Artistic Director of the Christopher Festival JURGITA MURAUSKIENĖ
Beginning her journey into the music world as a pianist, Jurgita Murauskienė graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre as a music manager.
Whilst still studying, she was invited to work with the Vilnius City Municipality St Christopher Chamber Orchestra and the Christopher Summer Festival.
Having become the Christopher Summer Festival’s director in 2006, she expanded the scope of its program and geography, introducing new types of concerts (musical picnics, evening recitals, excursions combined with concerts) and secured international recognition for the festival: it was awarded the international quality EFFE Label (2017), included in the guide of the 70 best festivals in Europe (2015), and won the international FestLabPass (2009) for creativity and innovation.
Jurgita Murauskienė has joined the festival’s artistic direction team as well: her cycles include Christopher’s Picnics, Piano Recitals and fusion projects.
She is constantly furthering her knowledge at various training sessions, seminars and participates in the activities of international cultural networks.
Artistis Director of the Sacred Music Hours Cycle RENATA MARCINKUTĖ LESIEUR
Renata Marcinkutė Lesieur completed her studies at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre specialising in the piano and organ. She undertook further studies in performance at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg in Prof. Heribert Metzger’s class from 1992 to 1993.
Attended numerous masterclasses with renowned European professors Zsigmond Szathmary, Jean Boyer, Jan Laukvik and Margaret Philips, to name but a few. She became an Inter-Republic Organ Players’ competition laureate in Kiev in 1989, later emerging as a laureate from the Flor Peeters masterclasses held in Mecheleno, Belgium; she was similarly successful at the M.K. Čiurlionis pianists and organ players’ competition in Vilnius.
Renata Marcinkutė is a frequent concert performer both as a soloist and with various soloists and ensembles, and receives many invitations to participate in organ music festivals. She has toured throughout the Baltic States, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Italy, and the USA. She is regularly invited to perform at organ inauguration concerts and opening events in Lithuania, Germany and further abroad.
Renata Marcinkutė-Lesieur has received invitations to lecture at other higher education establishments in Europe, giving her the opportunity to lead organ master classes at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg and the Poznan Academy of Music.
R. Marcinkutė-Lesieur is the Vice-president of the Religious Music Centre in Vilnius, which presents over 60 concerts annually, the Artistic Director of the Christopher Summer Festival Sacred Music Hours programme at St. Casimir’s Church, and the Head of the Organ and Harpsichord Department of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre
Artistic Director of the Christopher Summer Festival prof. DONATAS KATKUS
Donatas Katkus, artistic director and conductor of the St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra violinist, teacher and musicologist is a graduate of Vilnius and Moscow Conservatoires. He also participated in master classes in Budapest.
In 1965, he founded the Vilnius String Quartet and for 29 years was member of it. The quartet has won the first prize at the International Liege Competition ( Belgium ) and toured the world, performing in more 30 countries. Donatas Katkus is the professor at the Lithuanian Academy of Music where he teaches chamber ensemble and string quartet classes. Since 1995, he has been running master classes in Pommersfelden (Germany).
In 1995, he succesfuly accomplished his idealo organise the Christopher Summer Festival in Vilnius.
In 2001, Professor Donatas Katkus was awarded the Lithuanian National Prize for his creative public activity, and in 2003 the prize of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). In 2012 Donatas Katkus was honoured by Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė for the outstanding contributions to the country and culture, art and education and was awarded the Order for Merits to Lithuania Commander Grand Cross. At the same year the Minister of Culture awarded honorary sign Carry and Believe.
Executive director of the Christopher Festival AGNĖ VADLŪGAITĖ-NARAVECKĖ
Having completed cultural management studies at Vilnius University, Agnė Vadlūgaitė-Naraveckė started working as a manager at St Catherine’s Church that had just opened as a venue following restoration work (2006). Intense cooperation with numerous organisers and performers inspired her to independently pursue the realisation of cultural-social initiatives.
In 2009–2010, in collaboration with the Christopher Summer Festival, the Vilnius Teachers’ House and the “Kraujas” Oncohaematological Patients’ Association, she organised the major music event “Gyventi negalima mirti” (Live don’t die), aimed at helping people suffering from blood cancer (a record number of potential bone marrow donors registered during this event). Later she volunteered in the activities of the “Kraujas” association, and has been a member since 2016.
As the realisation of various projects demanded skills in coordination and public relations, Agnė decided to deepen her knowledge of this field. In 2010 she completed a Master’s degree in Communication and Information at Vilnius University. She continues to further her awareness in these fields at various training sessions and seminars.
Agnė joined the Christopher Festival team from 2017 and is currently its executive director.