St. Christopher Woodwind Quintet has been in existence since 2003, featuring talented musicians, winners of international and national competitions. The artistic activity of this highly professional ensemble has long gone beyond the limits of Lithuania. Performers earned international acclaim at the prestigious 6th International Henri Tomasi Woodwind Quintet Competition in Marseille (France) in 2007. Here they won the First Prize and a special prize for the best performance of Régio Campo’s Toy written for the competition. At the reputable International Chamber Music Competition in Osaka (Japan) in 2008, where as many as 230 collectives competed, Lithuanian performers shared a respectable fourth place with the New York Wind Quintet.
In fifteen years, St. Christopher’s Woodwind Quintet has accumulated a rich and stylistically diverse repertoire. In addition to the classical quintets by W.A. Mozart, F. Danzi, P. Taffanel and A. Reicha, the performers pay great attention to the sophisticated chamber opuses by the 20th-century composers S. Barber, L. Berio, M. Arnold,
G. Ligetti, H. Villa-Lobos, J.M. Damase, H. Tomasi and many others. Members of the Quintet willingly collaborate with contemporary Lithuanian composers and encourage them to widen the repertoire of the wind instrument chamber ensemble. This is how chamber works for the traditional woodwind quintet by R. Šileika, R. Giedraitis, R. Vitkauskaitė, A. Navickas, L. Rimša, T. Makačinas and other composers appeared. The ensemble participates in various cultural events, organizes festivals and projects involving other art forms such as the concert program Line, where the music merges with the masterful dance of LNOBT’s prima ballerina Olga Konoshenko.
St. Christopher Woodwind Quintet has performed with the Marseille (France) Wind Quintet as a tentet, collaborated with Vilnius and Klaipėda brass quintets, the Vilnius String Quartet and other ensembles, has given concerts in Lithuania, France, Russia and Switzerland, participated in various festivals in Lithuania, Russia and Czech Republic.
Flutist Giedrius Gelgotas is a winner of international competitions, a participant of prestigious music festivals ranging from Lithuania to Japan, the founder and a member of the Lithuanian Flute Quartet and St. Christopher Quintet, a member of the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, an associate professor of Vytautas Magnus University Music Academy. He is a former member and the principal flute of the Cairo (Egypt), Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) and the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre orchestras. He has performed with the Lithuanian, Kaunas, St. Christopher and Klaipėda chamber orchestras, as well as the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra and numerous foreign orchestras under the baton of such maestros as Y. Menuhin, M. Rostropovich, B. Haitink, etc. As a prominent performer of contemporary Lithuanian music, Gelgotas has premiered works by A. Martinaitis, O. Narbutaitė, A. Malcys, F. Latėnas, R. Motiekaitis and other composers; has recorded CDs and made recordings for the Lithuanian Radio archives. In recent years, his concert itineraries have included the P. Tchaikovsky Conservatory Hall in Moscow, the Ostrava Festival in the Czech Republic, and Beirut.
Ugnius Dičiūnas, oboe
In 2016, Ugnius Dičiūnas has graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (prof. R. Beinaris and lect. E. Paškevi
ius). In 2015–2016, he has honed his skills with prof. J. Brožková and L. Séquardtová in Prague. The oboist has attended master classes led by prominent performers including O. Zobali, J. Thuri, D. Jonas, K. Kuljus and others. A winner of various international and national competitions, he has joined the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra in 2014. As a member of the trio Colours, Dičiūnas was awarded the Certificate of Merit from the President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė.
In 2001, Andrius Žiūra has graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (lect. J. Černius and prof. A. Budrys). In 2002–2003, he fine-tuned his skills with prof. L. Maxey in the USA. In 2003, Žiūra took part in Clarinet Symposium in Oklahoma (USA) and master classes led by R. Hawley, B. Harra and R. Morales. The clarinettist is the winner of national and international competitions, has participated in many Lithuanian and foreign festivals. As a soloist and member of various ensembles he has performed in Denmark, USA, Japan, France, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany. He has appeared as a soloist with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra; the Lithuanian, St. Christopher, Kremerata Baltica and Klaipėda chamber orchestras; Vilnius, Kremeratini and Chordos string quartets; Music Humana Ensemble and Trimitas Wind Instrument Orchestra. Since 1998, he has been a member of the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra.
Andrius Puplauskis, bassoon
Andrius Puplauskis is a winner of national and international competitions, performs solo recitals, collaborates with various chamber ensembles in Lithuania and abroad. Puplauskis’ wide repertoire embraces baroque, classical, contemporary, pop, jazz, electronic music, and even his own electric bassoon improvisations. In 2009, he released the first ever in Lithuania CD of solo bassoon music FAGOTAS LIETUVIŠKAI (Bassoon in Lithuanian) featuring the best Lithuanian examples of bassoon music. Puplauskis is the principal bassoon of the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra and an associate professor at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.
Andrius Dirmauskas, French horn
In 2000, Andrius Dirmauskas entered the University of Tromsø, Norway, where he earned Bachelor degree in solo French horn and chamber music (prof. K.-G. Sollie.). In 2006, he received a Master degree from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. Dirmauskas had honed his skills with many notable French horn players. He is the winner of national and international competitions. Currently, Dirmauskas is the principal French horn of the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra.