VIIth ŠV. Jokūbo festival, 2017

About the festival

1 September – 8 October 2017. The 7th International St. James Festival will illuminate the beginning of autumn with the sound of sacred music and introduce the listeners to the versatility of this genre. Opening on the 1st of September this year, the Festival brings together excellent  performers in a remarkable variety of events.
The Festival is dedicated to the world-famous pilgrimage route Camino de Santiago and the 30th anniversary of the Declaration of Santiago de Compostela. In 1987, the Council of Europe declared Camino de Santiago as the first cultural route and symbol of European identity and heritage – a collective memory site transgressing distances, borders and language barriers. According to the Festival’s Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of VILNIUS Choir, Artūras Dambrauskas, “St. James Festival and the music it presents reflect the values attached to the Way of St. James: by exalting the eternal universal values, sacred music is able to transgress earthly boundaries and speak in a universal way, regardless of religious and cultural differences.”
Festival events are free
Organizators of the festival:
Concert institution state choir Vilnius and Dominicans brothers
Patrons of the festival:  President of the Republic of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaitė, and Archbishop of Vilnius, Gintaras Grušas


The moments of the festival

The program of the festival

The program of VIIth st. James festival

Festival participants

The society of sacred music of Hartberg

The “Kirchenmusikverein Hartberg” (Sacred-music-society Hartberg) was founded in 1966 and has made an outstanding and highly qualified contribution to the cultural life in Hartberg (a provincial town in the southeast of Austria) and surrounding area for more than 50 years.
The main aim of the society is the cultivation of sacred and secular choir music. Intensive training and rehearsals have led to great performances (also in cooperation with national and international top orchestras), a number of CD and DVD releases, and have built up the reputation of the choir as an excellent amateur choir.
The conductor and choir director is Johannes Steinwender (assistance-professor for music-theory at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz [KUG], Styria, Austria) and the choir of the Kirchenmusikverein Hartberg consists of 39 members at present.

State Song and Dance Ensemble „LIETUVA”

Highly professional, stylized and authentic Lithuanian folk art – songs, dancing, instrumental music, unique national instruments, colourful costumes and true spirit of Lithuania!
State Song and Dance Ensemble „LIETUVA” – it is a joint artistic team which includes professional dancers, orchestra with national instruments and a choir. Truly unique in entire Baltic countries company had been established in November 1940 in Vilnius, Lithuania. Through its long creative path, the Ensemble won numerous international awards and with great success performed in almost all Eastern and Western European countries, also in USA, Canada, India, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Cuba and many other countries.
The Ensemble consist more than 60 professional dancers, musicians and choir singers. A very special attention deserves orchestra of national instruments, which performs exclusively with Lithuanian folk instruments. For 75 years the Ensemble represents the best of Lithuanian cultural heritage – traditional music, expressive folk dances, authentic national costumes and sutartinės – Lithuanian multipart songs, which are the part of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage listed in 2010.
Throughout history, the Ensemble has staged more than 40 original concert programs, played more than 1000 works by Lithuanian composers and performed more than 9000 concerts. You are very welcome to discover all beauty of Lithuania together with State Song and Dance Ensemble “LIETUVA”.
Art Director – Giedrius SVILAINIS
Conductor – Egidijus KAVECKAS
Chief Choir-master – Algimantas KRIŪNAS
Chief Ballet-master – Edgaras SUPRUNAS

