5th Vilnius Piano Festival „Wanderer“


Artistic director of the festival – Prizewinner of Lithuanian National Cultural and Arts Award MŪZA RUBACKYTĖ

11–25 November 2017, Vilnius
Lithuanian National Philharmonic Hall

Saturday 11 November, 19.00
Opening of the festival. Salutary Love
Soloist MŪZA RUBACKYTĖ (piano; Lithuania, France, Switzerland)
RICHARD WAGNER, Overture to the opera Tannhäuser
FRANZ SCHUBERT - FERENC LISZT, Wanderer fantasy for piano and orchestra in C major, Op. 15 (D. 760) / S. 366 (1822/1851) (Lithuanian premiere of this version)
HECTOR BERLIOZ, Symphonie Fantastique. Episode de la vie d’un Artiste... en cinq parties in C major, Op. 14
This autumn the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society welcomes piano music connoisseurs to the fifth edition of the Vilnius Piano Festival initiated in 2009 by pianist prof. Mūza Rubackytė. In 2009, this festival interwove with the celebration of the millennium of the mention of the name of Lithuania; in 2011, the festival was dedicated to the oeuvre of Hungarian composer Ferenc Liszt and the death centenary of the Lithuanian composer and artist Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis; in 2013, having become a cherished tradition, the event presented concert series Inspired by the Muses and marked the 80th anniversary of Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki; in 2015, the festival’s intriguing theme Tandems offered seven piano tournaments.
This year the festival revolves around the idea of an artistic meeting of pianists, collaboration between composer and performer, composer and master of his transcriptions, teacher and disciple. It is the partnership in music, which encourages both blossoming of new talents and emergence of new music masterpieces.
The opening concert of the festival presents Mūza Rubackytė, the Lithuanian piano Maestra, and Renato Balsadonna, an Italian Maestro of the baton and conductor at the Royal Opera House in London. The programme Salutary Love features three romantic masterpieces narrating about one of the noblest feelings. Wagner’s monumental overture to the opera Tannhäuser, which Liszt named program symphony, speaks about eternal dilemma of earthly and heavenly (salutary) love. While in his program symphony French composer Berlioz transforms this theme into a dangerous and all-round destructing love of an artist. Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy enraptured Hungarian composer Liszt to such a degree that he arranged it for piano and orchestra. This music conveys perpetual quest and destiny of a wanderer, while love here is embodied in a yearning and peace, an aspiration to stop, rest and return to a remote native land. Receiving its Lithuania premiere this version of Schubert’s opus is reminiscent of a piano concerto.
Tickets: 10, 15, 20, 30, 40 Eur

Sunday 12 November, 12.00
Family Series. Maestra and Young Talents 
Maestra MŪZA RUBACKYTĖ (piano), VILNIUS STRING QUARTET and young talents:
RŪTA KARVELYTĖ (ballet dancer)
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART, Concerto for piano and orchestra No. 11 in F major, KV 413, 3rd mvt
JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL, Minuet from Quintet in E flat minor, Op. 87
PABLO SARASATE, Introduction & Tarantella, Op. 43
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART, Concerto for violin and orchestra No. 5 in A major, KV 219, 3rd mvt
ADOLPHE ADAM, Ballet Giselle Act I, variation
ROBERT SCHUMANN, Scherzo from the Piano quintet in E flat major, Op. 44
This concert of the 5th Vilnius Piano Festival presents collaboration of five talents, winners of various international competitions who have already justified expectations, with Mūza Rubackytė, the festival’s Artistic Director, and Vilnius String Quartet.
Pianist Simonas Miknius is a winner of international competitions such as Fryderyc Chopin, “Music Without Borders”, César Franck and Leopold Godowsky. He has appeared with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra, VMU Chamber Orchestra and Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra. He was awarded “Maxima” stimulating grant for his musical accomplishments.
Pianist Kasparas Mikužis is a winner of a number of national and international competitions. Since 2010, he has been patronised by the Foundation SOS Talents–Michel Sogny. The pianist has performed in the UN headquarters in Geneva and at the World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in Warsaw. Kasparas has taken part in master classes and concerts in Lithuania and abroad (Switzerland, France, Georgia, Holland, Poland).
Violinist Agnė Gečaitė, a winner of international competitions including Alexander Glazunov, Saulius Sondeckis and Kaunas sonorum among others, has appeared as a soloist with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra, Šiauliai Chamber Orchestra and St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra. The Mayor of Tauragė presented her with the sign of merit for promulgation of the region.
Violinist Ugnė Liepa Žuklytė is a winner of international competitions including Viktoras Radovičius, Balys Dvarionas and Gradus ad parnassum among others. She has appeared with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra, St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra and Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra. In 2013, Ugnė Liepa was honoured with the Queen Morta Prize.
Ballet dancer Rūta Karvelytė has earned recognition in various international ballet competitions. She honed her skills at the Royal Ballet School in London, La Scala Theatre Ballet School in Milan, the International Academy Coreutica in Florence, the Ballet Institute of San Diego, Phoenix Ballet Academy (USA) and the Dance Academy Princesse Grace (Monaco). Karvelytė has appeared on the stages of the National M.K. Čiurlionis School of Art and the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre.
All young talents are patronised by the Mstislav Rostropovich Charity and Support Foundation.
Concert partner – Mstislav Rostropovich Charity and Support Foundation
Tickets: 4, 6, 8, 10 Eur

