St. Christopher Quintet

After the graduation from Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre as well as the studies abroad, a group of five young and professional musicians - Giedrius Gelgotas (flute), Justė Gelgotaitė (oboe), Andrius Žiūra (clarinet), Paulius Lukauskas (French horn) and Andrius Puplauskis (bassoon) - returned to Lithuania and decided to establish a quintet. As the result, in 2003, the St. Christopher Woodwind Quintet was founded.

Giedrius Gelgotas (flute) - a prize-winner of Lithuanian and international competitions and a participant of many festivals and concerts all over the world. In 2002-2003, he studied under Prof. William Bennett in London, and in 2006-2007, under Prof. Barbara Gisler-Haase in Wien. Also, the musician participated in master-classes given by such professors, as Emmanuel Pahud, Wolfgang Schulz, Jeffrey Khaner, Phillipa Davies, Lóránt Kovács, Christian Larde, Ian Clarke and Jean-Claude Gerard. Currently, Giedrius Gelgotas is a flute player at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre Symphony Orchestra, a student at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (doing his PhD), and a guest solo flutist at the Cairo Opera House Symphony Orchestra (Egypt). In 2008, Giedrius Gelgotas is invited to be an assistant at the William Bennett International Summer-School.

Justė Gelgotaitė (oboe) - a prize-winner of the National Juozas Pakalnis Wind Instrument Competition. As a student, she already performed a lot of solo recitals. Since 2002 Justė Gelgotaitė has been working at the Symphony Orchestra of the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society as a co-principal oboe. The musician has studied in Lion (France) under a well-known oboe professor Jean-Louis Capezzali. Justė Gelgotaitė always takes part in many international oboe master-classes. Moreover, she has played solo with all of the main Lithuanian orchestras, has given solo and chamber music concerts with various ensembles in Lithuania and abroad.

Andrius Žiūra (clarinet) - a prize-winner of international as well as Lithuanian competitions. In 2002-2003, Andrius Žiūra studied in the USA under Prof. Larry Maxey. Also, in 2003, the musician participated at the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium. The artist has participated actively in master-classes given by such professors as Richard Hawley, B. Harra and Ricardo Morales. Andrius Žiūra has given many solo concerts with various orchestras and chamber music groups, has participated in festivals in Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, France, Denmark, and Sweden. Since 1998, the musician has been working at the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra.

Paulius Lukauskas (French horn) - a diploma holder and prize-winner of international and national competitions. In 1999 he started his studies at Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music under Prof. Adrian Klisan, where he acquired his Master's Degree. At the same time he was studying at Dresden University of Music Carl Maria von Weber (Germany) under Prof. Peter Damm. Since 2003, Paulius Lukauskas has been a co-principal French-horn player at the Symphony Orchestra of Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society. The musician has performed as a soloist as well as with various chamber groups in Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Germany and Sweden.

Andrius Puplauskis (bassoon) - a diploma holder and prize-winner of international and national competitions. The musician has participated in many international master-classes in Lithuania, Germany and Sweden, has played solo concerts with orchestras as well as with different chamber music groups. Andrius Puplauskis has made recordings for the Lithuanian National Radio. Since 1993 he has been working as a solo bassoon player at the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra. Moreover, since 2006, Puplauskis has been giving lectures at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Although relatively young, the St. Christopher Quintet has already taken part in such festivals as Sugrįžimai (Vilnius, Lithuania), Druskomanija (Druskininkai, Lithuania), Sekmadienio muzika (Kaunas, Lithuania), FIMU (Belfort, France), the international festival of classical music the Musical summer in Kuzminki (Moscow, Russia) and the Christopher Summer Festival (Vilnius, Lithuania). The quintet has given concerts in Lithuania, France, Russia and Switzerland. With the help of the Classical Music Fund of the company Baltic Optical Disc and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, the St. Christopher Quintet recorded and published its first compact disc in 2005. The repertoire of the group is comprised of the music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Danzi, Paul Taffanel, Anton Reicha, Henri Tomasi, Samuel Barber, Luciano Berio, Malcolm Arnold, György Ligeti, Jean-Michel Damase, Julius Juzeliūnas, Rūta Vitkauskaitė as well as the pieces for quintets by numerous other composers from various epochs. In order to better reveal the peculiarities and possibilities of the instruments to the audience, the members of the quintet often include solo, duet pieces as well as other ensemble compositions into their concert programmes. Moreover, the quintet is expanding the repertoire for woodwind instruments through active cooperation with contemporary composers.

In 2007, the quintet won the first prize as well as the award for the best performance of the obligatory piece at the Henri Tomasi International Competition for Woodwind Quintets in Marseille (France) and as the result has achieved international acknowledgement.

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