The novel that gave our festival its name was published eight decades ago. The year then was 1943. The book was published in Switzerland, as Germany refused its publication, because of the anti-Nazi views of Hesse. Times in Europe were more than difficult, but in some ways parallels can be drawn with the present day. The situation of that time was reflected vividly in the music of Dmitri Shostakovich, while the focus on the world’s classical music scene this year, has risen on to the works of the Ukrainian composer Valentyn Sylvestrov, who is represented at the Glasperlenspiel by two pieces.
The aforementioned does not sound too promising, yet the general tone of Glasperlenspiel 2023 is far from morbid, quite the opposite. The tone is sparkling music, full of affirmation of life and joy – from composers such as Vivaldi, Haydn, Mozart… The motto of this year’s music festival is perhaps even best expressed by a quote from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: „The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between“. And thus as the artistic director of the festival, I would recommend listening and enjoying the notes, but try also to capture the True Music in the pauses between the notes!
Peeter Vähi, artistic director
The Dichterliebe song cycle might be Robert Schumann’s most celebrated cycle of Lieder and, following Franz Schubert’s earlier cycles Die Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise, constitutes part of the central core of the genre in musical literature. Based on German poet Heinrich Heine’s Lyrisches Intermezzo, a 65-poems spanning collection first published in 1823, Dichterliebe in a way even represents the epitome of romantic poetry set to music. Both, Heine and Schumann, were progressive spirits who bent genres and rewrote the rules of their crafts. Therefore, it only seems right that Estonia-born pianist Kristjan Randalu, a forward- thinking mind in today’s contemporary music world, would do his part in bending genres by tackling this song cycle and updating its structure and vocabulary with the language of the 21st century.
Schumann/Randalu, Dichterliebe, fragment, 2 min 8 sec, MP3
● Sun, April 2nd at 5 pm in Kaarli kirik (Charles’ Church), address Toompuiestee 4, Tallinn
PALM SUNDAY CONCERT: Johann Sebastian Bach − ST JOHN PASSION
Anto Õnnis (tenor), Maria Listra (soprano), Annely Leinberg (mezzo soprano), Tõnis kaumann (baritone), Alvar Tiisler (bass), 300-member All-Estonian Choral Choir, Collegium Musicale, Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, conductor Endrik Üksvärav
Bach composed his St John passion during his second year in Leipzig, in 1724. As the freshly appointed cantor of the St Thomas church and therefore also the music director for the four churches of Leipzig, Bach probably felt the need to prove himself in this new situation. After all, he was far from first choice for the position − one official of the city council even remarked that, in lieu of the best man, they would have to make do with a mediocrity. With the St John passion, Bach was surely able to surpass these doubts, as the piece was the most extensive he had written so far.
Bach repeatedly returned to the piece, revising it three times: in 1725, 1732 and 1749. This clearly shows how much value Bach placed on the work. Nowadays, the original work of 1724 is the most often performed version.
Bach. St John Passion, fragment; Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta and conductor Andres Mustonen; 3 min 35 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps
● Thu, June 22nd at 9 pm in Triigi Philharmonic, Saaremaa island
MASS OF MARY
Collegium Musicale & Maria Faust Band, Endrik Üksvärav (conductor)
Maria Faust, Cyrillus Kreek
Maria Faust’s Mass of Mary (2020/2022) combines the musical influences of medieval music, jazz, sonoristic contemporary music, as well as the older Estonian folk tunes. In itself, it is characteristic of today’s postmodern sense of art that the „new” can often also be a rethinking of the old, time-tested values of musical art, manifested in the contemporary musical context. This is how the transcendent connection between today’s soundscape and the music world of centuries ago could sound like.
Since Mass of Mary is dedicated to victims of domestic violence, the composer has used in her work not only the liturgical Mass text, but also the esteemed playwright Eero Epner’s compilation of samples from texts by Karl Ristikivi and other poets. They give the traditional Mass text in certain parts (Mother, Child, Holy Spirit, and Finale) a more intimate, additional meaning referring to the fragility of family relationships regarding victims of domestic violence.
The sound language of Mass of Mary is relatively experimental in the sense that musical stylistic references alternate quite quickly here. Thus, bright and gentle musical motifs in the female voices of the choir can immediately switch to the jazz-like theme development of the instrumental ensemble (Gloria), and the laconicity, similar to the motifs of the Middle Ages, can be transformed into the artistic „barking” of the male voices of the choir and the mellow whispers of the female voices (Sanctus/Benedictus).
● Thu, July 6th at 7 pm St John’s church
TWILIGHT OF THE SENSES
Marcel Johannes Kits (cello), Maarika Järvi (flute), Ingely Laiv-Järvi (oboe), Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta (concert master Arvo Leibur), conductor Neeme Järvi
Kristjan Järvi (première), Joseph Haydn, Gustav Holst
The opening concert of the Glasperlenspiel will host the absolute top cadre of Estonian music, who have introduced and promoted their national music culture all over the world. Marcel Johannes Kits, the soloist in Haydn’s famous cello concerto, belongs to the most promising cellists of his generation. His high artistic level is proved by the 3rd prize at the very prestigious Queen Elisabeth competition (2022) and prizes at many other international competitions. Among the last concerts of Kits, there have been performances with the Belgian National Orchestra, the Estonian Festival Orchestra and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. The Järvi dynasty, the world’s most famous family of musicians of Estonian origin, is represented at the concert in every way – under the baton of Maestro Neeme Järvi, Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta premieres a brand new piece by Kristjan Järvi; members of the dynasty can also be heard in the role of soloist and orchestra player. In addition to Kristjan Järvi’s new composition, one of the evening’s higlights is undoubtedly Haydn’s legendary Farewell Symphony with its spectacular ending adding theatricality to the splendor programme.
