About year 2014
In 2014 for the first time The International Composers’ Course in Palendriai, back then originally named as Creative Workshop for composers invited contemporary music lovers, enthusiasts and artists to join this new event taking place in Palendriai, St. Benedict’s Monastery – an extraordinary and unique place in Lithuania, surrounded by the golden fields of rye, forests, lakes and barely any human soul in few kilometres radius. The project’s main objective was to create and perform solo or chamber musical compositions for accordion. The appointed tutors in 2014 were Ben Lunn (a composer and a graduate of Royal Welsh College of Music) and Rūta Vitkauskaitė (a composer, violinist, festivals curator and PhD graduate of Royal Academy of Music in London).
About year 2015
At its’ second year The International Composers’ Course was led by two inspiring music professionals: Alasdair Nicolson (a composer, pianist, conductor and artistic director of “St. Magnus” festival) and Rūta Vitkauskaitė. Not only did this intriguing duo supervise and inspired the young composers to create and experiment with the sound of accordion but also provided valuable practical and creative tasks that enriched the experience of young artists and encouraged them to continue writing music for accordion in future. Moreover, an insightful lecture given by the guest-tutor Bethany Alexander equipped all participants with practical advices on how to sell their works to the public. The International Composers’ Course Palendriai 2015 rounded off traditionally with a concert in St. Benedict’s Monastery. The premieres of works written during the course were performed to the public and the performance lasted for more than 3 hours!
The World-premiered pieces have been professionally recorded and are available to listen on this website.
Here you will also find a PDF of the limited edition book ‘The Collection of Accordion Works” consisting of all the pieces that have been composed during the course.
About year 2016
During its third year The International Composers’ Course 2016 is moving to a picturesque space of Raudondvaris Castle Arts Incubator where all the creative work will take place. This years’ course will be led by two dynamic personalities: Gorka Hermosa and Rūta Vitkauskaitė. At the end of this vibrant week a premiere concert will become a pinnacle of creative process.
GORKA HERMOSA was born in 1976 in Urretxu (Basque Country). He is a multifaceted musician: an accordion player, a composer and teacher, a writer. Gorka Hermosa was the first Spanish accordionist to play as a soloist with an symphonic orchestra. He often appears in Spanish TV and radio shows and gives concerts all around Europe. Gorka plays a wide variety of genres including flamenco, fado, folk, pop-rock, jazz, techno, fusion. His works are often played by musicians all around the globe including some famous winners of the most prestigious accordion competitions. Gorka has published 3 CDs and has made more than 20 discographical collaborations. He has written 4 books about accordion and given conferences in Macedonia, Italy and Spain. At present he is the accordion teacher of the “Jesús de Monasterio” Musical Conservatory of Santander.
RŪTA VITKAUSKAITĖ (born 1984) is a composer, performer, new music event organiser and a teacher. Her musical interests are widely varied – while working in the field of classical composition (PhD at Royal Academy of Music at the moment, in 2009 Masters at Lithuanian Academy of Music), Ruta has also been active initiator of experimental music projects (music visualization, acoustic surround, music personalization), organizer (2006-2013 director of Druskomanija festival and workshop series the Process), performer (violin, piano, voice, electronics). Since moving to UK, Ruta has developed deep interest in music education (Learning Trainee at BCMG, Fellow at Open Academy at RAM, since 2013 working creatively with people living with dementia) and in research in personal music performance.
About year 2017
The 4th Composers+Summer Academy 2017 took place in a scenic space of Raudondvaris Castle Arts Incubator where all the creative work occured. The course was led by two inspiring personalities: Iñaki Alberdi and Rūta Vitkauskaitė. The end of the creative process culminated in a final concert of world premieres.
IÑAKI ALBERDI is one of the most prominent and active modern accordion music performers and initiators worldwide. He completed his training at the International Centre for Accordion Studies, the Gnessin Institute in Moscow, and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Alberdi was awarded first prizes at the Coupe Mondiale (Colmar, 1994), the International Accordionist and Bayanist Competition (Moscow, 1995) and the Music Competition for Youth (Valladolid, 1996). Alberdi has collaborated closely with different present-day composers, premiered compositions of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luis de Pablo, Joan Guinjoan and many more. He has recently been nominated for the Gramophon Editor’s Choice Award for his monographic record on Sofia Gubaidulina. He has performed in numerous concert halls and appeared at a wide variety of festivals, including the Teatro La Fenice, the Arsenal Concert Hall (Metz), the Auditorio Nacional (Madrid), the Hamburger Ostertöne, the Venice Biennial, the Kursaal in San Sebastián, the Mostly Modern Series in Dublin, the St. Petersburg Philharmonia. Among other conductors, Iñaki Alberdi has performed under Juanjo Mena, Josep Pons, Pablo González, Vasily Petrenko, Adrian Leaper, Pedro Halffter, Alexei Artemiev, Yoav Talmi, Mélanie Thiébaut, Nacho de Paz and José Ramón Encinar. As a chamber music performer, he has worked with BCN 216, Ostots, Proyecto Guerrero, Taima-Granada, the Trío Arbós, the Kammerensemble Neue Musik (Berlin), VOX 21, the Ensemble Instrumental (Granada), the KEA Vocal Group, and Neue Vocalsolisten.
RŪTA VITKAUSKAITĖ (born 1984) is a composer, performer, new music event organiser and teacher. Her musical interests are widely varied – while working in the field of classical composition (PhD at Royal Academy of Music, Masters at Lithuanian Academy of Music), Rūta has also been active initiator of experimental music projects (music visualization, acoustic surround, music personalization). She has also organised an international contemporary music festival Druskomanija (2006-2013) and network of contemporary music workshops The Process. In addition, Rūta performes violin, piano, voice, electronics herself too. Since moving to UK, Rūta has developed deep interest in research on music education (Learning Trainee at BCMG, Fellow at Open Academy at RAM, since 2013 working creatively with people living with dementia) and in research in personal music performance. Rūta has participated in numerous international workshops as well as new music festivals in Lithuania and abroad, including YOUrope Together (Essen, Germany 2008), Gaudeamus Music Week (Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2008), Aldeburgh Festival (England, 2008). In 2015 Rūta Vitkauskaiė’s composition for symphony orchestra and accordion Ashraga was awarded in Music Nail of the Year (category “For the creative drive”). Same year Rūta’s collaboration with Swedish electronic music composer Jens Hedman and opera singer Asa Nordgren received the Golden Stage Cross for spatial opera Confessions.