Tuesday 14 November, 19.00
Double Recital. From the Dark toward the Light
The winner of Cleveland International Piano Competition 2003 KOTARO FUKUMA (piano, Japan)
The winner of the UNISA International Piano Competition 2016 in Pretoria and second prize winner in the Arthur Rubinstein Piano Master Competition 2017 in Tel Aviv DANIEL CIOBANU (piano, Romania)
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, Sonata No. 17 in D minor Tempest (Der Sturm), Op. 31 No. 2
FERENC LISZT, Obermann’s Valley (Vallée d’Obermann) from the cycle Years of Pilgrimage. First year: Switzerland (Années de pèlerinage. Première Année: Suisse), S. 160
ALEXANDER SCRIABIN, Sonata No. 5, Op. 53
MAURICE RAVEL, A Boat on the Ocean (Une barque sur l’océan) from the cycle Mirrors (Miroirs)
MODEST MUSSORGSKY, Suite Pictures at an Exhibition (Картинки с выставки – Воспоминание о Викторе Гартмане)
The festival’s concert introduces Japanese pianist Kotaro Fukuma, the winner of Cleveland International Piano Competition 2003, and Romanian virtuoso Daniel Ciobanu, the winner of the UNISA International Piano Competition 2016 in Pretoria and second prize winner in the Arthur Rubinstein Piano Master Competition 2017 in
Tel Aviv. The performers offer a programme, which they chose to describe From the Dark toward the Light. They see it as a musical path starting with Beethoven’s piano Sonata Tempest written in 1802, a document from a sad phase in the Viennese classicist’s life, and proceeding toward joyous tolling of bells in Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
Kotaro Fukuma’s programme revisits his CD. According to the pianist, the musical transformation “from the dark toward the light” starts with Beethoven’s Sonata Tempest. The composer wrote it in 1802 after completing his famous Heiligenstadt Testament (a letter to his brothers Carl and Johann). It reflects his despair over his increasing deafness and disagreement between him and his nephew Karl. This mental state of the doomed wanderer becomes evident in the third movement of the sonata. Liszt’s Vallée d’Obermann follows a lonely artist on his woeful wandering, however the last chords promise reconciliation and transfiguration. The third selection, Scriabin’s Fifth Sonata, could be called the apotheosis of light and joy. The composer included an epigraph to this Sonata (excerpt from his essay The Poem of Ecstasy / Le Poème de l'Extase), which reflects on his the then notion:
I call you to life, oh mysterious forces!
Drowned in the obscure depths
Of the creative spirit, timid
Shadows of life, to you I bring audacity!
The axis of Daniel Ciobanu’s programme is a perpetum mobile, an image of a journey. The theme of wandering is symbolised by a boat in the ocean depicted in impressionist strokes by Ravel in his exceptionally beautiful piece from the cycle Miroirs. With gradual merging of the Promenade motive from Mussorgsky’s suite, the boat unhurriedly carries the listeners on Dnieper River toward Kiev’s Bogatyr Gates.
Partner of the concert: The Embassy of Romania.
Tickets: 7, 10, 15, 20 Eur