Marcel Johannes Kits is one of the most promising young cellists of his generation, having won the 3rd prize at the Queen Elisabeth cello competition and 1st prize at the George Enescu competition in Romania. His most recent concerto highlights are a tour in Belgium with the Belgian National Orchestra, tour in Estonia and South Korea with the Estonian Festival Orchestra under conductor Paavo Järvi and performing Elgar concerto with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra under Antoni Wit.
Kits has performed as soloist with many orchestras such as the Brussels Philharmonic, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Latvian National SO, Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Kymi Sinfonietta, Jyväskylä Sinfonia, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, Jena Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel SO Rishon LeZion, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, etc., and has worked with conductors such as Stéphane Denève, Vahan Mardirossian, Vassily Sinaisky, Olari Elts, Andres Mustonen, Risto Joost, Gintaras Rinkevičius, Tõnu Kaljuste and others.
He has given recitals in China and Japan and performed at venues such as Bozar and Flagey in Brussels, the grand hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonia, Moscow Conservatory, grand hall of Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, grand hall of Konzerthaus Berlin, Berliner Philharmonie, Boulez Saal, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Prinzregententheater München, Romanian Athenaeum, Tel Aviv Opera House and Jerusalem Theatre. Being passionate about chamber music, he has played from the age of 9 in the piano trio Trio ‘95 with Robert Traksmann (violin) and Rasmus Andreas Raide (piano).
Marcel has studied with Laine Leichter and Mart Laas in Tallinn Music High School. From 2014, he studied with Prof Francis Gouton at Trossingen University of Music and since 2018, he is continuing his studies at the Berlin University of the Arts with Prof Jens Peter Maintz. Kits receives a scholarship from the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein and participates regularly in the intensive music weeks and activities offered by the Academy. He is supported by Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben, Cultural Endowment of Estonia and Association of Estonian Professional Musicians, which awarded him the “Musician of the year” prize in 2019. Marcel plays an Italian cello made by Francesco Ruggeri (Cremona, 1674) and a bow made by Victor Fetique, both kindly on loan to him by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.
Maarika Järvi has worked as principal flautist in three Spanish orchestras and has collaborated as a soloist with many renowned ensembles, such as the NDR and WDR Symphony Orchestras in Germany, New Jersey Symphony, Japan Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Mariinsky Theater Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, various orchestras in Spain and Estonia and also with orchestras in Canada, Turkey and Serbia. For several years, the duo Martinika (bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann as a partner), as well as the flute duo MoMa with flutist Monika Mattiesen, were active. Maarika has premiered numerous pieces by the Estonian composers. Most recently, she premiered a piece Triple concerto for two flutes and bassoon with orchestra by Mari Vihmand at the Pärnu Music Festival in 2022, a concerto for two flutes by Jüri Reinvere at the Pärnu Music Festival in 2016 and Reminiscences of Youth by Peeter Vähi in 2015. She has recorded numerous Estonian concertos; two concertos written for her were released under the title Celestials. Other CDs such as Musica Triste and Somnium Boreale are all dedicated to new Estonian works. As a chamber musician she has recorded for Chandos, ASV and CCn’C in different ensembles. The CD Méditations for Chandos Records features flute, viola and harp.
Maarika Järvi currently lives in Switzerland, where she is the artistic director of the flute ensemble Post Tenebras Flûtes and also the president of the Swiss Flute Association.
Ingely Laiv-Järvi has studied in the oboe class of Prof Thomas Indermühle at the Karlsruhe University of Music in Germany and has improved her skills in the master classes of Christoph Hartmann, Jacques Tys, Philippe Tondre, Christian Schmitt, Kalev Kuljus, Eduard Brunner, Nick Deutsch, Gregor Witt and Dudu Carmel. She has received prizes at several competitions, including 1st prize and two special prizes at the competition of Estonian wind instrument players (2018), 2nd prize at the TV competition “Classical Stars” (2018), laureate at the chamber music competition “In corpore” (2015) and 1st prize at the Eduard Mednis competition (2011).
Ingely Laiv-Järvi has been a soloist and member of several orchestras, such Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe Chamber Orchestra, Estonian Festival Orchestra, JSB Ensemble in Stuttgart, Absolute Ensemble and Baltic Sea Philharmonic. She currently works as the principal oboist of the Estonian National Opera and is active as a chamber musician.
● Fri, July 7th 12 at noon St John’s church (free entrance)
NOON MUSIC HOUR – Recordings versus live
Micro-concert of handbell ensemble Arsis Piccolo, interesting flashes of ideas by Maestro Neeme Järvi and Maarika Järvi, signature hour, surprises, gifts.
