X International Tartu Early Music Festival "Orient et occident" October 4-10, 2005X International Tartu Early Music Festival is again pleased to present a fascinating combination of the cultures of Mediaeval Europe and Orient. Celebrating its first important anniversary after a decade-long history, the current festival's title, Orient et Occident, is in a way symbolic of the its beginnings, its journey and its purpose. The juxtaposition of the early European and various Oriental cultures has been at the heart of the festival from the very outset. As with many other things, the deeper we probe, the more we can find connections and similarities between the two. I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone with whom I have had the opportunity of sharing this journey and these invaluable treasures. The present foreword is also an invitation to everyone who would like to partake in them in the future.
In our tenth anniversary season we will precipitate some conclusions from the work that has been done during the festival's existence in juxtaposing and comparing different cultures in a modern context. We will hold a conference on education, focussing on the role of early and Oriental music in shaping the modern music education. In this connection, in addition to several top experts and leading professional figures in music education, we are happy to greet among our guests the long-time director of the Institute for Early Music at the Music Academy of the City of Basle, Dr. Peter Reidemeister. The education conference will be held in cooperation with the Central European Festivals of Early Music Association.
Our festival guests include such remarkable performers as Butterfly Music Group from China (with a most spectacular repertoire), the blind flute virtuoso V. Hemapala from Sri Lanka, the martial arts master Zhang Shangmin from China, mediaeval music ensembles La Morra from Switzerland and Alba and Esk from Denmark. Gu qin, a silk stringed zither known from ancient Chinese manuscripts, will be played by one of its most accomplished contemporary masters, John Thompson from the United States. For the first time we also offer a combination of Chinese and mediaeval European music in the concert "Music from the times of Marco Polo", where John Thompson will perform music from 15th century Chinese manuscripts and the ensemble of the Centre of Early and Oriental Music FA Schola at the University of Tartu will play Italian music from the same era. As has become traditional, the festival will also offer lectures, seminars and midnight concerts. And, once again, the festival's concerts will also reach Tallinn, Estonia's capital city.
Wishing you an enjoyable and memorable festival experience,
Artistic Director of International Tartu Early Music Festival