Of the International Virgilijus Noreika Competition for Singers 2017
Asta Krikščiūnaitė (Lithuania)
A prominent Lithuanian soprano ASTA KRIKŠČIŪNAITĖ has been one of the leading artists in the field of classical music in Lithuania for more than two decades. The beauty and clarity of her voice was noticed at a very early stage - she was awarded a diploma at Pavarotti International Voice Competition in Philadelphia (USA). After the completion of her studies at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Krikščiūnaitė began her career at Klaipėda Music Theatre, where earned her a prize from the Lithuanian Theatre Union. Her professional skills she furthered in the United States, where she studied under the tutelage of the famous vocal teachers. The possibilities of her well-groomed voice – from tender lyricism to intense dramaticism – allow her to perform music of diverse genres: operas, oratorios, large-scale symphonic works, chamber music, and compositions by contemporary composers.
The soloist has performed more than 80 operatic roles and soprano parts and over 300 chamber works. A. Krikščiūnaitė has created many memorable roles in Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Finland and elsewhere: Elisabetta and Elvira in Verdi’s Don Carlos and Ernani, Angelica and Tosca in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Tosca, Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen; solo parts in large-scale works of Bach, Handel, Haydn, Rossini, Liszt, Mozart, Verdi, Brahms, Bruckner, Dvořák, Beethoven, Janáček, Penderecki, Berlioz, Poulenc, Webber, Rachmaninoff, Strawinsky and many others.
A.Krikščiūnaitė has appeared as a soloist with many symphony and chamber orchestras worldwide performing under the batons of Lord Y. Menuhin (Great Britain), M.Rostropovich (Russia), P. Mägi, A. Volmer, A. Mustonen (Estonia), H.Koivula (Finland), I. E. Reihl (Germany), M.Sidlin (USA), K. Penderecki (Poland), J. Axelrod (USA), J. Domarkas, S.Sondeckis, M. Pitrėnas (Lithuania), O. Grangean (France), P.Berman (Italy), K.Zehnder (Switzerland). She has sung at the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra’s season-closing concerts under the direction of the artistic director of the Warsaw National Philharmonic K. Kord; other concert venues include the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and the Palace of Luxembourg, the home of the French Senate, in Paris, France; the Kings’ Palace and the University of Music in Warsaw, Poland; the Black diamond Hall in Copenhagen, Denmark; the Essen Philharmonic Hall, Germany; the Tampere Concert Hall, Finland; the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in Moscow and the Glinka State Academic Chapel of St. Petersburg, Russia with the Lithuanian National, the Lithuanian State, the Polish National, the Estonian National and the Tampere (Finland) symphony orchestras, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, the Joensuu City Orchestra (Finland), etc.
A. Krikščiūnaitė is a frequent guest in various music festivals, including Verdi Festival at the Estonian National Opera; Musica Sacra in Nuremberg, Germany; Ljubljana Summer Festival in Slovenia; Potsdam Sanssouci Music Festival and David Gering anniversary concert at Rheingau Music Festival in Germany; Kammermusikfest Hopfgarten in Austria; Tri-Arte in Holland; Saaremaa Opera Days in Estonia; Milosz Festival in Krakow, Poland. Krikščiūnaitė’s performances in Stravinski’s Mavra, together with the NYYD Ensemble (Estonia) conducted by Olari Elts, etc.
Richard Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder, and Onutė Narbutaitė’s oratorio Centones meae urbi were broadcasted by Euroradio (2001, 2006, 2009).
In 2013 she was highly acclaimed in the 61st Ljubliana Summer Festival where she performed soprano part in G. Verdi Requiem with Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra.
The soloist has released a number of audio and video recordings, her performances have been broadcasted on radio and television by BBC (UK), NRK P2 (Norway), Lithuanian National Radio and Television, Classical Radio (Estonia) and other.
Besides her work as a professor at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Asta Krikščiūnaitė gives master classes in colleges and universities in Lithuania, Germany, The Nethetlands, Finland, Norway, Latvia, Estonia, etc. Since 2011, Asta Krikščiūnaitė has been a member of the Senate of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and from December 2014 she is the new Head of the Vocal Departament.
For her devotion to the professional art she was awarded a number of prizes – in 2004 she received the Order of White Star for the contribution to Estonian culture; the Gold Disc Award of the Lithuanian Musicians Union (2005); the honorary award For Merit to Polish Culture from the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Poland (2012).
In 2011 Asta Krikščiūnaitė was awarded the Lithuanian National Prize for Culture and Arts – the highest award of arts and literature in Lithuania.