The Christopher Summer Festival is the largest and one of the most impressive summer music festivals in Lithuania, and runs for two months (July to August). During this time, over 50 original concert events are presented to the public, taking place in different spaces in Vilnius and other Lithuanian districts.
This festival does not easily fit into any stylistic frame – its motto being „all genres are good, except the boring ones”. So, alongside classical music masterpieces there is jazz, world music, experimental projects, and traditional organ, piano music cycles.
Born of European cultural experience (up until 1995 there was a strict code in Lithuania whereby no cultural events could take place in the capital during summer, the experience of Western European major cities proving otherwise), the Christopher Summer Festival has tried to keep it alive from its very inception, inviting the most prominent, internationally recognised musicians and presenting the latest musical trends.
Having naturally matured into a large international event whose programme is oriented towards audiences from a broad social spectrum and a variety of ages, the festival has continually fine-tuned its structure to the current principle of „festivals within a festival”. They are the now traditional piano and organ music cycles Christopher’s Claviers and the Sacred Music Hours. Along with these concerts are the premiere, large scale productions and performances, world music concerts, jazz projects, performances in non-traditional spaces.
These examples reveal the festival’s main strength which distinguishes it from other music festivals – its versatility. It is due to this attribute that audiences from different social groups and with different cultural needs can find a concert to suit them, while European professionals, not needing to feel restricted to any stylistic frames, can allow themselves to realise their most unexpected ideas which are otherwise quashed or do not garner support in events of their chosen musical direction. An informal environment suited to creative expression, a summer atmosphere, and original projects – this is the face of the Christopher Summer Festival.
As has come to be expected, the Christopher Summer Festival always seeks out new musical experiences, tries on new forms of expression, transforms, experiments… So is the festival changing? Externally – yes, but on a conceptual level the Christopher Summer Festival strictly adheres to its founding principles. This is a music festival that was never aimed at professors: in summer professors leave to listen to music elsewhere, or simply take the chance to rest. Every year our huge musical string of pearls is put together so as to include the most appealing pearls, or the type of people who simply love music and do not classify it as being high or low brow, elitist or entertaining.