Lembit Orgse graduated the Tallinn Music High School in the class of Reet Vanaselja and prof. Bruno Lukk and the Tallinn Conservatoire (now Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre) with prof Bruno Lukk and Kalle Randalu. In 1988-1990 he did post graduate studies at the St. Petersburg Conservatoire named after N.Rimsky-Korsakov under the guidance of prof. Vladimir Nielsen. 2013 he was given a degree of PhD in Music.
In 1982 he became a laureate of the Čiurlionis Competition in Lithuania and since then acted as a pianist and harpsichord player with various soloists, ensembles and orchestras (Tallinn String Quartet, National Opera Wind Quintet, Hortus Musicus, ERSO, Tallinn Baroque Orchestra, Corelli Consort, etc.) both in Estonia and abroad. As a specialist of Basso continuo, he performs large-scale works (Bach’s passions, cantatas, Handel’s oratorios, etc.), which makes him an outstanding performer of early music.
His main concert projects related to J.S.Bach include performances of French and English suites in the concert series “Dances on the Keys”; performances of chamber sonatas with prominent Estonian soloists of string and wind instruments, as well as harpsichord concertos in collaboration with the Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta Orchestra at the Tallinn Bachfest and Mustonenfest festivals. In recent years, several solo programs on a fortepiano with works of C. P. E. Bach, J. Haydn, W.A. Mozart, M. Clementi and others, have been significant.
Lembit Orgse is a well-known piano teacher; his students have been successful in national and international competitions. He is currently a professor of early keyboard music and the head of the teaching unit of interpretation pedagogics at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, as well as the chairman of the board of the Estonian Piano Teachers Association (EPTA).
Lembit Orgse is a popular lecturer and organizer of master classes. The topics of his lectures include interpretation of Baroque and classical music (J.S. Bach and J. Haydn) and other issues of keyboard music interpretation.
Janusz Olejniczak is one of the most outstanding contemporary Chopin interpreters. Born in Wrocław, he was the youngest prize-winner of the 8th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition (1970) and also won a prize in the Alfredo Casella International Competition in Naples. He has performed in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia, in the most famous concert halls, such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Salle Pleyel, Suntory Hall, Lincoln Center, Tonhalle in Düsseldorf and Concertgebouw. He has been a juror of piano competitions many times and given masterclasses abroad – in Europe, Canada, Japan and Columbia. Besides the core Classical repertoire, he also performs Polish contemporary music (incl. Lutosławski, Górecki and Kilar). He has played with orchestra under the direction of Witold Rowicki, Stanisław Wisłocki, Kazimierz Kord, Antoni Wit, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Wojciech Michniewski, Tadeusz Strugała, Charles Dutoit, Andrzej Borejko, Grzegorz Nowak, Jacek Kaspszyk and others. For many years, he has also worked with Marek Moś and the Aukso Orchestra. He was one of the first performers of Chopin’s music on period instruments (Erard and Pleyel) and is a regular guest of the festival ‘Chopin and his Europe’ in Warsaw, including appearances alongside Martha Argerich and Maria João Pires. He has also appeared many times with Frans Brüggen’s Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées and Philippe Herreweghe. He has made over forty recordings, including the soundtracks to Roman Polanski’s The Pianist and Andrzej Żuławski’s La note bleu. Among his many recordings for the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, particularly notable is the recently finished complete set of mazurkas on period instrument. He has been decorated with the Officer’s Cross of the Rebirth of Poland (2000), the ‘Gloria Artis’ Gold Medal (2005) and ‘Fryderyk’ awards (eight times). From October 2015, he will be working with the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.
Rūta Rikterė is Professor of the Piano Department, Chair of Doctoral Committee and Vice Rector for Studies at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.
She has a degree from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (1986) where later she completed her postgraduate studies to acquire the qualifications of a soloist, an accompanist, a chamber ensemble musician, and a teacher.
Rūta Rikterė is a laureate of the M. K. Čiurlionis International Piano Competition (1982), Valentino Bucchi International Piano Duo Competition in Rome (1991), and the winner of the Golden Disc (2001), a prestigious award by the Lithuanian Musicians’ Union.
In 1997, the pianist was awarded the National Culture and Arts Award (Lithuania).
