It is music’s big secret that it demands our soul only, but wholly.
During the festival’s first years in Tartu it could easily be said that Glasperlenspiel opened and closed the city’s summer season. So fragile and careful was the cultural life in Tartu those days that the only escape for its inhabitants was to find whichever other place to enjoy the hottest time of the year. Today, it can be said that Tartu is the hottest location in Estonian culture life and regardless of the season at that. It is ever harder to find a vacant week in Tartu’s calendar for domesticating yet another exciting festival. It still happens, though, as Tartu is a cool place and can accommodate most good ideas.
14 summers in Tartu – within those years the Glasperlenspiel has established itself as a phenomenon of special place and sound having its own aura and high expectations by the audience. It is a living proof that the festival enjoys great success both with the citizens and guests of Tartu alike.
The Glasperelenspiel has a unique face of its own among classical music festivals bringing up positive emotions from the earliest layers of music while initiating contacts and sourcing inspiration from any century or era, blending and intertwining it with our contemporary sounds and colours, literature and art – all that while demanding our soul only. And putting it all through a shaker the result can only be an exulted and spiritually enhanced audience. I have said before and will repeat here again that the Glasperlenspiel builds a kind of musical kingdom in Tartu which on the one hand hides away from the daily urban bustle between the church walls, but one the other hand opens up to the whole wide world and its grateful listeners. The world’s top musicians, orchestras and conductors find their way here and plenty are those that wish to be subjects of that musical kingdom.
Tartu is a city rich in culture: as City of Literature and the European Culture Capital 2024 it is proud to host top events of the world culture. With every passing year, contacts and friends from every corner of the Globe become more important for Tartu. On our path to the European Culture Capital it is encouraging to rely on the renowned festival with strong tradition and hope that the Glasperlenspiel sounds will enrich Tartu for many a year to come. It is my firm belief that during the year of Culture Capital, the Glasperlenspiel will extend into all corners of South Estonia in the the city’s framework of collaboration agreements.
Hereby, I am honored to congratulate Estonian Record Productions on their 20th anniversary and wish them good sounds and rich colours! Stay well and have a great festival in Tartu!
Mayor of Tartu
• Thu, July 8th at 7 pm St John’s church
… one of the most outstanding international European music collectives Kremerata Baltica (artistic director Gidon Kremer). The Kremerata’s extraordinary artistic level is proved by 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.
Kremerata Baltica live. Georgs Pelēcis, Flowering Jasmine, fragment, 3 min 44 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps
• Fri, July 9th at 12.15 pm St John’s church (in co-operation with festival Orient)
Shashwati Mandal (vocal, India)
Shashwati Mandal is a khayal singer from Bhopal, India, whose voice seems to conquer the hearts of the connoisseurs of classical music. Her voice has a clear timbre, perfect for this type of music. A fine exponent of the Gwalior style, Shashwati’s musical dexterity marks a refined eclecticism that has lent her an individual style at a fairly young age. Born into a family devoted to music, Shashwati showed rare sensitivity towards it from early childhood. She is the grand-daughter of late Pandit Balabhau Umdekar, the erudite exponent of the Gwalior style of classical Hindustani music and a court musician of the Gwalior state. Shashwati, initially trained with her mother, the late Smt Kamal Mandal. Later, 1987–1992 she received the national scholarship from the department of culture, Government of India, for learning tappa and khayal from the veteran musician Pandit Balasaheb Poonchwale. A foremost disciple of Balasaheb, Sashwati has acquired under his tutelage an able hold on the subtle complexity of tappa. She also continued to be inspired by her mother whose steady guidance has groomed her into an accomplished performer. Presently, she is a preferred artist for the record company Gundecha Brothers.
Shashwati is an “A” graded artist of AIR – All India Radio – and Doordarshan. She has been nominated for the top ten of the World Songlines Music Awards 2009 by Songlines magazine in the category of “Best newcomer and best artist” for her album Tappa Journey released by Sense World Music, UK. She has also bagged the Top of the World five star review status by the Songlines magazine, UK. Shashwati has two audio CDs released to her credit by Alurkar music, India, and Sense World, UK. She has been awarded the title Surmani by Sur Singar Samsad Mumbai. Shashwati has also conducted workshops with her guru late Pandit Balasaheb and later individually in different parts of the country.
