I am delighted to welcome you to the 5th edition of Composers+Summer Academy. This international event began in 2014 as a small composers camp in the village of Palendriai at St. Benedict’s Monastery. In later years it continued in Raudondvaris Castle Arts Incubator and now it is based in the resort town of Druskininkai in the south of Lithuania.
The main focus of the Composers+Summer Academy (C+, Composers+) remains to produce new works for accordion, both as a solo instrument and with chamber ensemble. Collaboration platform is the most essential basis of this Academy. The main purpose of this event is to gather composers and performers in one place and provide opportunity to work together on new, undiscovered sounds and material. Thus the Academy provides increasing ways of creating and exploring modern music for the accordion in the Baltic region and beyond.
This year I am particularly happy and honoured to introduce three tutors of the Composers+Summer Academy who will be working with the participants throughout the Academy.
Daniel Nelson – a leading Swedish composer. He has worked with orchestras such as the Swedish Radio SO, Orchestre National d’île de France, Trondheim SO, Royal Swedish Philharmonic, and several others in Scandinavia, Europe, and the United States. His compositions are mostly instrumental and orchestral works, among them a piece for accordion and string quartet “My Inner Disco”. Nelson’s music has been described as being pulse-oriented with a neo-romantic vein. Critics have also remarked on the “magnificently mobile orchestration” and “exuberant energy”. In 2015, Daniel Nelson received the Carin Malmlöf-Forssling Prize in composition from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.
Mikołaj Majkusiak – internationally acclaimed Polish composer, accordionist, arranger and producer. A graduate of Fryderyk Chopin University of Music with degrees of composition and accordion performance. Mikołaj is a great contributor to chamber and symphonic accordion repertoire, his “Concerto Classico” for accordion and symphony orchestra is one of the most played by accordionists worldwide. He works a lot in Film music as well as surprises his audiences with some rather unusual instrumentations like “Road to the Unknown” for female voice, violin solo, DJ and string orchestra.
Mikołaj is a prize winner of composers competitions in Warsaw and Legnica, as well as a multiple award winner in accordion competitions worldwide.
Dr. Rūta Vitkauskaitė – the leading tutor of the Academy, who has witnessed the Composers+ evolve since its founding year in 2014. She has written a few substantial works for accordion, and provides important knowledge and experience of writing for this instrument. Her works include “Ashraga” for accordion and symphony orchestra and most recently “Savesp” for accordion and string quartet (premiered at Berlin Konzerthaus in 2018). Other works include experimental operas, electro-acoustic and audio-visual compositions and performances. Rūta’s music widely ranges from experimental, drastic and vigorous to very sustained and esoteric idioms.
Rūta has obtained her PhD at the Royal Academy of Music in London and has been awarded with the most important Lithuanian stage prize – Golden Cross.
Apart from close work with Academy Tutors, workshops, rehearsals, seminars and presentations the Composers+Summer Academy agenda will offer many exciting activities such as an open day for the public to see and experience how the composing, collaborating and music making is done before it reaches the performance stage. The Composers+Summer Academy will also contain a concert series with various music genres and performers, including a final concert of world premieres of the pieces developed during the Academy, hot off the press! All the pieces composed at the C+ will be professionally recorded, printed and published. Moreover, the Composers+ venue is a recreation hotel and all the SPA treatments including massages, yoga sessions, swimming pool etc. will be available to the participants free of charge.
The Composers+Summer Academy aims to create and showcase modern music for the broadest possible audience, presenting new music for accordion in accessible and interesting ways. Valuable technical skills and artistic insights are provided by tutors of international reputation and expertise. We hope the Academy participants will be inspired to continue this work of developing new repertoire for accordion.
Founder & Artistic Director of C+