. The full list of participants and the detailed festival program can be found at www.jazzkaar.ee

02 December – 10 January, Christmas City Tartu 2018, various venues in Tartu

We might have a white Christmas, or we might not be that lucky. There is no knowing even when it comes to old university towns in this matter of great importance. But one thing is certain – every year Tartu will become a Christmas City, snow or no snow. This joyous transformation will always take place on the first Sunday of Advent. A candle is to be lit in Town Hall Square and this officially kindles the season in the city and all its Christmas lights. People in Tartu meet up at the very heart of the city on all four Sundays before Christmas Day and at noon on 24 December. They also enjoy the festive season activities and treats offered by the city’s unique set of museums and great concert halls. To name a few of the surprises available – one might even meet a folk dancer or two, in fact a couple of hundreds of them, in the middle of winter, right at Town Hall Square in Tartu.

December 07-09, Festival Darkland Fire 9, Culture Center, Rakvere

Have a break from everyday life, and spend a different kind of Christmas in Rakvere. It will be a great party with good and interesting musicians. Being a unique event in the neighbourhood, the Darkland Fire Festival offers an exceptional opportunity to discover the diverse shades of dark folk music and industrial music, exciting symbiosis and enchanting sound landscapes from the most prominent representatives of their genres. Already for the ninth winter in a row, the international boutique festival Darkland Fire awaits all music lovers in December in Rakvere to enjoy innovative folk and country music, and electronic dance beats – from retro to futuristic. Come and experience deep emotions through the well-selected musical gems, and spend a relaxing weekend with interesting music in the ancient Kreis town that offers different opportunities and experiences. Learn more at the festival’s Facebook page.

December 09-15, International Theatre Festival ‘Midwinter Night’s Dream’, City Theatre, Tallinn

In 2018, the bi-annual theatre festival Midwinter Night’s Dream celebrates a small anniversary – the festival will take place now for the 10th time. Through the years, the Midwinter Night’s Dream has had various creative teams and curators with different concepts, but one thing has remained the same – it’s Tallinn City Theatre’s festival, organized in the most part by the theatre’s own staff. This year’s festival is dedicated to a single stage-wizard and his work, presenting Latvian director Alvis Hermanis, whose productions are applauded all over Europe. The festival’s program and more can be found at www.linnateater.ee/midwinter-nights-dream

Open till December 16, You Have Become the Space, Solo Exhibition by Ingel Vaikla, Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn

The Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM) is proud to present Ingel Vaikla’s first solo exhibition You Have Become the Space. The exhibition concept is derived from the idea that architecture and the human body may be integral to one another – architecture is changed by and dependent upon its user, while that user must adapt to the architectural environment. Two new spatial video works will unfold at the EKKM, their constructions designed by architects Laura Linsi and Roland Reemaa. Vaikla’s work examines the relationship between architecture, film and memory, emphasizes the passing of time, the thread that connects them all. The spatial and social tensions created through the passing of time are analyzed with the help of the characters in her films. As a visual artist and film-maker, Vaikla has studied the proximity between active and passive viewing practices. In a cinema, the duration, narrative and even the spatial position of the viewer in relation to the screen, are all fixed. In a gallery space, however, the viewer has the opportunity to throw those parameters into disarray and choose to accept the cinematographic and physical obstructions and uncertainties offered by the exhibition. Full information of the exhibition is available at www.ekkm.ee

Open throughout December, Spiritual Resistance, Solo Exhibition by Lola Liivat, Art Museum, Tartu

An overview exhibition displaying the works of the living legend of Estonian abstract painting Lola Liivat is now open in the Tartu Art Museum and will stay open until 6 January. Lola Liivat is one of the most important developers of Estonian abstract painting and was one of the first practitioners of abstract expressionism in Estonia. Liivat worked under Soviet rule for a large part of her career, when abstract art was disapproved of or even forbidden. The exhibition offers an overview of Liivat’s career, from the works she made during her studies in the 1950s up to paintings that have been completed recently, focusing mainly on her abstract works. The title of one of Liivat’s works, ‘Spiritual Resistance’, which is used as the title of the exhibition, references her artistic position and her creative journey. It reflects her contemplative nature and the need to resist different surrounding conditions and to weather the storms that arise. Liivat has succeeded: through various pursuits and in finally finding her own handwriting, she has left a clear and unique imprint on the history of Estonian abstract art. Additionally, a small selection of works by a younger generation of artists who currently paint abstracts are also being exhibited. The choice of works mainly offers different representations of painterly abstractionism. The educational program that accompanies the exhibition contains workshops that reveal various facets of abstract art, and museum lessons where the historical role of abstractionism is discussed, as well as its meaning and influence in the contemporary world. For detailed information please visit www.tartmus.ee


December 02, Concert by the Strauss Festival Orchestra of Vienna, Congress Center, Riga

The Strauss Festival Orchestra of Vienna conducted by world-famous Peter Guth has won international recognition thanks to its original interpretation of the Viennese music. The orchestra’s repertoire includes a broad range of classical pieces, as well as compositions by the Strauss dynasty and Vienna operetta maestros. Thanks to the excellent and experienced musicians and their high artistic standards, the orchestra takes the leading position among performers in the genre. The concert’s program and tickets are available at www.bilesuserviss.lv

Open from December 06, Contemporary Jewelry Exhibition ‘Snowing a Little out the Window’, Putti Art Gallery, Riga

Silence, moments, emotions, bright elements, varied stones, the freedom of colour and modern forms – this winter exhibition is dedicated to making our loved ones happy during the holiday season through an immersion in contemporary art. It serves as a source of inspiration during the cold season, hopefully one with some snow outside the window. Participating in the exhibition are Latvian and international jewelry artists. Entrance to the exhibition is free. To find out more please visit www.putti.lv

Open till December 09, Solo Exhibition by Jurgis Skulme, VEF Culture Palace, Riga

Painter, art expert, publicist and teacher Jurgis Skulme has a special place in the Latvian painting scene; he has also made great contributions in the art sciences and their development. Honouring Skulme’s diverse creative work throughout his great life, the VEF Palace of Culture is hosting a solo exhibition on the artist’s anniversary. Entrance to the exhibition is free.

