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Event Guide

ESTONIA

Apr. 27 – May 5. Eleventh Johvi Ballet Festival. Johvi Concert Hall, Ida-Viru

For the first time ever three theatre companies, the St. Petersburg Mihhailovsky Theatre, the Moscow Ballet Theatre and the Estonian National Ballet are performing at this popular festival. This year the festival focuses on contemporary dance theatre and provides only contemporary ballet performances from the best of the best. After a six-year break, the main guest is one of the most significant ballet troupes in the world, namely the St. Petersburg Mikhailovsky Theatre. The festival hosts both performances from guest ballet companies and Estonian ballet studios. The versatile festival programme meets the expectations of a wide audience, including children. In addition to the performances, ballet master classes for children will be held to give young talent the opportunity to practice under the guidance of local and foreign artists. For more information, see www.concert.ee. 

May 2-5. Tartu International Songwriters Festival Mailaul. Various locations in Tartu

Singers and songwriters from Estonia gather in Tartu for three days every spring in order to turn their thoughts and feelings into music. Mailaul (The Song of May) is a festival for listeners who want to feel a connection with the performing artists. The variety of genres at the festival is huge, including experimental jazz, blues and even electronic ambient. Find out more at www.mailaul.ee.

Until May 13. Void and Space. Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn

Leonhard Lapin has been active in the art scene for 50 years and is considered one of the founders of Estonian pop art and a classic of the neo-avant-garde. His oeuvre stretches from graphic art and painting to installation and performance, from architectural criticism and essays on art to poetry. The exhibition provides an overview of the various stages of his career. For more, see www.kumu.ekm.ee/en/

May 19. Museum Night 2018. Venues throughout Estonia

This major museum festival takes place all over Estonia on the evening of May 19 and feature countless museums and other exciting places welcoming guests for free. This year, the Museum Night is subtitled Party in the Night. Birthdays, weddings, harvest parties, what kind of parties are there? What are our party rituals and how has partying changed over time? Do animals have parties? What about plants? What are big sports parties like? Do robots know how to party? The Republic of Estonia will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2018, and birthdays mean parties. On this Museum Night, all kinds of topics related to parties will be explored. For more information, see www.muuseumioo.ee/en.

May 26-28. Kuressaare Street Festival. Kuressaare, Saaremaa Island

This spring Kuressaare will close its city centre to cars and make space for pedestrians, cyclists, traders, artists, poets and soup-makers. The first Kuressaare Street Festival welcomes everybody, from the city, from the countryside, from the mainland and from the sea! Official information online can be found at www.kuressaarefestival.ee.

Until May 27. Fashion photography exhibition by Boris Maemets. Parnu Museum, Parnu

Boris Maemets was one of the most important Soviet Estonian photographers who dealt intensively with documenting interior architecture and applied art. His fashion work and his photographs for fashion house journal Siluett formed the basis for modern Estonian fashion photography and helped establish a broader understanding of fashion in Estonia. The exhibition is organised by the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design that holds an extensive collection of Maemets’ fashion photography from the 1960s and 1970s from which the curator Anne Vetik has made a selection for the exhibition. More information online at www.etdm.ee/en.

LATVIA

From May 2. Street Food Festival. Kalnciema, Riga

On Wednesdays it’s possible to visit the Kalnciems district in Riga for its weekly Street Food Festival, where it’s possible to enjoy a variety of street food prepared by professionals and enthusiasts whilst at the same time enjoying a glass of good wine and some music outdoors with family or friends. Fun activities for children will also take place.

May 3. LNSO Season
Closing Concert by Congeners Chichon and Shimkus. Great Guild, Riga

Vestards Simkus resumes his successful alliance with the maestro and performs solo in Debussy’s Fantaisie, which is, first and foremost, fragrance and dance. The public eagerly anticipates Andris Dzenitis’ Langsam, which was first performed in Saarbrucken in the autumn of 2016, conducted by the maestro Chichon. “This music gradually brings us towards the light,” says the composer. Part two will feature Strauss’ Portrait of Don Juan, and his musings on afterlife promise to inspire contemplation. Above all, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra reunites with its former music director and an audience favourite, Karel Mark Chichon. For information and tickets, see www.bilesuparadize.lv 

May 5. Jurmala Jazz, Concert by Jazzmeia Horn. Dzintari Concert Hall, Jurmala

With confident maturity and vocal confidence usually not associated with persons of her age, the young singer Jazzmeia Horn has made her first mark on the international jazz scene with her single Concord’s Prestige from her debut album A Social Call, revealing this special talent to the world. A collection of jazz, hard bop, spiritual music and R&B, A Social Call is a reflection of the times. Jazzmeia calls the album a “call for social responsibility to identify roles in society”. For more information, see www.dzintarukoncertzale.lv. Information about tickets can be found at www.bilesuparadize.lv

May 7-13. Riga Restaurant Week. Various restaurants around Riga

During this special week, Riga’s restaurants open their doors to everyone wanting to treat themselves to an array of delicious tastes for the especially affordable price of €15-20 for a full three-course meal. For the entire week, the city’s residents and guests will have the chance to enjoy the season’s best foods prepared by experienced and innovative chefs who give each meal a modern and sophisticated twist. The organisers recommend those wishing to participate to book a table in advance. For reservations, contact the restaurants directly.