Opening of Peeter Vähi‘s photo exhibition Masterpieces of Nature: pics from Antarctica, America, Africa, Greenland, Asia…
Live recording: Neeme Järvi, Beethoven’s Symphony No 4, fragment, 3 min 35 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps
● Fri, July 7th at 7 pm St John’s church
UPSTREAM: PRINCE ANDRÉ VOLKONSKY – 90
Alexei Lubimov (piano, Austria), Helen Lokuta (mezzo soprano), Prezioso, Peeter Volkonski
André Volkonsky, Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert, Valentyn Sylvestrov, Arvo Pärt
The festival’s second concert pays tribute to dissidents, to those who have dared to swim upstream. The Russian state regime – especially relevant in the current circumstances – has given birth to a large number of freethinkers, several of whom have also been connected to Estonia. The concert is dedicated to composer prince André Volkonsky, the father of Estonian musician, actor and director Peeter Volkonski, who in addition to composing was an outstanding harpsichord player and connoisseur of early music. The audience has an extraordinary opportunity to become a part of Volkonsky’s musical heritage as well as his thoughts on music, presented by his son Peeter Volkonski. The main performer of the evening is world-famous pianist Alexei Lubimov, currently residing in France, who has been forced to leave his homeland years ago. The works of like-minded contemporaries Arvo Pärt and Valentyn Sylvestrov, included in the program, also fit exceptionally well into dissident context.
Volkonsky’s Was noch lebt… (‘That which is still alive…‘) is one of the composer’s most sophisticated lyrical utterances, and was inspired by the poetry of Johannes Bobrowski. This seemingly simple, though actually highly complex piece is in fact a dodecaphonic work. However, Volkonsky’s mastery is so great and his music so delicate and intense that one does not notice the kind of compositional technique he has chosen to employ.
Arvo Pärt. Für Alina. 2 min 8 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps
Alexei Lubimov is a world famous pianist, fortepiano player and harpsichordist. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied with Heinrich Neuhaus and Lew Naumov. Lubimov developed a strong interest in Baroque music and 20th century modernist works and gave the Soviet premieres of many western compositions, including pieces by Charles Ives, Arnold Schoenberg, John Cage, Terry Riley, Pierre Boulez, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, which brought censorship from the Soviet authorities. For a number of years he was prevented from traveling outside the Soviet Union. Turning to his interest in period instruments and authentic performance practices, he founded the Moscow Baroque Quartet and co-founded the Moscow Chamber Academy with Tatiana Grindenko. Lubimov also organized the avant-garde music festival Alternativa.
Much in demand as a soloist since the 1980s, Lubimov has performed with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the London Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, and the Budapest Festival Orchestra, to name a few. He has collaborated with many conductors, among them Vladimir Ashkenazy, Christopher Hogwood, Neeme Järvi, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Roger Norrington, Marek Janowski, Iván Fischer, Kent Nagano, and Frans Brüggen. He has performed with Andreas Staier in piano duet, played chamber music with Natalia Gutman, Heinrich Schiff, Christian Tetzlaff, Gidon Kremer, and Wieland Kuijken, and accompanied tenor Peter Schreier, etc.
Helen Lokuta, a well-known Estonian opera singer, graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music under the supervision of Pille Lille and Prof Tamara Novichenko in 2002 and obtained her master’s degree with Jaakko Ryhänen in 2014. In addition, she has also studied at the Karlsruhe University of Music and at the Karlsruhe Academy of Opera with Prof Maria Venuti. Since 2006, Helen Lokuta has been a soloist of the Estonian National Opera. She has received the honorable title of Young Musician of the Year in 2015, the Estonian Theater Union’s annual award in 2007 and the Estonian Cultural Foundation’s sound arts endowment annual award in 2007 for creating important stage roles. She has also been the laureate of the SEB Audience Award in 2011, 2015 and 2019. In addition to numerous roles in Estonian National Opera (over 40 opera roles, over 20 oratorios), Lokuta has participated as a soloist in the performance of several vocal symphonic works, participated in Nargen Opera projects and performed as a solo singer abroad, including Israel, the USA, Canada and many European countries. Among others, Lokuta has collaborated with Eri Klas, Tõnu Kaljuste, Johannes Somary, Andres Mustonen, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra.
● Fri, July 7th at 10 pm St John’s church
PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION
Johan Randvere (piano, comments), Anna Litvinova (sand painting)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Modest Mussorgsky, Heino Eller
Modest Mussorgsky’s immortal piano cycle Pictures at an Exhibition has inspired countless composers and performers and laid foundation for numerous arrangements and adaptations. At this year’s Glasperlenspiel, Mussorgsky’s colorful music performed by brilliant pianist Johan Randvere will be seen in a new way through the enchanting sand paintings created on the spot by artist Anna Litvinova. In this way, history repeats itself in an inverted form – if Mussorgsky was inspired by Viktor Hartmann’s paintings while composing, now Litvinova’s sand paintings are based on Randvere’s playing. The meeting of visual art and music fits also into the Glasperlenspiel’s main concept of combining different art forms.
