Artistic Director of the Christopher Festival JURGITA MURAUSKIENĖ
Jurgita Murauskienė has been the director of the “Kristupo festivalis” Public Enterprise since 2006 and the art director of the Christopher Summer Festival since 2017, taking up this position after its long-serving previous art director, Prof. Donatas Katkus.
In 2018, Jurgita Murauskienė was awarded the Gloria Artis Bronze Medal for Merit to Culture for her contribution to the promotion of Lithuanian and Polish culture, while the institution under her management was granted the status of a professional performing arts office.
Jurgita Murauskienė has expanded the geographical scope of the Christopher Summer Festival’s program by introducing new types of concerts (musical picnics, night recitals, excursions+concerts) and had guaranteed its international visibility: the festival was awarded the EFFE Label mark of international quality (2019–2020), it was incorporated into the 70 Best European Festivals Guide (2015) and was given the international FestLabPass (2009) for creativity and innovation.
She regularly updates her knowledge by participating in various educational sessions and seminars and is a member of the National Association of Creative and Cultural Industries, and takes part in the activities of various international cultural networks (Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe, NordicBaltic Festival Platform, etc.).
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.