The coming festival has “anniversary” written all over it – 2500 years of European musical culture, 250 from the birth of Beethoven and 25 years of the Glasperlenspiel Festival. All this is reflected in the program with some very telling titles of the concerts like “West Meets East”, “Beethoven – 250”, “Three Peters”, “The Four Seasons”, “Kannel-Baroque”… Guest performers will come from Latvia, Lithuania, Austria, England, Japan, Canada, India et al. In the pursuit for performance authenticity three Beethoven-period fortepianos will be brought to Estonia. Last but not least, a concert of Old-Russian Sacred Music outside Tartu, on the Lake Peipus island Piirissaar, will take place in the biggest holiday of the Old Believers – St Peter’s Day.
July 9th THREE PETERS
July 10th MIDDAY CONCERT: PRAYER
July 10th MESSE DE… CARMINA BURANA
July 10th THE MEETING OF WEST AND EAST
July 11th BEETHOVEN – 250
July 11th KANNEL-BAROQUE
July 12th TRAVEL THROUGH OLD-RUSSIAN SACRED MUSIC
July 13th MOONLIGHT SONATA
July 14th BEETHOVEN – 250
July 14th JAPANESE DRUM SHOW
July 15th THE FOUR SEASONS
July 15th – 18th CONCERTS ON SAAREMAA ISLAND
• Thu, July 9th 7 pm St John’s church (Jaani Str 5, Tartu)
Neeme Punder (bamboo flute), Oda Yosuke (taiko-drums, Japan), Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, conductor Andres Mustonen
Tchaikovsky, Vasks, Vähi
Composers that represent Russian, Latvian and Estonian music… Although we, Estonians, would rather define ourselves as Nordic people, the recent genetic studies have proved that in reality we have a stronger likeness to our Southern and Eastern neighbours. Will this similarity be exposed also in the music by the three Peters? In fact, the concert should be called „Four Peters“ as prior to the musical performance an exhibition „I Am Peter, Architect Peter“ by a Latvian architect/photographer/graphic artist Pēteris Venckovičs will be opened in the church. Three of the four Peters will honour the concert with their presence.
• Fri, July 10th at 12.15 pm St John’s church (free entrance)
MIDDAY CONCERT: PRAYER
Yosuke Oda (percussion, vocal, pantomime / Japan)
• Fri, July 10th at 7 pm St John’s church
MESSE DE… CARMINA BURANA
Ensemble Hortus Musicus
Presentation of brand new CD: Hortus Musicus / Messe de… Carmina Burana
Ancient Hellenistic music, Tournai mass and Carmina Burana (not the cantata by Carl Orff, but the original Medieval songs that have been the source of the cantata). The concert is preceded by the presentation of a newly released CD with the same repertoire.
• Fri, July 10th at 10 pm St John’s church (in co-operation with Festival Orient)
WEST MEETS EAST
Hugo Ticciati (violin, UK / Sweden), Sukhwinder „Pinky“ Singh (tablā, India / USA)
Bach, Indian rāgas, improvisations
Hugo Ticciati is well known to the Estonian audience through his collaboration with Arvo Pärt and Paavo Järvi as well as for his recent concert with Anne Sophie von Otter at the Estonia Concert Hall. Though a classical musician, he is anything but museally academic, but rather an innovator and a visionary creating thrilling programs. The coming concert is no exception – this time involving a representative of a far-away culture, tablā-drummer „Pinky“ and an electronic tānpūrā.
Violinist Hugo Ticciati and the legendary Sukhwinder Singh take us on a contemplative journey from East to West and back again in an hour-long programme. The concert is an improvisatory dialogue between the timeless works of Bach, Indian rāgas, virtuosic solos on the tablā, a variegated array of contemporary works and improvisation. A little taster of what might be on the menu. György Kurtág’s Signs, Games and Messages (1998–2005) are enigmatic echoes of the past, expressed through the transformed language of friends’ and composers’ voices. The Swedish composer, Albert Schnelzer wrote that ‘melodies can have their own drama’; Solitude (1999) for solo violin, takes as its starting point the idea of depicting how a melody is born, developing from an embryonic state to an individual entity. The title of Nigel Clarke’s work, Pernambuco (1994), refers to the fact that the wood from which violin bows are made comes from an area called Pernambuco in the Brazilian Rain Forest; the work transforms the violin into a Brazilian folk instrument with all its unusual and exciting timbres. The programme encourages the listener to abandon themselves to the dialogical flow of the music, inhabiting the sounding purity of the now.
• Sat, July 11th at 7 pm St John’s church
BEETHOVEN – 250
Quintet of Wiener Kammersymphonie (Austria)
Beethoven, arrangements of Beethoven
The performer is Wiener Kammersymphonie in its truly small chamber quintet staff, while the works to be performed are really big ones: Coriolan Overture, Symphony No.7 arrangement for strings and, incredible as it may sound, even string arrangement of Sonata Pathétique.
• Sat, July 11th 10 pm St John’s church
Anna-Liisa Eller (kannel) & Hedi Viisma (kannel, Finland)
Byrd, Bach, Handel, Rameau
Kannel as an Estonian folk music instrument is known since ages immemorial. Modern times, though, witness the rise of a kannel virtuoso generation that have been educated in Finland, France, Germany… For them kannel is neither a folk instrument nor an experimental or colorful addition to avant-garde music. Kannel stands equal to piano, harpsichord, organ, harp or whatever other instrument used in classical music. Two indisputable virtuosos stand out when it comes to playing Baroque music – they are Anna-Liisa Eller and Hedi Viisma, the latter less known to the Estonian audience owing to the fact that she lives and works mostly abroad.