Johan Randvere, one of the brightest Estonian pianists of his generation, has performed in various ensembles on world-famous stages such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Chan Center in Vancouver, Puccini Hall in Milan and others. He has been a soloist in front of many orchestras, including the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra under the baton of conductors Risto Joost, Sasha Mäkilä, Grigori Soroka, Mihhail Gerts and others. Randvere has been awarded with numerous prizes, including 1st place and special prize at the international competition Klaviermusik in Vilnius (2008), 2nd prize at the EPTA (European Piano Teachers Association) competition in Belgium (2010), 1st prize and Grand Prix at the Young Musicians’ Competition in Catania (2012), 3rd prize at the competition Luciano Luciani (2013), 2nd prize at the piano competition Coop (2013), 1st prize and Grand Prix at the Andrea Baldi international piano competition (2014), audience award and Holland Music Sessions special award as part of Con Brio Trio at the competition Con Brio 2010, finalist of the Estonian TV competition Classical Stars (2013), and 2nd prize at the Estonian pianists competition (2014).
Johan Randvere obtained his master’s degree in 2016 at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre under the guidance of Prof Ivari Ilja. He has also studied at the Giuseppe Verdi conservatory in Milan from 2012 to 2015 with Prof Valerio Premuroso. He has participated in master classes by Andrei Gavrilov, Ronan O’Hara, Rolf Plagge, Hui-Ying Liu-Tawastsjerna, Julian Martin and Frederic Rzevski. Currently, Randvere is a PhD student at EAMT. He is also a member of the Estonian Piano Orchestra and sings in the early music ensemble Heinavanker.
Anna Litvinova graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts in 1998 majoring in fine art and painting. She also studied at the Danish University on Samsö Island. Beside Estonia, she has worked for some time in New York, San Francisco and Morocco. Since 1993, Litvinova’s works have been exhibited in many galleries in both group and individual exhibitions. Two of her paintings from the Dance of Life collection have been bought for the permanent exhibition by the Estonian Art Museum. Her works can be found in private collections in Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA. As an artist, Litvinova is sensitive to colors and creates a colorful and exciting world on blank canvases with her bold brushstrokes, be it landscapes or human figures. In addition to her paintings, Litvinova is well-known for her attractive album cover designs (Scroll Over Beethoven, Hommage à brillance de Lune etc).
● Sat, July 8th at 7 pm St John’s church, Tartu
● Sun, July 9th at 5 pm Viljandi Baptist church (in cooperation with Viljandi Early Music Festival)
Kremerata Baltica, Rémi Boucher (guitar, Canada)
Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, Mauro Giuliani, György Ligeti
The prestigious orchestra of the Baltic countries Kremerata Baltica, which celebrated great anniversaries last year, will once again delight the audience of the Glasperlenspiel with its splendid performance and meaningful program. This time, Kremerata collaborates with the world-famous Canadian guitar virtuoso Rémi Boucher, whose technical mastery and distinctive playing style, as well as innovative thinking, expands the guitar’s expressive possibilities. Boucher has won all major international guitar competitions in less than two years; he has commissioned new works for guitar and has given recitals and performed as soloist with symphony orchestras around the world. The brilliant works of Baroque era’s masters Bach and Vivaldi are in the concert program alongside with the music by Mauro Giuliani, the leading guitar virtuoso of the 19th century, and the compositions by one of the best-known representatives of avant-garde music György Ligeti.
● Sun, July 9th at 3 pm “Autovabaduse” (‘Car-free’) Avenue (in collaboration with the City of Tartu and Tiigi Seltsimaja, free entrance)
Vocal ensemble Estonian Voices
HOPE NEVER DIES
Tõnu Kõrvits (première), folk songs, Kadri Voorand
For the third year in a row, Glasperlenspiel Festival pushes the boundaries of style as part of the Autovabaduse (‘Car-free’) Avenue concert series. Last year, country band Kukerpillid performed the works of classical composers (Tüür, Aints, Grünberg, Kõrvits, Vähi), this year classics, folk and jazz will come together on the open-air stage, and the best-known hits of Estonian Voices will certainly not be missed. The work by Tõnu Kõrvits, commissioned by Glasperlenspiel Festival is still oven fresh, and its title refers to the performance venue. The composer himself has said about his work: “Street Etudes. Roads and streets, gardens and parks, paths and groves of trees. They are all full of voices and secrets. And they all sing their own song to us. You just have to listen.”
Estonian Voices has been called one of the most unique sounding vocal ensembles from Estonia. The repertoire of the experimental sextet includes jazz, classical music, folk, and also original compositions. Ensemble’s first album Ole hea (Be Kind) was awarded the title of the Best Jazz Album of the year at the Estonian Music Awards in 2015. The following year, Estonian Voices was chosen as the Best Jazz Artist of the year. In 2018, the ensemble’s second album, Taat läks lolliks (An Old Man Lost His Marbles), was released. Estonian Voices has given concerts in Germany, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and China and collaborated with Estonian Dream Big Band, jazz vocalist Datevik Hovanesian and also with Britt Quentin. The ensemble has also been one of the main performers at the London A Cappella Festival.
The ensemble consists of Kadri Voorand (alto), Mikk Dede (tenor), Mirjam Dede (soprano), Maria Väli (soprano), Rasmus Erismaa (baritone) and Aare Külama (bass).