Thursday 16 November, 19.00
Double Recital. Liszt’s Harmonies
The winners of the Festivals’ loyal partner – the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition 2017 in Utrecht:
DINA IVANOVA (piano, Russia), the 3rd prize winner
ALEXANDER ULLMAN (piano, Great Britain), the 1st prize winner
FERENC LISZT, Grandes Études de Paganini, S. 141; Totentanz, S. 525; Études d’exécution transcendante, No. 11, Harmonies du soir, S. 139/11; Nocturne En rêve, S. 207; Nocturne Schlaflos! Frage und Antwort, S. 203; Nuages gris, S. 199; Bagatelle sans tonalité, S. 216a; Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude from the cycle Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, S. 173/3; Rhapsodie Hongroise No. 10, S. 244/10
The 5th Vilnius Piano Festival presents pianists who just a month ago captured laurels at the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht: Dina Ivanova from Russia (3rd prize) and Alexander Ullman from Great Britain (1st prize).
Dina Ivanova studied at the Central Music School in Moscow and is currently furthering her education at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. She has given concerts in Germany, Hungary, Cuba, Bulgaria, Denmark, Norway, Poland and the USA, as a soloist appeared with Thüringer Philharmonie, the Israel Symphony Orchestra and the Gothenburg Quartet. The pianist has won numerous awards including the 1st prize at the Tel Hai Competition in Israel (2016).
Alexander Ullman studied at the Purcell School in London, the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and the Royal College of Music in London. As a soloist he has appeared with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Montréal Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey and Fort Worth symphony orchestras, the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra, the Budapest Radio Orchestra, and Manchester Camerata. The pianist has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall in London, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Perth Concert Hall in Australia, as well as in Denmark, France, Spain, China, and the Netherlands among other countries. During his studies Ullman won many awards including 1st prize at the Liszt Competition in Budapest (2011).
Tonight both performers will engulf the audience in Liszt’s inexhaustible ocean of musical musing. Featuring the compositions from various creative periods of the piano genius life, the programme will remind of Liszt’s many-sidedness – diabolically virtuoso, mystical, futuristic, pantheistic, pious, Hungarian… Lisztomans deservedly call him the King of the Piano!  
Tickets: 7, 10, 15, 20 Eur

Saturday 18 November, 19.00
Maestro of the Piano and the Baton 
Pianist and conductor Andrea Bonatta on stage
Soloist and conductor ANDREA BONATTA (piano, Italy)
Concerto for piano and orchestra No. 9 in E flat major, KV 271 (Jenamy);
Symphony No. 38 in D major, KV 504 (Prague)
Tonight the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra shares the stage with a multifaceted talent Maestro Andrea Bonatta. A pianist, conductor and pedagogue appears in the most important concert halls in Rome, Berlin, Prague, Paris, Moscow, Shanghai, Beijing and Hanoi to name but a few. He has recorded complete piano works by Brahms and also CDs featuring Liszt and Schubert’s music, which have earned top critical reviews. Bonatta’s book about Brahms’ piano output is considered a milestone in this field.
Bonatta founded and has been for many years the Artistic Director and Chairman of the jury of the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition. Presently, he serves as the Artistic Adviser of the Liszt Competition in Utrecht. He is also Honorary Professor of the Shanghai Conservatory, and founder and director of the Piano Academy-Eppan.
An illustrious internationally acclaimed pedagogue he leads master classes and is regularly invited to serve as a jury member in prestigious competitions (Liszt in Utrecht, Scriabin in Moscow, Beethoven in Bonn, Van Cliburn in Texas, Rubinstein in Tel Aviv, Chopin in Taipei among many others). Bonatta is also Guest Professor at the Summer Academy Mozarteum in Salzburg and teaches at the Talent Music Master Courses in Verona.
For a number of years Bonatta as a pianist/conductor has been playing Mozart concertos conducting from the piano. As a conductor he boasts a wide symphonic music repertoire. Maestro has given concerts in such major concert venues as the Smetana Hall in Prague, the Salle Gaveau in Paris, the Grand Theatre in Shanghai, the Forbidden City Hall in Beijing, the Stilwerk in Berlin, the Opera House in Hanoi, etc. Pianist and conductor Arie Vardi has said about Bonatta: “indeed a natural born conductor with music flowing in the hands.”
Tonight the National Philharmonic Hall will be filled with the music of Mozart! Bonatta will lead the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra in Symphony No. 38 in D major, KV 504. The opus was premiered at the concert of his works in 1787 on Mozart’s first visit to Prague. While the evening will open with Concerto for piano and orchestra No. 9 in E flat major, KV 271 (Jenamy), written in Salzburg in 1777, when the composer was 21-year-old. 
Tickets: 10, 15, 20, 30 Eur