For over 30 years, Rūta Rikterė together with pianist Zbignevas Ibelgauptas has been fostering the genre of piano duo. She has taken part in various musical events in Lithuania (Vilnius Festival, Pažaislis Music Festival, the Thomas Mann Festival, the Gaida Contemporary Music Festival) and abroad such as international festivals in Poland (Warszawska Jesień (Warsaw Autumn)), Denmark (Musikhost), Ljubljana Summer Festival in Slovenia, Germany (Usedomer musik festival), Canada (Music Niagara), Belarus, and Ukraine.
As a member of the piano duo, Rūta Rikterė has given concerts with the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, State Chamber Orchestra of the Republic of Belarus and major Lithuanian orchestras, collaborating with such conductors as Arturo Tamayo, David Geringas, Olivier Grangean, José Serebrier, Pavel Berman, Juozas Domarkas, Saulius Sondeckis, and others.
The duo of Rūta Rikterė and Zbignevas Ibelgauptas has given recitals on the stages of music halls in Japan, USA, Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, Slovenia, Ireland, Latvia and elsewhere. They performed at the events of Vilnius European Capital of Culture in 2009. In 2013, the musicians were invited to perform at important events of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The concerts by the duo have been broadcast on the Lithuanian and European radio stations and on the Lithuanian TV. The duo has also released several CDs.
Rūta Rikterė has developed an impressive concert repertoire that predominantly comprises compositions for two pianos ranging from Johann Sebastian Bach to contemporary music. She devotes herself to the contemporary music by Lithuanian composers, promotes the Lithuanian music history, edits the scores, and is the initiator and first performer of compositions by many Lithuanian composers.
Rūta Rikterė runs master classes, both in Lithuania and abroad, and can often be seen among organisers members of judging committees at various international and national competitions. She has been a coordinator and partner in numerous projects subsidised by the Culture Support Fund (Lithuania) and Vilnius City Municipality.
Toms Ostrovskis studied piano performance at the Emils Darzins Secondary Music School, Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (JVLMA), and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Since 2007 Toms Ostrovskis is a member of the Piano Department of the JVLMA (currently associate professor). He has led masterclasses in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Iceland, Sweden, Poland, Great Britain, and other countries. He is an active chamber musician and frequently participates in various solo and chamber music projects in Latvia and abroad. Toms Ostrovskis has made numerous recordings for the Latvian Radio 3 «Klasika».
Since 1998 he has been a member of the Latvian Piano Teachers Association (board member since 2010), representing EPTA Latvia in festivals and conferences across Europe. In 2007 he became actively involved in the Innovative Conservatoire (ICon) project, an international collaboration to stimulate knowledge exchange, innovation and reflective practice in Conservatoires. Since 2014 he has been the director of the «Talents of Inese Galante» competition and from 2019 to 2022 he chaired the education initiative of the Riga Jurmala Music Festival, organizing international masterclasses of such renowned musicians as Mischa Maisky, Yefim Bronfman, Andras Schiff and Renee Fleming, amongst others. Since 2016 Toms Ostrovskis has been a member of the Nordplus «Act in Art» network, developing entrepreneurship opportunities at higher music education institutions; since 2017 he is a member of the project evaluation committee of the Creative Industries Incubator of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia. Since 2018 Toms Ostrovskis is the Head of Performing Arts Department of the JVLMA.
Dr. Niklas Pokki (1976) is founder and artistic director of Mänttä Music Festival, the most important annual piano event in Finland, since 1999. He works as Head of Piano Department at the University of the Arts Helsinki, Sibelius Academy. Several of his students have won prizes in national and international competitions. Pokki is an active master class teacher and lecturer, and he works constantly as a juror in national and international piano competitions. He is also co-founder and coordinator of a prestigious talent education program, the Youth Piano Academy Finland.
Pokki has performed as a soloist with e.g. Baden-Baden Philharmonic Orchestra and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. He has premiered works by e.g. Jean Sibelius, Erkki Melartin, Kalevi Aho, Osmo-Tapio Räihälä and Tõnu Kõrvits. He has played broadcasted concerts (Finnish Broadcasting Company, Classic FM, Eesti Klassikaraadio and SWR1) and made studio recordings.
Niklas Pokki studied at the Sibelius Academy and at the Music University of Karlsruhe, Germany. His teachers include Matti Raekallio, Teppo Koivisto, Erik T. Tawaststjerna, Carmen Piazzini and Emanuel Krasovsky.