● Sat, July 8th at 7 pm Viljandi Baptist church (in cooperation with Viljandi Early Music Festival)
● Sun, July 9th at 7 pm St John’s church, Tartu
DOMINE JESU CHRISTE
17th Century Church Music from Baltic Area
Kajsa Dahlbäck (soprano, Finland), Helsinki Baroque Ensemble
Dietrich Becker, Dietrich Buxtehude, Johann Velentin Meder, Anonymous, Christian Ritter, Johann Philipp Förtsch, Samuel Friedrich Capricornus, Nathanael Schnittelbach
Domine Jesu Christe
magnam bonitate tua
confisus accedo aeger ad te
Esuriens et sitiens ad fontem vivum
egenus ad Regem coeli
accedo servus ad Dominum
creatura ad creatorem
desolatus ad te pium, consolatorem.
Venio Jesu dulcis confiteor,
agnosco bonitatem tuam.
Obliviscere iniquitatis mear,
recordare benignitatis tuae.
Et satiat animam meam
ne unquam esuriat et sitiat.
For twenty years, the prominent Finnish ensemble Helsinki Baroque has captivated audiences with their potent combination of emotional eloquence and infectious vitality. Their programmes frequently include first modern performances of unpublished or reconstructed masterpieces, and also shed unexpected and often provocative light on more familiar works. Orchestra’s music-making has contributed to its reputation as a major exponent of German and Baltic music. At Finland, groundbreaking productions of Monteverdi, Handel, Hasse, Koželuch, and Schubert operas have earned the orchestra wide recognition. Since 2011, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra’s monthly series at the Helsinki Musiikkitalo with visionary selection of repertoire and guest artists has ignited the audience in an unprecedented way, and in the process catalysed early music’s elevation to something of a cult status in Finland. Helsinki Baroque’s sound has enthralled listeners from the Cologne Philharmonie to Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and at major festivals such as Bergen, Bremen, Rheingau, and Jerusalem. Its recurring soloists and guest directors include Max Emanuel Cenčić, Franco Fagioli, Reinhard Goebel, Werner Güra, Erich Höbarth, René Jacobs, Julia Lezhneva, Riccardo Minasi, Enrico Onofri, Sonia Prina, Valer Sabadus, Carolyn Sampson, Skip Sempé, and Dmitry Sinkovsky. At the Glasperlenspiel, Helsinki Baroque is represented by four players: Aira Maria Lehtipuu (violin), Heidi Peltoniemi (viola da gamba), Eero Palviainen (lute) and Aapo Häkkinen (harpsichord, ogan, artistic director).
Finnish soprano Kajsa Dahlbäck is an experienced performer of early, classical and also contemporary music. She has been a soloist in front of many orchestras, including the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra and the Finnish Baroque Orchestra, and performed at such festivals as Bolzano Festival (Italy), Musica Antiqua (Brazil), Brezice Festival (Slovenia), Kirkko Soikoon! festival, Helsinki Festival and Vantaa Baroque festival. Dahlbäck’s repertoire is wide, including Monteverdi, Bach and Handel as well as works by contemporary Finnish composers Kimmo Hakola and Kaija Saariaho. In 2015, she made her debut at the Finnish National Opera in Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppaea. Her stage roles include Silvia (L’isola disabitata by Haydn), Morgana (Alcina by Handel), Damon (Acis and Galatea by Handel) and Valencienne (The Merry Widow by Lehár).
Since 2013, Dahlbäck has been the artistic director of the early music festival Vaasa Baroque, and since 2016, she has led the early music ensemble Earthly Angels. Her debut album together with the Argo ensemble Canta la serenissima (2013) received high international recognition. Earthly Angels has recorded two albums: Earthly Angels (2018), which was chosen as album of the year by Finnish radio YLE, and La Rêveuse (2021, Alba Records).
Kajsa Dahlbäck graduated with honors from the Sibelius Academy in church music in 2005 and got her doctoral degree in creative research in 2020. Among her most important teachers are Susanna Eken, Tom Krause and Emma Kirkby. In 2022, the singer received the Svenska Folkskolans Vänner cultural award for outstanding creative activity and promotion of early music in Finland. In 2023, her activities will be supported by TAIKE (The Arts Promotion Center Finland). Dahlbäck teaches classical and baroque singing at Novia University of Applied Sciences.
● Mon, July 10th at 7 pm St John’s church
Albin Paulus (Jew’s harp, “Billy goat horn”), Christoph Angerer (viola d’amore), Peter Frisée (harpsichord), Concilium musicum Wien (Austria)
Joseph Haydn, Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, Georg Wilhelm Weißmann
The joint concert of an outstanding Austrian ensemble Concilium musicum Wien and the virtuoso of Jew’s harp Albin Paulus is anything but ordinary and boring. The lively program brings to the audience works of classical music for unexpectedly humorous instrument combinations. For example, one can hear a concerto written for the Jew’s harp by the Austrian composer Johann Georg Albrechtsberger.
Albin Paulus is an internationally acclaimed Jew’s harp world virtuoso, bagpipe player, experimental yodeller, voice acrobat, composer and pun writer, a musician full of fun and charm in his live performances, both in his music and his personality. Paulus, born in Germany with Austrian roots, has been playing the Jew’s harp and yodeling since early childhood. He was the first to record all Jew’s harp concerts by Johann Georg Albrechtsberger. His concert and teaching activities have taken him all over Europe as well as to Asia, North Africa and America. Albin Paulus plays in numerous ensembles, such as Schikaneder’s Youth, Ensemble Baroque de Limoges (F), Musica Romana, Clemencic Consort, Concilium musicum Wien and in theatre productions. In 2019, Paulus released his widely noticed solo album Pur.