Schola Cantorum Vilnensis
Schola Cantorum Vilnensis has originated from the annual Vilnius University summer academy „Ad Fontes“ in Kražiai (since 2002). The purpose of the academy has been the renewal of the studies of the sacred chant and the traditional Roman liturgy in Lithuania.
In 2006, a group of men and women started singing in the liturgical services on the regular basis at St. John‘s church of Vilnius University. Continuing the tradition of the first schola cantorum (established in 1513) of the church, as well as the city of Vilnius, members of the Schola not only perform the liturgical music during services in the traditional Roman rite, but are also engaged in the both scholarly and practical restoration of the customs of liturgical tradition of the Grand Dutchery of Lithuania and its proper Latin chants.
Schola Cantorum Vilnensis also seeks to revive the traditions of Kraziai Collegium, which was established by the Jesus society and was the spiritual and educational centre in Samogitia region of Lithuania for centuries.
Schola Cantorum Vilnensis takes an active part in the academic life of Vilnius unversity, as well as cultural events in Lithuania and Europe. In three years Schola has presented the traditional singing of the gregorian chant in such festivals and event as „Banchetto musicale“, „Pax et Bonum“, „Fundamentum collegii“, „Vox academia“, „Vilnius – European capital of culture 2009“, „National development prize” etc. 2009 Schola was invited to the renowned international Gregorian chant festival in Watou (Belgium).
Šiauliai State Chamber Choir POLIFONIJA

Polifonija is one of the oldest professional choirs in Lithuania. It developed from a vocal ancient music ensemble founded by conductor Sigitas Vaičiulionis. Later the choir was named Polifonija and received the status of a professional group. Since 2011, the group is directed by Tomas Ambrozaitis.
Broad repertoire of the choir includes compositions from the Renaissance to the present day music. The choir performed with the Lithuanian National and State Symphony Orchestras, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra and St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra, Klaipėda State Music Theatre and Chamber Orchestra, Vilnius Sinfonietta, the Orchestra of Lithuanian Armed Forces, the State Wind Instrument Orchestra Trimitas, the State Chamber Orchestra of the Republic of Belarus, Lvov Philharmonic Orchestra (Ukraine), St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra (Russia), as weel as with such ensembles as Musica Humana, Academy of Ancient Music (Russia), and other prominent music groups.
Artistic director and principal conductor Tomas Ambrozaitis.

Vaclovas Augustinas

Vaclovas Augustinas – conductor, composer and educator, winner of Lithuanian National Culture and Art Prize and since 1992 he is an Art Director of Jauna Muzika Choir. As a choir music expert, he is often invited to international conductor workshops, choir competitions and festivals, and is constantly working on the international composer contest “Musica sacra nova”. V. Augustinas is a popular musician and arranger of choir music, and his compositions are attracted by various choirs and music publishers. Musicologist dr. Judita Žukienė says, that Vaclovas Augustinas is a very universal musician, capable combining creative, artist and pedagogical activities, composer and choir conductor professions, academic and non-academic music styles, has brought together a high artistic collective performing choral music of various epochs and styles, enriching itself with new topical works of Lithuanian choral music.

Choir Vilnius

VILNIUS is a professional choir characterised by the highest standards of performance, universality and educational activities. Particularly responsive to current trends in art, the Choir can take pride in mastering best of the choral music from previous eras, too. A combination of creativity and professionalism, the ability to get through to diverse audiences and involvement in offbeat events and projects are among the Choir’s hallmarks, which have forged VILNIUS a reputation as one of Lithuania’s leading choral groups.
A potent advocate for Lithuanian music, VILNIUS Choir annually presents several new works by Lithuanian composers, the most notable of which reach recording studios. VILNIUS has released 15 CD recordings while 300 recordings of choral works performed by the group are stored in the Lithuanian National Radio and Television sound archives.
Artistic maturity and professionalism has long been the top priority of the Choir’s leaders. Its current principal conductor, a famous Lithuanian choir conductor and educator Artūras Dambrauskas, has set the Choir on a new creative trajectory towards innovative, versatile and modern artistic activity.
Focused on the propagation of choral art, VILNIUS’ intense concert activity features unique programmes tailored to a diverse range of audiences. The Choir performs not only in the concert halls of major cities, but also in the most remote towns of the country. Interactive and engaging programmes are specially designed for kids to raise the audience of the future.
VILNIUS State Choir has been the organiser of the yearly International St. Jacob Sacred Music Festival since its inception in 2011. Illuminating every autumn with the sound of sacred music, the Festival has become an indispensible part of the capital city’s cultural life.
Chief conductor Artūras Dambrauskas.

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