A prominent Lithuanian soprano ASTA KRIKŠČIŪNAITĖ has been one of the leading artists in the field of classical music in Lithuania for more than two decades. The beauty and clarity of her voice was noticed at a very early stage - she received the first place at a competition for young performers in Moldova and was awarded a diploma at Pavarotti International Voice Competition in Philadelphia (USA). After the completion of her studies at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Krikščiūnaitė began her career at Klaipėda Music Theatre, where she created the role of Monica in Menotti’s The Medium, which earned her a prize from the Lithuanian Theatre Union.
Asta Krikščiūnaitė furthered her professional skills in the United States, where she studied under the tutelage of the famous vocal teacher Claire B. Alexander, highly trusted and notably successful voice teacher Beverley Peck Johnson, the conductor Yves Abel and the founder of the Bel Canto Institute, Jane Bakken Klaviter. The possibilities of her well-groomed voice – from tender lyricism to intense dramaticism – allow her to perform music of diverse genres: operas, oratorios, large-scale symphonic works, chamber music, and compositions by contemporary composers.
The soloist has performed more than 80 operatic roles and soprano parts and over 300 chamber works. Asta Krikščiūnaitė has created many memorable roles in Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Finland and elsewhere: Elisabetta and Elvira in Verdi’s Don Carlos and Ernani, Angelica and Tosca in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Tosca, Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen, Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust, Giulietta in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, Parasha and Bride in Stravinsky’s Mavra and Les Noces, Monica in Menotti’s The Medium, Rita in Donizetti’s Rita, solo parts in large-scale works of Bach, Handel, Haydn, Rossini, Liszt, Mozart, Verdi, Brahms, Bruckner, Dvořák, Beethoven, Janáček, Penderecki, Berlioz, Poulenc, Webber, Rachmaninoff, Strawinsky, Jenkins.
A.Krikščiūnaitė has appeared as a soloist with many symphony and chamber orchestras in Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Spain, Germany, France, the United States, Israel, Norway, Denmark, Russia, Ireland, Latvia, Sweden and elsewhere, performing under the batons of Lord Yehudi Menuhin (Great Britain), Mstislav Rostropovich (Russia), Paul Mägi, Arvo Volmer, Andreas Mustonen (Estonia), Hannu Koivula (Finland), Ingo Ernst Reihl (Germany), Murry Sidlin (USA), Krzysztof Penderecki (Poland), John Axelrod (USA), Juozas Domarkas, Donatas Katkus, Saulius Sondeckis, Robertas Šervenikas, Modestas Pitrėnas (Lithuania), Olivier Grangean (France), Pavel Berman (Italy) and Kaspar Zehnder (Switzerland). She has sung at the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra’s season-closing concerts under the direction of the artistic director of the Warsaw National Philharmonic Kazimierz Kord; other concert venues include the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and the Palace of Luxembourg, the home of the French Senate, in Paris, France; the Kings’ Palace and the University of Music in Warsaw, Poland; the Black diamond Hall in Copenhagen, Denmark; the Essen Philharmonic Hall, Germany; the Tampere Concert Hall, Finland; the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in Moscow and the Glinka State Academic Chapel of St. Petersburg, Russia with the Lithuanian National, the Lithuanian State, the Polish National, the Estonian National and the Tampere (Finland) symphony orchestras, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, the St Christopher (Lithuania) and the Minsk Chamber (Belarus) orchestras, the Joensuu City Orchestra (Finland), etc.
Asta Krikščiūnaitė is a frequent guest in various music festivals, including Verdi Festival at the Estonian National Opera; Musica Sacra in Nuremberg, Germany; Ljubljana Summer Festival in Slovenia; Potsdam Sanssouci Music Festival and David Gering anniversary concert at Rheingau Music Festival in Germany; Kammermusikfest Hopfgarten in Austria; Tri-Arte in Holland; Saaremaa Opera Days in Estonia; Milosz Festival in Krakow, Poland. Krikščiūnaitė’s performances in Stravinski’s Mavra, together with the NYYD Ensemble (Estonia) conducted by Olari Elts, Richard Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder, and Onutė Narbutaitė’s oratorio Centones meae urbi were broadcasted by Euroradio (2001, 2006, 2009).
In 2013 she was highly acclaimed in the 61st Ljubliana Summer Festival where she performed soprano part in G. Verdi Requiem with Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra.
The soloist has released a number of audio and video recordings, her performances have been broadcasted on radio and television by BBC (UK), NRK P2 (Norway), Lithuanian National Radio and Television, Classical Radio (Estonia) and other.
Krikščiūnaitė’s interpretations of vocal music have been highly acclaimed by audiences and critics: “The singer has a beautiful voice and is very talented, sensitive and musical (...) ” Kazimierz Kord; “It was a great pleasure to hear the soprano Asta Krikščiūnaitė, and I am impressed with how a beautiful voice, excellent musicality and lovely stage presence are combined in her person.” Anton Guadagno; “On a chamber stage, the singer Asta Krikščiūnaitė feels perfectly at home, and every composition she performs becomes a little poem. Krikščiūnaitė’s chamber music performances display her best qualities as an interpreter: subtlety, sensitivity, musicality and vocal culture. It was a concert of the highest calibre.” Mati Palm
Besides her work as an associate professor at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Asta Krikščiūnaitė gives master classes in colleges and universities in Lithuania, Germany and Latvia. Moreover, she is a constant jury member at a number of national and international vocal competitions. Since 2011, Asta Krikščiūnaitė has been a member of the Senate of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.
For her devotion to the professional art she was awarded a number of prizes – in 2004 she received the Order of White Star for the contribution to Estonian culture; the Gold Disc Award of the Lithuanian Musicians Union (2005); the honorary award For Merit to Polish Culture from the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Poland (2012).
In 2011 Asta Krikščiūnaitė was awarded the Lithuanian National Prize for Culture and Arts – the highest award of arts and literature in Lithuania.