Christoph Angerer, one of the founders of the ensemble Concilium musicum Wien, is an outstanding violin, viola and viola d’amore player. Angerer graduated from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna majoring in viola (1988) and taught viola d’amore at the same school in 1993–2012. From 1985 to 1991, he played regularly at the Vienna State Opera. Angerer frequently performs at various concerts both with Concilium musicum Wien and in other ensembles. He has recorded numerous records and also played music on radio and television. Angerer has had long-term cooperation with Yamaha Europe (1999–2011) and since 1991 he has been managing the work of the international music agency Kultur-Management Wien, which he founded.
Peter Frisée, an organist and harpsichordist from Graz, is a versatile performer whose repertoire includes both early music and contemporary works. He has won first places in several international competitions and has performed in Austria, Hungary, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Czech Republic and Poland. Since 2008, Frisée has been the artistic director and leader of the organ festival Basilika Mariatrost (Graz), as well as the Das Orgelfest and Kultur im Prater festivals. In 2009, he founded the “Barock im Prater” concert series in Vienna, which focused on historical instruments. Frisée graduated with honors from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz under the supervision of Ernst Triebel, and also studied under Michael Kapsner and Roman Summereder. He has also participated in the master classes of such musicians as Gerhard Gnann, Peter Planyavsky, Rupert Gottfried Frieberger, Wolfgang Zerer, Konstantin Reymaier, Michael Radulescu, Christoph Bossert, Ben van Oosten and Olivier Latry. In the ensemble Concilium musicum Wien, in addition to the role of organist, Frisée also performs the duties of harpsichordist and manager.
The Austrian ensemble Concilium musicum Wien was founded in 1982 by Paul and Christoph Angerer, father and son who wanted to perform the works of the 18th century in the manner of the time they were created. In order to do that, valuable period instruments were used and the historical context was thoroughly studied. Over the time, the ensemble’s repertoire has expanded in two directions: both baroque works and 19th century dance music have found place in its programmes. The particular attention has been drawn to rediscovery of forgotten composers and introduction of unknown works. Concilium musicum Wien has played almost all over the world, performing in cities, fortresses, monasteries and churches and participating in numerous international festivals. Notable events include the world premiere of Willibald Gluck’s opera La Corona; the premiere of Joseph Haydn’s oratorio The Seven Last Words of the Redeemer on the Cross at the place of its original premiere, Cadiz; the first recording of Haydn’s sonata Applause, the performance of the oratorio The Prodigal Son by Gregor Joseph Werner on the occasion of his 300th birthday; a five-week concert tour in China and SouthEast Asia; performances at the Mozart festivals in Würzburg and Chemnitz; Musical Cruises on the rivers Danube, Elbe and Vltava and many other projects. It is worth mentioning that Concilium musicum Wien was the first European ensemble to give concerts in Libya. The ensemble’s high-level performance art has been captured on several CDs, radio recordings and TV productions. Mozart Society and the City of Vienna has awarded the collective with the Mozart Interpretation Prize Flötenuhr for the recording of Mozart’s church sonatas.
● Mon, July 10th at 10 pm St John’s church
● Wed, July 12th at 7 pm, Jämaja Trinity church, Kingdom of Torgu, Saaremaa island
INSPIRED BY VIENNA
Elisabeth Plank (harp, Austria)
Louis Spohr, Alfred Zamara, Gustav Mahler, Annamaria Kowalsky (première), Margareta Ferek-Petric, Elias Parish-Alvars
If someone looks for the musical capital of Europe, Vienna is undoubtedly worthy of the title – a city that has been home and place for composition of countless great figures, from Mozart and Beethoven to Mahler and Schoenberg. In addition to these most well-known names, there are many others in the list of Viennese composers whose valuable music is waiting to be discovered. Thus the program of this concert is centered around the composers who worked and are working in Vienna in different times and their solo music created for a rather unusual instrument. Among them, a new work by the young composer Annamaria Kowalsky, the first scholarship holder of the Arvo Pärt Centre’s residency programme, will be premiered. Harp solo concerts are not frequent events, but Austria’s rising classical music star, the young harpist Elisabeth Plank, convincingly proves the soloist potential and versatile possibilities of this instrument. Plank is the first harpist in history who was selected as an ambassador for the New Austrian Sound of Music program for 2023–2024.
Elias Parish-Alvars, Elisabeth Plank, fragment, 1 min 58 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps
Elisabeth Plank, a well-known Austrian harpist, combines contrasts into a homogenous, brilliant sound experience in her one-of-a-kind performances. Plank has established herself as an internationally sought-after soloist and ambassador for her instrument. She presents the harp as a versatile and exciting instrument: rich in colors and textures, with its unusual repertoire and a broad stylistic spectrum. Plank’s ambition to sharpen and broaden the harp’s profile has added musical rediscoveries and new compositions dedicated to her to the harp’s repertoire, as well as many world premiere recordings. It is her ambition to redefine the harp’s repertoire, by performing and recording newly rediscovered pieces from the past, as well as collaborating with contemporary composers. Additionally she is an advocate of the historical double action harp. Her own arrangements have been published by Universal Edition and others.