Sunday 19 November, 19.00
Triple Recital. Three Generations of Pianists: Pedagogues and Their Disciples
ILANA VERED (piano, Israel)
TRISTAN TEO (piano, Canada)
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH, Inventions, BWV 772–786
FELIX MENDELSSOHN, Variations sérieuses, Op. 54
JOHANNES BRAHMS, Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Händel, Op. 24
SERGEI RACHMANINOV, Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op. 42
NIKOLAI KAPUSTIN, Variations, Op. 41
SERGEI RACHMANINOV, Suite No. 2 for two pianos, Op. 17
This concert of the Fifth Vilnius Piano Festival stands out for its wide stylistic range (from Bach to contemporary composer Kapustin) and a momentous theme – the variations both as a music form and, in a wider sense, as a reflection of development, evolution, change and motion in time. In this context we will meet pianists of three generations sharing one stage.
Ilana Vered is one of today’s leading piano stars. At the age 13 she won an Israeli government grant to study at the Paris Conservatoire, where she was a disciple of the eminent pianist Vlado Perlemuter and Jeanne-Marie Darré. She graduated cum laude from the Paris Conservatoire at the age 15. Later, Vered completed her studies at the Juilliard School in New York City. She was one of the first winners of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and received a grant from the Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation for a major tour of Europe. During her fruitful career she has appeared as a soloist with New York, Boston, London, Amsterdam, Japanese NHK and other celebrated symphony orchestras, collaborated with such great conductors as Leopold Stokowski, Zubin Mehta, Sergiu Comissiona, Raymond Leppard, Lawrence Foster, Matthias Bamert and Mariss Jansons, participated in the world’s major music festivals. Vered has been lauded as a chamber musician, and especially praised for her collaboration with Tokyo String Quartet, cellist Sharon Robinson, etc.
Sasha Starcevich is currently enjoying a rewarding career as an international performer and teacher. Since 2003, when he earned his Doctoral Degree from Yale University (USA), the pianist has been performing and leading master classes at home, in Canada, China and Europe. He serves as a professor in several universities in the USA and is a director of several international festivals.
Starcevich was the first teacher of Canadian pianist Tristan Teo, the youngest performer in today’s concert, whose patron today is Ilana Vered. Currently, Teo studies with the renowned pedagogue Jerome Lowenthal in the Juilliard School. The pianist is a winner of several prestigious competitions (Gina Bachauer, Hilton Head, etc.), as a soloist has appeared with various orchestras in the USA, has given recitals in Canada, the USA and Europe. In addition to performing career he teaches and composes.
Concert partner the Israel embassy in Vilnius
Tickets: 7, 10, 15, 20 Eur

Tuesday 21 November, 19.00
Double Recital. Can’t Stop Rising of the Stars
KENJI MIURA (piano, Japan), the recipient of the Outstanding Diploma at the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition 2015, the winner of the First International Shigeru Kawai Piano Competition 2017 
SZYMON NEHRING (piano, Poland), the finalist of the Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw 2015, the winner of the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv 2017
FELIX MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY, Lieder Ohne Worte (Songs Without Words): Op. 62 No. 1 in G major; Op. 102 No. 3 in C major; Op. 67 No. 2 in F sharp minor
KAROL SZYMANOWSKI, Mazurkas No. 1–4, Op. 50; Variations in B flat major, Op. 3
FRYDERYK CHOPIN, Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35
Tonight the Vilnius Piano Festival presents two rising stars – Kenji Miura and Szymon Nehring. Lack of success in winning first prizes in international competitions in 2015 did not impede rising of these pianists – in two years Miura and Nehring earned the highest awards in the prestigious competitions.
Born in Japan, Kenji Miura has performed in many prestigious venues around the world including the Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Steinway Hall in London, Konzerthaus in Berlin, Act City Hall in Japan, given concerts in Paris, the USA, Canada, Dubai, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. In 2015, Miura won the Outstanding Diploma at the semi-finals of the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition. He also received the AAF Award, which was awarded to him by Martha Argerich and Gustav Alink (founders of Alink-Argerich Foundation). In 2017, Miura earned Steinway Förderpreis Award and was crowned the first prize winner at the First International Shigeru Kawai Piano Competition. 
Polish pianist Szymon Nehring, a winner of numerous international competitions, has performed with orchestras such as the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Santander Orchestra, Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra, the Israel Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century. He has toured in Russia, China, the Ukraine, Estonia, Hungary, Romania, Austria, France, Israel, Argentine, Brazil, Chile, the United States and many other countries. In 2015, Nehring performed in the finals of the Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw to win the Audience Prize as well as a several other prizes. In 2016, the Fryderyk Chopin Institute released a CD featuring his performance at the competition. In 2017, the pianist won first prize in the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv as well as several additional prizes, including the Best Performance of a Chopin Piece Prize.
In the first half of the concert Miura will perform two piano transcriptions: Bach’s Chaconne for violin in D minor (Busoni) and Tchaikovsky’s Concert suite The Nutcracker (Pletnev). Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s romantic Songs Without Words will follow the transcriptions. The evening will continue with Nehring’s reading of Polish music – Szymanowski’s Mazurkas and Chopin’s Sonata No 2 in B flat minor. 
Concert partners: Alink–Argerich Foundation, Polish Institute in Vilnius
Tickets: 7, 10, 15, 20 Eur

