VILNIUS - A traditional festival that abides by the rule “all genres are good, except the boring ones,” continues in Vilnius. The Christopher Summer Festival 2012 is one of the biggest summer events in Vilnius, one which attracts numerous performers from Lithuania and other countries. During the two months of the festival, over 50 original concert events are presented to the public, taking place in different locations in Vilnius and other Lithuanian regions.
This festival does not easily fit into any stylistic framework. So, alongside classical music masterpieces, there is jazz, world music, experimental projects, and traditional organ, guitar and piano music cycles.
Born of European cultural experience (up until 1995 there was a strict code in Lithuania whereby no cultural events could take place in the capital during summer; the experience of Western European major cities proved otherwise), the Christopher Summer Festival has tried to keep it alive from its very inception, inviting the most prominent, internationally recognized musicians and presenting the latest musical trends.
Having naturally matured into a large international event whose program is oriented towards audiences from a broad social spectrum and age range, the festival has continually fine-tuned its structure to the current principle of “festivals within a festival.” They are the now traditional guitar and organ music cycles - Christopher’s Guitars and the Sacred Music Hours. Along with these concerts are the premiere, large-scale productions and performances, world music concerts, jazz projects, performances in non-traditional spaces.
These examples reveal the festival’s main strength, which distinguishes it from other music festivals - its versatility. This is due to the attribute that audiences from different social groups and with different cultural needs can find a concert to suit them, while European professionals, not needing to feel restricted to any stylistic framework, can allow themselves to realize their most unexpected ideas, which are otherwise quashed or do not garner support in events of their chosen musical direction. An informal environment suited to creative expression, a summer atmosphere, and original projects - this is the face of the Christopher Summer Festival.
As has come to be expected, the Christopher Summer Festival always seeks out new musical experiences, tries on new forms of expression, transforms, experiments... So is the festival changing? Externally - yes, but on a conceptual level the Christopher Summer Festival strictly adheres to its founding principles. This is a music festival that was never aimed at professors: in summer professors leave to listen to music elsewhere, or simply take the opportunity for a rest.
Every year this huge musical string of pearls is put together so as to include the most appealing pearls, or the type of people who simply love music and do not classify it as being high- or low-brow, elitist or entertaining.
This year the festival features new cycles – an accordion week and nighttime piano recitals at St. Catherine’s Church with young talent.
Donatas Katkus, art director of the festival, says that the accordion program includes six concerts by accordion professionals from Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, and other places.
The festival will for the first time include a series of piano recitals by piano virtuosos Rokas Valuntonis, Ksistofas Markevicius, Paulius Rudokas, Monika Darzinkeviciute, Paulius Andersson and the Efvioli quintet.
The 18th Christopher Summer Festival kicked off on June 17 and will continue until Sept. 9 – it will include 55 concerts in Vilnius, as well as Sesuoleliai and Taujenai estates, Vilnius University’s Botanical Garden.
For more information on festival’s program please visit www.vilniusfestivals.lt