EFAcast – Joining Hands&Hearts Ukraine: Odessa Classics & Vilnius Festival

In this episode of the EFAcast, Simon Mundy meets Rūta Prusevicienė, Director General of Vilnius Festival, and Alexey Botvinov, Founder and President of Odessa Classics.

Vilnius Festival runs from 2 to 29 June 2023 and Odessa Classics from 16 May until 7 June 2023.

Vilnius Festival is one of the most prestigious, solid and versatile classical music events in Lithuania and a major summer destination for music-lovers during the hottest tourist season. With primary interest in presenting classical music, performed by the established soloists, ensembles and symphony orchestras from all over the world, the Vilnius Festival also continues to promote contemporary Lithuanian music by commissioning new large-scale works and offers a platform for jazz and musical theatre.

Since the first Vilnius Festival in 1997 its primary idea has been to promote the historical and modern assets of world culture in society. Cooperation between Lithuanian and foreign musicians has fostered the creation of a multicultural music scene in Lithuania, as well as mutual tolerance and trust, and the discovery and support of new artistic forces. The organisers of Vilnius Festival seek to reflect the cultural experiences of different nations and eras in the festival programme.

Odessa - the pearl of the the Black Sea – hosted 7 editions of the "Odessa Classics“ Music Festival every June from 2015 to 2021.

Founded by the internationally renowned pianist Alexey Botvinov, Odessa Classics is established as a top level European festival. Concerts took place not only in the concert hall of the Odessa Philharmony but also in one of the most wonderful Opera Houses in the world, and amazing open air concerts on the famous Potemkin‘s stairs, gathered more than 10 000 spectators.

But the war changed everything and in 2022 it was impossible to hold the festival in Ukraine. “Odessa Classics’ managed to find new homes in Europe: 4 concerts were organised in Tallinn, Estonia (31 Mai - 3 June); 5 concerts in Thessaloniki, Greece (9-13 June); 7 concerts in Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Germany (5 July - 23 August); and the final Gala-concert took place in Vilnius, Lithuania (14 October).