Thursday 23 November, 19.00
Recital. Feast of the Romantics
FRANZ SCHUBERT–FERENC LISZT, Auf dem Wasser zu singen
FRANZ SCHUBERT, Wandererfantasie in C major, Op. 15, D. 760
RICHARD WAGNER–FERENC LISZT, Feierlicher Marsch zum heiligen Gral from the opera Parsifal
FERENC LISZT, Sonetto 123 del Petrarca No. 123 from the cycle Années de pèlerinage. Deuxième année: Italie
GIUSEPPE VERDI–FERENC LISZT, Paraphrase Miserere from the opera Il trovatore
FERENC LISZT, Venezia e Napoli, S. 159
The guest of the 5th Vilnius Piano Festival – pianist Bertrand Chamayou, a winner of the prestigious Long-Thibaud-Crespin Competition – has performed in venues such as the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, etc., appeared at major festivals including the Lucerne Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Rotterdam Festival, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, etc., collaborated with major symphony orchestras led by Pierre Boulez, Leonard Slatkin, Michel Plasson, Louis Langrée, Stéphane Denève, Ludovic Morlot and Andris Nelsons among other masters of the baton. His recordings of works by César Franck, Ferenc Liszt and Felix Mendelssohn garnered various prizes. In 2011, he received Victoire de la Musique Classique award as France’s best instrumental soloist of the year. In his recital in Vilnius the pianist offers an extremely virtuoso and complex romantic music programme set up from original opuses and Liszt’s enchanting transcriptions. The entire programme as a tempestuous feast of romantic masterpieces is united by one concept: Liszt brilliantly transfers songs and opera fragments by diverse composers into a piano realm, for being one of the foremost instruments of the past centuries it is capable of expressing the deepest and most dramatic emotions. Transcription is the wondrous phenomenon allowing the creators to become true wanderers (the festival’s theme – Wanderers) sharing values, artistic ideas and communicating the beauty of music. Like a golden thread spreading over the entire festival this theme builds a bridge uniting Schubert-Liszt Wanderer Fantasy for piano and orchestra (the Lithuanian premiere of this version) presented at the opening concert and Schubert’s original Wanderer Fantasy (Wandererfantasie, D. 760) performed by Chamayou.
Concert partner the French institute in Lithuania
Tickets: 7, 10, 15, 20 Eur

Saturday 25 November, 19.00
Closing of the festival. The Sluice Gate Open!
Soloist – IGNAS MAKNICKAS (piano), the laureate of the First National LAMT and LISZTuania competition Lisztofonija 2017
JEAN SIBELIUS, Symphonic poem Finland (Finlandia), Op. 26; Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105
FRYDERYK CHOPIN, Concerto for piano and orchestra No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21
The symbolic title The Sluice Gate Open! the festival’s closing concert testifies to tonight’s soloist Ignas Maknickas, a young Lithuanian pianist born in California, a graduate of the National M.K. Čiurlionis School of Art (assoc. prof. Albina Šikšniūtė). Professor Mūza Rubackytė has been his professional guide since he was nine years old; for almost a decade he has been supported by Mstislav Rostropovich Charity and Support Foundation “Support for Lithuanian children”. Currently, Maknickas continues his education under prof. Joanna MacGregor at the Royal Academy of Music in London. 
Tonight led by Martynas Staškus the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra offers Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’ symphonic music – transparent and powerful, austere and pungent, a symbol of “the land of a thousand lakes”. In addition, the programme features Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto, dubbed one of the pinnacles of piano technique. However, it could also be described as a lyrical poem dominated by a flow of lofty, peaceful and tender emotions with the piano’s unending melodies and lacework passages pouring over the symphony orchestra.  
Concert partner – PI „Vilniaus klubas“
Tickets: 10, 15, 20, 30 Eur