• Sun, July 12th at 4 pm Piirissaare island, Peipus lake (with transportation from and to Tartu)
OLD-RUSSIAN SACRED MUSIC
Orthodox Singers, conductor Valeri Petrov
Despite the fact that the choir’s name refers to Orthodox, this time they actually also perform songs based on the Old Believers’ or Starovers’ texts. The concert venue is all but conventional. Piirissaar in the middle of the lake Peipsi boasts of three villages – two Russian and one Estonian – with the population mostly being Old Believers. The islanders have somehow been estranged from the life on the mainland and sort of remained forgotten by everybody. Though the concert takes place outside of Tartu, it is not meant for the islanders only, but rather more for Tartuvians and other mainlanders with special transfers being arranged by the festival. Get to know our own versatile cultures!
• Mon, July 13th at 7 pm St John’s church
Viviana Sofronitsky (3 different fortepianos, Canada / Czech Republic)
The renowned pianist Viviana Sofronitsky is Russian by origin, considers herself Canadian, lives in the Czech Republic and is married to an American piano master Paul McNulty. She will perform three piano sonatas by Beethoven – from the composer’s early, middle and late period – among them, the famous Moonlight Sonata. We are not going to list here the achievements of the soloist, but would rather like to draw attention to the fact that three replicas of historical fortepianos will be brought from Czech Republic to St. John Church in Tartu, the exact copies of the instruments that Beethoven used for composing the afore-mentioned sonatas.
• Tue, July 14th at 7 pm St John’s church
BEETHOVEN – 250
Riivo Kallasmaa (oboe), Dalia Dėdinskaitė (violin, Lithuania), Gleb Pyšniak (cello, Lithuania), Ralf Taal (piano), Ulla Krigul (organ)
Beethoven, Ekimovski (inspired by Beethoven), Liik (premiere, inspired by Beethoven), Beethoven-Vähi
Broadcasting and recording by Classic Radio / ERR
The main work of the concert will be Beethoven’s original chamber version of symphony No. 2. But also modern composers have been inspired by Beethoven… the program includes „Moonlight Sonata“ by a leading Moscow composer, „Hommage à Brillance de Lune“ by Peeter Vähi, and a première by Marianna Liik. All the composers, except the Grand Master, will attend the concert.
• Tue, July 14th at 9.30 pm Antoniuse õu / St Anthony’s square (Lutsu Str 3, Tartu; in co-operation with Festival Orient)
JAPANESE DRUMMING SHOW
Taiko Ensemble (Japan): Yosuke Oda, Hayato Otsuka, Riko Hirata
All performers are former members of ensemble „Kodo“… authenticity, primeval power, theatricality and dazzling costumes…
• Wed, July 15th at 7 pm St John’s church
THE FOUR SEASONS
Kristīne Balanas (violin, Latvia / UK), Džeraldas Bidva (violin, Lithuania), Kremerata Baltica (artistic director Gidon Kremer)
Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Vasks, Vähi
The New York Times, Grammy Award, numerous recordings for Deutsche Grammophon and ECM as well as stage partners like Martha Argerich, Evgeni Kissin, Vadim Repin, Yo-Yo Ma, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Christoph Eschenbach, Kent Nagano, Sir Simon Rattle etc – they all serve as the living proof of Kremerata’s extraordinary artistic level. There are very few prestigious concert halls in the world that have not hosted Kremerata. Their latest performance at Glasperlenspiel took place in 2009.
Pēteris Venckovičs (graphics, photography) “I am Peter, Architect Peter”. July 9th – 25th, Tartu St John’s church
Mirjam Hinn (live painting of music). July 9th – 25th, Tartu St John’s church
Additional concerts in Kuressaare (Saaremaa island) and Viljandi (in co-operation with Viljandi Early Music Festival)
Because of COVID-19, the festival organizers reserve the right to modify the festival’s programme.
Peeter Vähi – artistic director
Taavet – artistic advisor
Tiina Jokinen – executive director
Kadri Kiis – producer, accountant
Meeta Morozov – programme booklet
Mart Kivisild – design
Johannes Vähi – IT, production
Olavi Sööt – logistics
Tarmo Tuvike – marketing
Marje Hansar – social media
The concert tickets and festival passes available from Piletilevi
Special thanks: Tartu City Government, Ministry of Culture of Estonia, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Toyota, Tartu Centre for Creative Industries, volunteers
Previous concerts: • Thu, Feb 27th, 2020 at 7 pm, the White Hall of the House of Blackheads (Pikk Str 26, Tallinn)
SABRE DANCE / Khachaturian Trio (Armenia)
Rachmaninoff, Pärt, Khachaturian, Čiurlionis…
The trio, founded already at the end of the last century, was in 2008 renamed after the Armenian musical legend Aram Khachaturian. Armine Grigoryan (piano), Karen Shahgaldyan (violin) and Karen Kocharyan (cello) are each in their field the best of Armenia as well as very successful in trio. Their tours have taken them to most of the European, Asian and American countries and as far as Australia. The list of festivals and prestigious concert halls is extensive including Vienna Musikverein, Leipzig Gewandhaus and Tokyo Suntory Hall. On February 27th, the Blackheads Hall will be filled with beautiful music, the highlights of the evening being Elegiac trio by Rachmaninoff, Mozart-Adagio by Pärt and Khachaturian Sabre Dance.
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