Shashwati Mandal (vocal, tānpūrā), Abhay Phagre (tablā). Rāga Bāgeśrī, fragment, live recording, May 14th, 2011, 6 min 30 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps
• Fri, July 9th at 7 pm St John’s church
Estonian National Male Choir, Mikk Üleoja (conductor)
• Fri, July 9th at 10 pm St John’s church (in co-operation with festival Orient)
EAST MEETS WEST
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 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 10th at 7 pm St John’s church
Maya Amir (mezzo soprano), Barrocade – the Israeli Baroque Orchestra, Andres Mustonen (conductor)
Corelli, Vivaldi, Handel
Andres Mustonen is an outstanding Estonian conductor and violinist who has worked with leading orchestras of Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Latvia and Lithuania. His repertoire spans from early music to works of new music with a special emphasis on performing religious masterpieces. In 1972 Mustonen founded the early music consort Hortus Musicus which is still actively performing across the world. He has also conducted and directed several concert series and festivals like MustonenFest. Mustonen has many rewards: Estonian State Cultural Award, Estonian Radio Musician of the Year, IV Class Order of the White Star, the Prize of Estonian Music Council, a gold medal from the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Armenia.
• Sat, July 10th at 10 pm St John’s church
LA DIVINA COMMEDIA – dedicated to the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death
Concert curator – Marius Peterson
• Sun, July 11th (to be announced later)
• Sun, July 11th at 10 pm St John’s church
Peep Lassmann (piano)
• Mon, July 12th at 7 pm St John’s church
Ivari Ilja (piano)
Chopin, Tubin, Vähi (première), Kõrvits
• Mon, July 12th at 10 pm St John’s church
MASS OF MARY
Collegium Musicale & Maria Faust Band, Endrik Üksvärav (conductor)
Collegium Musicale. Maria Faust. Maarja Missa (Mass of Mary), fragment, 3 min 21 sec, mp3, 256 Kbps
• Tue, July 13th at 7 pm St John’s church
Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, Andres Kaljuste (conductor)
Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta (concertmaster Arvo Leibur) was born within the festival in 2008. The repertoire of the collective spans from Bach to Pärt and Piazzolla, from classical masterpieces to cross-over projects. Sinfonietta has performed in the most famous concert venues of the world and given concerts almost everywhere in Europe, South America, Russia, Iran and other countries. The orchestra has also participated in numerous international and domestic music festivals. The Sinfonietta members share a common belief that centuries’ old music still lives and breathes today, bringing joy and pleasure to the audience, and can invigorate souls and minds regardless of style.
Detailed programme will be announced on March 31st, 2021. Due to travel restrictions caused by a coronavirus pandemic, the organizers reserve the right to make changes to the festival programme.
Art exhibitions : July 8th–31st St John’s church
Paintings by Nicolas Roerich (reproductions) – in co-operation with the International Center of the Roerichs and Estonian Roerich Society
Live-paintings by Tarrvi Laamann
Master classes of Indian classical music with Shashwati Mandal
Peeter Vähi – artistic director
Taavet – artistic adviser
Tiina Jokinen – executive director
Kadri Kiis – producer, accountant
Kaidi Ugandi – manager of Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta
Meeta Morozov – musicologist, editor of festival booklet
Olavi Sööt – co-producer, video, logistics
Mart Kivisild – design
Tarmo Tuvike – marketing director, PR
Johannes Vähi – co-producer, webmaster, logistics
Marje Hansar – social media
Special thanks: Tartu City Government, Urmas Klaas, Ministry of Culture of Estonia, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Toyota, Tartu St John’s church, Juhani Jaeger, Triin Käpp, Jana Raud, Eduard Kramp, Jelena Aleksandrova, Tartu Heino Eller Music College, Kadri Leivategija, Kaupo Kiis, Kristel Leppik, Maara Parhomenko, volunteers
Next festival: July 7th–12th, 2022