As a recitalist or as a soloist with orchestra, Elisabeth Plank has performed in renowned concert halls and festivals in Europe, Japan and Latin America, such as Musikverein Wien, Wiener Konzerthaus, Harpa Reykjavík, Konzerthaus Berlin, Grafenegg and NOSPR, as well as international festivals like MDR Musiksommer, moselmusikfestival, Bogotá International Music Festival and Festival de Música de Morelia Mexico. The harpist performs with orchestras such as ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, Barockensemble der Wiener Symphoniker, Wiener KammerOrchester, NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra, Iasi Philharmonic Orchestra and Thüringer Symphoniker.
Elisabeth Plank is a prizewinner of numerous international competitions and was honored with the Young Celebrity Master award of HarpMasters. From 2019 to 2021, Elisabeth Plank has been artist-in-residence of Wiener Konzerthaus as part of the Great Talent series. Besides being an selected artist for Classical Futures Europe, Elisabeth Plank has been chosen as musical ambassador for the New Austrian Sound of Music for 2023 and 2024 as first harpist ever. Elisabeth Planks versatility also shows in her discography: L‘arpa notturna, 1825 – Echoes of Vienna on Historical Harp and musings. In 2023, she recorded Mozart’s double concerto with ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien under the baton of Howard Griffiths for Alpha Classics.
Elisabeth Plank was born in Vienna in 1991, and had her first lesson at the age of seven. She studied at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna under the tuition of Adelheid Blovsky-Miller and Mirjam Schröder. In further studies she worked with Fabrice Pierre in Brescia. The harpist teaches as a lecturer at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and at international masterclasses and workshops, and is founder and artistic director of Vienna Harp Days.
● Tue, July 11th at 7 pm St John’s church
Giunter Percussion (Lithuania), Džeraldas Bidva (violin, Lithuania), Tadas Motiečius (accordion, Lithuania) Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, conductor Modestas Pitrėnas
Georges Bizet / Rodion Shchedrin, Vidmantas Bartulis
The Glasperlenspiel ends with an energetic and passionate finale centered around Bizet’s legendary opera Carmen and the music from Shchedrin’s ballet Carmen Suite, inspired by it. The piece that was dedicated to Shchedrin’s wife, world-known ballet dancer Maya Plisetskaya, became the composer’s most famous work. At the final concert, the rich sound world of Shchedrin’s music as well as pieces by Lithuanian and Latvian composers will be performed by the best Lithuanian ensembles and artists.
Giunter Percussion: Pavel Giunter, Tomas Kulikauskas, Sigitas Gailius, Andrius Rekašius, Robertas Vilčinskas.
The ensemble was founded by Pavel Giunter in 1995, being the first Lithuanian percussion group of its kind. During its almost 30 years of activity, the ensemble has achieved recognition both at home and abroad. The quartet’s extensive repertoire includes classical and contemporary works, as well as folk, pop and jazz music. Several contemporary Lithuanian composers have dedicated works to the ensemble, including Linas Rimša. Giunter Percussion has collaborated with Petras Vyšniauskas, Leonidas Šinkarenka, Frédéric Macarezi (France), Linda Maxey (USA), Michael Udow (USA), Nebojša Živković (Germany) and others. The ensemble has also participated in festivals in Poland, Latvia, Denmark, Russia and other countries. The members of the ensemble are Sigitas Gailius, Tomas Kulikauskas, Viktoras Mogilo-Žano and Pavel Giunter.
Džeraldas Bidva is a concertmaster of Kremerata Baltica, playing in the chamber orchestra since its foundation in 1997. Bidva has studied at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and the Paris Conservatory. He has taken part in many prestigious festivals, including Lockenhaus, Gstaad, Maerze, Les Museiques and Salzburg festivals, and collaborated with prominent musicians such as Oleg Maisenberg, Yuri Bashmet, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Gidon Kremer and others. The violinist also plays solo regularly in front of the Lithuanian Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. In 2005, Bidva formed the Kremeratini string quartet with colleagues from Kremerata Baltica.
Tadas Motiečius, the brightest accordionist of the younger generation of Lithuania, has performed at many European concert stages and festivals and participates in numerous international projects. The accordionist has won, among others, the Queen Morta Prize and has been the laureate of more than thirty competitions in Lithuania and elsewhere. He actively cooperates with various musicians and has given concerts in Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Denmark, Belarus and Finland. Tadas Motiečius graduated from the Saulius Sondeckis Gymnasium of Arts in Šiauliai and the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre under the supervision of Raimondas Sviackevičius, and also studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. His performance style has been characterized as sincere and innovative, and his versatile repertoire ranges from classical and contemporary works to pop music and jazz.
A celebrated cultural treasure of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra (LCO) is widely recognized as one of the world’s finest chamber orchestras. The remarkable history of the orchestra features over a hundred performances with Mstislav Rostropovich and Lord Yehudi Menuhin; over the years its soloists have included Janine Jansen, Vadim Repin, Daniel Hope, Oleg Kagan, Yuri Bashmet, Misha Maisky, Natalia Gutman, David Geringas, Daniel Muller-Schott, Evgeny Kissin, Bruno Canino, Sergei Nakariakov, Alexei Ogrinchuk, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Mojca Erdmann, Avi Avital and others.