May 10. Gaby Moreno, Latin America: Tango, Blues, Bossa nova. VEF Culture Palace, Riga

Her original blend of jazz, blues and 1960s Rock & Soul has opened many doors for Gaby Moreno all over the world. She’s been nominated for an Emmy and won a Latin Grammy for Best New Artist. Moreno creates a unique kind of music that straddles both the English- and Spanish-speaking worlds and blazes an intoxicating invitation into her musical world. For more information about the concert and how to get tickets, see www.bilesuparadize.lv

May 11. Sinfonietta Riga Season Closing Concert. Great Guild, Riga

Sinfonietta Riga’s season closing concert promises a lavish and colourful smorgasbord, offering a selection that will satisfy any musical gourmand. First, a favourite of Sinfonietta Riga’s artistic director, the father of the Vienna School, Joseph Haydn, with his festive score written to celebrate the laying of the foundation for a new opera house. Next, the great Englishman Benjamin Britten with his neoclassical Simple Symphony, and the extravagant, multi-talented Austrian HK Gruber, who will take listeners on an exciting journey through the musical styles of the 20th century, playfully referencing jazz, pop and cabaret. And let’s not forget the golden repertoire of the French horn courtesy of the romantic and melodic Horn Concerto No. 1 by Richard Strauss. The special guest of the evening will be the brilliant French horn player Hervee Joulain, who is celebrated for his warm and delightful intonations as well as musical maturity. More information at www.latvijaskoncerti.lv. Information about tickets at www.bilesuparadize.lv

May 25-27. Sigulda Town Festival. Festivity Square, Sigulda 

The Sigulda Town Festival will ring in the summer season with an extensive programme of outdoor activities and events. The programme includes many fun events including a hot-air balloon festival, the traditional festival procession, concerts and activities for children. More information online at www.tourism.sigulda.lv 

May 26. Jurmala Resort Festival. Jurmala

The Jurmala Resort Festival is a very special celebration marking the beginning of the summer season in the largest resort town in the Baltics. Expect a number of spectacular events for everyone. Full information at www.visitjurmala.lv.

LITHUANIA 

May 3. XX International Arts Festival ‘Returnings’. Lithuanian National Philharmonic Concert Hall, Vilnius

After the re-establishment of independence musicians from abroad began visiting Lithuania and the roads for the gifted young people were open to studies abroad. Since this time the Lithuanian Musician Support Fund has been organising International Music Festival ‘Sugrizimai’ (Returnings) inviting young people studying and working abroad as well as older emigrants of the second and third generation. For the 20th time, Lithuanian musicians from all over the world will return to play for the public. Full information online at www.lmrf.lt.

Until May 4. Fiftieth Lithuanian Caricature Exhibition. Town Hall, Vilnius

The theme of this exhibition covers the 100-year period of restored statehood. The participating artists provide and overview of Lithuanian history since 1918 in a satirical and humorous manner. Much attention has also been paid to topical issues including emigration, dual citizenship, lack of citizenship, corruption, health protection and relations with neighbouring countries. One of the focuses of the exhibition is the ‘Vytis’ national coat of arms and its many interpretations. Find out more at www.vilniausrotuse.lt 

May 4-5. Fourteenth International Wine Fair ‘Vyno Dienos’. Litexpo, Vilnius

Vyno Dienos (Wine Days) is the biggest wine and spirits event in the Baltic States. Wine and spirits producers, international importers, gourmet representatives and companies making glass and wine accessories will be presenting their products to over 3,800 visitors during the two-day event. For more information about the event, see www.vynodienos.lt. Buy tickets online at www.tiketa.lt.

May 5. For Two, Concert by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra. Lithuanian National Philharmonic Concert Hall, Vilnius

Piano performances of 19th- and 20th-century Czech music, the Lithuanian pianists Indre Baikstyte and Gintaras Janusevicius performing Bohuslav Martinu’s Double Concerto on two pianos and much more. The Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra will demonstrate its mastery in interpreting Smetana’s Prodana Nevesta (The Bartered Bride) and Dvorak’s penultimate Eighth Symphony. Lithuanian soloists and the LNSO will be led by the Taiwanese conductor Tung-Chieh Chuang who first worked in Lithuania in 2017.  For more information and tickets, see www.filharmonija.lt 

May 7-13. Design Week 2018. Several locations around Lithuania

Throughout the festival the Lithuanian cities of Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Siauliai, Telsiai and Anyksciai will be holding a number of different events. Guests will be invited to participate in creative workshops, visit exhibitions, acquire knowledge and share it at conferences. Artists will present their latest works along the theme of spaces. The colour of this year’s festival 2018 is mustard yellow. For more information, see www.dizainosavaite.lt 

May 11. Closing Concert of the Season. Congress Hall, Vilnius

During the closing concert of the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra’s season audiences will be treated to the legendary and world-famous cellist Mischa Maisky. Maisky is a very welcome guest at concert halls in London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna Tokyo and elsewhere. The first part of the concert offers a performance of Ottorino Respighi’s Variations for Cello and Orchestra followed by Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme. The second part will include Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 for a large orchestra, in which the composer merged the imagery and plotline of a symphonic poem with a classical symphony structure. The Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by its founder, Gintaras Rinkevicius. For more information, see www.lvso.lt. To purchase tickets, see www.tiketa.lt.

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