December 14, Arrivederci Rome, Concert by Tenor Trio, Latvian National Opera and Ballet, Riga

Raimonds Bramanis, Mihails Culpajevs and Juris Vizbulis – three young, bright and recognized tenors of the Latvian National Opera have joined their voices and charisma in a new musical union – Tenor Trio. They will perform popular opera arias, as well as Neapolitan songs, and instrumental pieces from the repertoire of opera music. For full information on the concert and to buy tickets please go to www.bilesuparadize.lv

December 26-27, New Year’s Concert Series À Paris by Viennese Operetta, VEF Culture Palace, Riga

The sparkling world of festive sensations, the glamour of youth and the charm of Viennese Operetta, where the delightful musical world of Johann Strauss and The Strauss dynasty will be performed by a string of talented operetta soloists. For full information on the concert and to buy tickets please go to www.bilesuparadize.lv

December 28-30, New Year’s Eve Concert Series by Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Great Guild, Riga

The bow of Paula Sumane’s violin will paint the splendid sonic patterns of Camille Saint-Saëns’s Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, while the Genovese tenor Matteo Lippi will demonstrate the best traditions of Italian singing by performing popular and heartwarming Neapolitan songs. Your guide to the breathtaking worlds of Ravel’s Bolero and Berlioz’s Le Carnaval Romain will be maestro Quatrini who is already well known and beloved among Latvian listeners. For full information on the concert and to buy tickets please go to www.lnso.lv or www.bilesuparadize.lv


17 November – 31 December, Festival Musical Christmas, White Piano Hall, Vilnius

The festival Musical Christmas is being held for the 6th time. This event has become a good tradition in the capital city’s cultural life thanks to listener support. It is a tradition, which expands and changes every year, offering a variety of musical programs. This year you are offered the opportunity to listen to well-known performers and to meet new people. Also, the festival hall is decorated with the works by the beautiful Edita Suchockytė, so the audience will have plenty of impressions. You are welcome to come and celebrate the season at the White Piano Hall, and to listen to the most beautiful music of all time. Each of the performances is an adventure; listeners will find themselves under the influence of their musical creativity, and turn into participants of this adventure and characters of a musical story. The festival’s convert program is available at www.whitepianohall.com and tickets can be purchased online via www.tiketa.lt

01 December – 07 January, Christmas in Vilnius 2018, various venues in Vilnius

Christmas in Vilnius is the largest and most impressive festival in the capital of Lithuania. These are to be five unforgettable weeks of winter holidays in Vilnius, where the variety of festivities and pleasant Christmas surprises will make Vilnius the true Christmas capital. Every year Christmas in Vilnius pleasantly surprises the residents of Vilnius and their guests with new ideas and special celebrations. The Vilnius Christmas Train has become a special holiday tradition in the Lithuanian capital – the train turns through festive circles around the center of Vilnius, and a unique 3D projection of a Christmas Fairy Tale is to be displayed in all its vivid colours on the main outside wall of the Vilnius Cathedral on the evenings of December 25-29. On New Year’s Eve, the Cathedral Square, full of Vilnius residents and guests will welcome the New Year with colourful festive fireworks. Have lots of joy, discover something new and come celebrate your holidays in Vilnius! More information on the program for all Christmas events can be found at www.kaledossostineje.lt

December 02, Concert by Jan Garbarek, Concert Hall Compensa, Vilnius

No one plays the saxophone like Jan Garbarek. His style has become unique; his music requires a different dimension than jazz. Countless records, concerts in famous halls around the world, communication with Keith Jarett and his unprecedented work with the Hilliard Ensemble has popularized this unique saxophonist in all genres of music. He has never been bothered that music critics need to find the most appropriate label in accordance with the music being created. Garbarek avoids this. His works can be found in the tops of jazz, classical and pop music. To buy tickets please go to www.bilietai.lt

December 15-30, Christopher’s Christmas 2018 Festival, St. Catherine’s Church, Vilnius

The spell-binding sound of the glass harp, music from the most well known films, the passionate tango, brilliant musicals, and more – these are all gifts offered as part of Christopher’s Christmas, which you are invited to unwrap at these festive season concerts. The carefully selected programs have all been specially chosen to give your festive season a truly memorable mood. It takes so little to make a real miracle of this winter celebration – to make a snow man, to delight in frost-covered trees and forests, or to take in the aroma of spicy gingerbread biscuits. But most important of all are the people with whom you’d like to share these special moments. Invite them along to these concerts! The program and more info on the festival is available at www.kristupofestivalis.lt while the tickets can be purchased online via www.tiketa.lt  

December 17-21, International Short Movie Days, various cinema theatres in Vilnius

The Vilnius International Short Film Festival is the biggest short film festival in the Baltic countries, presenting the newest and best short films from all around the world. In just nine years the Festival has become a unique platform in Lithuania, screening not only European but Worldwide professional short films presented by the upcoming generation of talented filmmakers. Every year the Vilnius International Short Film Festival presents the international short film competition program, which consists of around 60 of the most acknowledged short films produced during the last two years. The films are considered and awarded by an international jury. A huge focus on Lithuanian short films is always presented to the audience – and every year a special program of the newest, retrospective, thematic or specific filmmaker-based program is on board. For full information on the festival please visit www.lithuanianshorts.com/en/179481/projects/vilnius-international-short-film-festival