The Christopher Summer Festival (Artistic Director - Donatas Katkus) is one of the main summer events in Vilnius: it was announced as the best event in the capital city in 2004 and thus won the "Colleagues" prize initiated by the Municipality of Vilnius; was voted one of the three most popular cultural events in Vilnius; became a member of the alliance of festivals "Vilniaus festivaliai", uniting the largest and best events.
As always, the Christopher Summer Festival finds many ways of presenting excellent music, and this year more than ever, the sheer abundance of music on offer stands out for its variety and openess. And because weather forecasters have predicted a particularly hot summer, this annual fiesta of sound will not be limited to St. Catherine's Church and other regular concert venues, but will spill out into cosy courtyards and squares, not to mention the romantic Bistrampolis Manor Estate.
The traditional cycles "Christopher's Claviers", "Sacred Music Hours" and "Christopher's Guitars" will be spiced up with new and suprising variety of genres and styles, such as harp music, open-air jazz and impressive world music projects.
Fans of flamenco will undoubtedly be pleased to hear that renowned Spanish guitarist Pepe Justicia and his group will perform in Lithuania during the Christopher Summer Festival. Just imagine, colleagues may boast about their trips to Spain, while you'll be able to say you have also been to Spain, and experienced something so much more than the standard fare tourists see, something that is sure to bring out the beauty of sound coming from the heart of this fine city.
An even more intriguing journey awaits audiences at the "Descendance" concert - if it may be called so. Australian aboriginal tribal dances are a wild and authentic spectacle born of the earliest communal sound and movement performances, and have received public acclaim worldwide.
The Georgian Patriarchal folk ensemble "Basiani" will bring the romantic notions of longing and joy, of pain and eventual relief, and the sense of finally seeing the light - all brought to Vilnius audiences in the form of songs from this mountainous country to be experienced by all.
Yet, what other musical genre can reveal the poignancy of the harsh hand of fate, the fires of love and the power of human passions if not gypsy music? The sensational gypsy swing guitarist Joscho Stephan is making his way to Vilnius with a guitar quartet, presenting an excellent program brimming with spontaneous jazz and gypsy passion. There is an internal driving force at the heart of these performers' playing that is dazzling in its virtuosity, with a flurry of swing on the side.
World famous stars, the most prominent Lithuanian performers, premieres, exotic shows and fine chamber-scale miracles - this year's festival gives audiences the chance to hear absolutely everything - everything that has not already been heard, everything except what is common, unoriginal, or dull. There can be no excuses about work demands keeping you from taking a trip: the music of the world has come to Vilnius, and promises a rich, cultural summer in the capital city.
Full program of the festival