Based on a group of enthusiastic young musicians, LCO was created in 1960 by distinguished conductor Saulius Sondeckis, who remained at the helm until 2004. A new chapter in LCO’s history began in 2008 with the arrival of Sergej Krylov as their new Artistic Director and Chief Conductor. The LCO has performed to great audience and critical acclaim at major European venues such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna’s Musikverein, London’s Royal Festival Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Salle Pleyel and Theatre Champs-Elysees in Paris, St Petersburg Philharmonie, Great Hall of Moscow Conservatoire, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Mupa Budapest. The orchestra has appeared at music festivals in Salzburg, Lucerne, Schleswig-Holstein, Stradivari Festival in Cremona, Sion, Gstaad, Rheingau, and Musikfest Berlin to name just a few.
The LCO has pioneered and inspired numerous works by composers such as Alfred Schnittke, Sofija Gubaidulina, Arvo Pärt, Pēteris Vasks, Giya Kancheli, Rodion Shchedrin, Edison Denisov, Sergei Slonimsky, Lera Auerbach and others, many of whom dedicated their works to the orchestra. From the very beginning and throughout its history the LCO has always been a passionate ambassador of Lithuanian music worldwide. The orchestra has performed over 200 works by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, Balys Dvarionas, Stasys Vainiūnas, Eduardas Balsys, Bronius Kutavičius, Teisutis Makačinas, Vytautas Barkauskas, Algirdas Martinaitis, Mindaugas Urbaitis, Onutė Narbutaitė, Vidmantas Bartulis, Raminta Šerkšnytė and others. Throughout six decades the LCO has produced over a hundred recordings of diverse repertoire released on labels such as Deutsche Grammophon, Sony Classical, Melodiya, ECM and Teldec.
Modestas Pitrėnas is an internationally recognized Lithuanian conductor who is a welcome artist both in concert halls and on opera stages. Since 2015, Pitrėnas has been the chief conductor and artistic director of the Lithuanian Symphony Orchestra, and from the 2018/2019 season also the chief conductor of the St. Gallen Symphony Orchestra. Pitrėnas has studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, as well as improved his skills in the master classes of Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jorma Panula and Helmuth Rilling. In 2003, he won first place at the VII Grzegorz Fitelberg Conductor Competition in Poland and also a special prize from the Silesian Philharmonic, which led to many new contacts and collaborations. Pitrėnas has also led the Kaunas Symphony Orchestra as the chief conductor and was the director of the Lithuanian National Opera in 2008–2014. Since 2003, he has been teaching conducting at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. Modestas Pitrėnas has received the Latvian Music Prize (2010), the Lithuanian National Prize for Art and Culture (2012) and the Baltic Assembly Prize (2012).
Pitrėnas’ considerable operatic repertoire includes Wagner’s Rienzi, Die Walküre and Der fliegende Holländer, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Turandot and La rondine, Strauss’ Salome, Bizet’s Carmen, Verdi’s Nabucco, Aida and Don Carlos, Massenet’s Werther and Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame, Mazeppa and Eugene Onegin. He made his debut at the Cologne Opera with Mozart’s Magic Flute. Pitrėnas has been a guest conductor in many opera houses and has conducted almost everywhere in Europe, as well as in Japan, India and China.
● Wed, August 30th, 2023 at 7 pm Jämaja Trinity church, Kingdom of Torgu, Saaremaa island
Conductor and violinist Andres Mustonen celebrates his 70th birthday with his friends and long-time like-minded souls and sojourners. Co-starring with Maestro are Israeli musicians: Shai Kribus (oboe), Yaela Avital (soprano), Maya Amir (mezzo-soprano) and Baroque Ensemble Barrocade. Baroque masterpieces by Händel, Monteveredi, Vivaldi, Marcello, Sartorio and J. Ch. Bach. An after-concert bonus event will be the presentation of a double CD Scriptura sacra with Bach’s solo violin works and an autograph session.
● Fri, September 1st, 2023 at 7 pm St John’s church, Tallinn
SOLI DEO GLORIA
Conductor and violinist Andres Mustonen celebrates his 70th birthday with his friends and long-time like-minded souls and sojourners from Israel, Italy and Estonia. Starring: violin virtuoso Alberto Martini from Italy Iris Oja (mezzo-soprano), Anto Õnnis (tenor), Neeme Punder (flute), Piret Aidulo (organ), Hortus Musicus and Baroque Ensemble Barrocade from Israel as well as Maestro Mustonen as conductor and violinist. Program: Bach, Händel, Vivaldi, Kaumann et al.. A pre-concert bonus event (at 6 pm) will be the presentation of a double CD Scriptura sacra with Bach’s solo violin works and an autograph session.
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
Reno Hekkonens – marketing director, PR
Johannes Vähi – co-producer, webmaster, sound engineering, logistics
Marje Hansar, Joanna Veeremaa – social media
Special thanks: Tartu City Government, Urmas Klaas, Ministry of Culture of Estonia, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Österreichische Botschaft Tallinn, NASOM, Keila-Joa Schloss Fall, Andrei Dvorjaninov, Viljandi Early Music Festival, Canon, Arvo Pärt Centre, Toyota, St John’s church, Kaupo Kiis, Kristel Leppik, Anne-Liise Kiis, volunteers
Next Glasperlenspiel Festival: July 4th–9th, 2024