Project vision and goals
Kaunas Piano Fest is an international piano festival and masterclasses in Lithuania, aiming to bring young, emerging pianists from all over the world to improve their performing skills, mental toughness, stage presence, body awareness skills and much more. We believe that there is a necessity for performers to not only master their instrumental technique, but to also improve their communication skills, self-management, performance psychology, career planning, etc. Therefore, in addition to piano lessons with renowned professors, we offer group lectures and seminars aimed on these topics. In July 2018, the festival invited young pianists from the United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, Germany, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.
Location and course content
Lithuania’s second biggest city Kaunas became a platform for world-class maestros and emerging concert pianists to gather and exchange ideas about the art of performing. Masterclasses and lectures have been given by internationally recognized performers - educators:
Professor Fali Pavri (United Kingdom) – piano lessons.
Professor Petras Geniusas (Lithuania/United Kingdom) – piano lessons.
Donata Vaitkute (Lithuania/United Kingdom) – lecture about performance science.
Cellist Anna Mikulska (Poland) and pianist Philippe Argenty (France/Spain) – workshop about self-management.
Pianist – hypnotherapist Wayne Neo (United Kingdom/Singapore) – individual workshops about performance psychology.
Director of the ISM Foundation Jurgita Gaukštiene (Lithuania) – seminar about leadership and personal values.
Physiotherapist Juozas Kupciunas (Lithuania) – lecture about body awareness and the importance of physical exercises for musicians.
Historian Mindaugas Tamosiunas (Lithuania) – lecture about the history of Lithuanian state as well as the guided tour of Vytautas Magnus War Museum in Kaunas, one of the biggest and oldest museums in Lithuania.
Most of the activities took place at the Kaunas Juozas Naujalis Music Gymnasium. Concerts took place in five concert venues in Kaunas as well as in other cities in Lithuania – Birstonas and Vilnius.
By taking care of our participants’ meals and accommodation we provided them with the perfect conditions to completely focus on their profession and achieve the best results during the course.
Opportunities and venues
Another uniqueness of the festival is providing young performers with a major opportunity to perform a solo recital. This kind of event requires an enormous amount of physical and psychological work from a pianist. Therefore we believe that our participants have benefited from this possibility immensely. Each recital was professionally recorded, which provided our participants with a quality recording to be used in all future auditions/competitions. The participants' concerts took place in Birštonas Culture Center, Traku Voke Manor House, National M.K.Ciurlionis Art Museum, Kaunas Juozas Gruodis Conservatory, Kaunas J. Naujalis Music Gymnasium, Kaunas Artists' House.
Being concert pianists ourselves, we know important good photographs are for concert organizers. Therefore, our participants each benefited from an individual photoshoot by a professional photographer.
We looked for authentic and uncommon performance venues in order to attract listeners to perhaps lesser known or previously undiscovered venues. Also, we wanted to use famous buildings where concerts are not normally organized due to the fact that here is no instrument. Therefore, the gala concert took place in Kaunas St. Michael the Archangel Church, arguably the most famous building in the city. We have transported a grand piano for this event since there was no piano in the venue. During the concert, the audience had a chance to vote for their favorite pianist. This year concert pianist Alexandra Mazurkevich from Estonia has been awarded with the audience prize and thus she will perform with the Kaunas Symphony Orchestra conducted by maestro John Fisher on 22 March 2019.
All public events and activities were free of charge. In total, young pianists gave 7 free-entrance concerts in Lithuania which attracted more than 700 listeners.
Kaunas Piano Fest 2019 will take place in summer 2019 and will follow same values as in 2018. We sincerely believe that this project is important for the development of Kaunas's cultural life. We are working on it to become one of the city’s signature cultural events. Our goal is to invite teachers and performers of the highest standard and to establish a strong presence of Kaunas on the cultural map of Europe.
More information can be found at http://www.kaunaspianofest.com