The great organ at Vilnius University St. John‘s church originally was build at Polock Jesuit‘s church. At the beginning it was much smaller. It‘s builder could have been the famous 18th century organbuilder from Königsberg Adam Gottlob Casparini or Nicolaus Janson who was a leading organbuilder from Vilnius organ school. At the 19th century the organ was enlarged by Theodor Tiedemann and Juozapas Radavičius. Currently, after 17 years of reconstruction, this organ has 3 manual with pedals, 64 stops and is the largest pipe organ in Lithuania.
This instrument was reconstructed after the specification by Casparini/Radavičius and is most suited for the performance of German composers from 18th-first half of the 19th century. Nevertheless, French and music from other countries sound well on this instrument as well.
The musical life at Vilnius university St. John's church is very active. Well known Lithuanian performers and ensembles regularly perform in Saturday organ, choir, and chamber concert series. The renown organists, such as Hans Davidsson (Sweden/USA), William Porter (USA), David Higgs (USA), Ludger Lohmann (Germany), Hans Martin Corrinth (Germany), Guy Bovet (Switzerland) and others have played concerts at this church.
In 2008-2009 together with many countries around the world we celebrated the International Year of the Organ and 600 anniversary of organs in Lithuania. We have organized many educational organ demonstrations for student and adult groups.
In 2010, the largest pipe organ celebrated 10 years from its reconstruction (2000-2010). This monumental instrument was inaugurated during the international congress of International Society of Organ builders which was held in the Baltic states. The 10th anniversary of this organ we have celebrated with the concert cycle of music of J.S.Bach and the project of 2010 organ anniversary composers.
Dr. Vidas Pinkevičius is an active promoter of organ improvisation and the organ art and popularizes this instrument through various lectures, seminars, demonstrations, and recitals. He graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in Vilnius with Bachelor‘s and Master's degree in Organ Performance. He also holds Master's degree from the Eastern Michigan University (USA) under Dr. P.Ruiter-Feenstra. V.Pinkevičius graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (USA) with the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance where he studied under Dr. Q.Faulkner and Dr. G.Ritchie. At UNL, V.Pinkevicius has defended his DMA dissertation on Improvisation of Keyboard Preludes in the Style of J.S.Bach.
V. Pinkevicius won several prestigious scholarships and prizes, including Graduate Performance Competition at Eastern Michigan University in 2002. V.Pinkevicius performed recitals in many venues in Europe and the USA. He participated in a number of major masterclasses and organ academies in Sweden, Austria, the Netherlands, USA, and other countries. As a soloist, he performed with leading Lithuanian orchestras. V.Pinkevicius frequently performs in organ duet together with his wife, Dr. A. Motūzaitė-Pinkevičienė.
Currently, he teaches at the National M.K.Čiurlionis School of Arts, is the organist of Vilnius University and leads the university organ studio "Unda Maris". V. Pinkevicius is also a recording artist who has published 10 DVD's with his storytelling improvisations.
Dr. Aušra Motūzaitė-Pinkevičienė is a strong advocate for historical performance practices and her field of expertise is 17th century north German organ school and J.S. Bach. She graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in Vilnius with Bachelor‘s and Master's degree in Organ Performance. She also holds Master's degree from the Eastern Michigan University (USA) with Dr. P.Ruiter-Feenstra. A.Motūzaitė-Pinkevičienė graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (USA) with the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance where she studied with Dr. G.Ritchie. At UNL, she has defended her DMA dissertation on 18th century east Prussian organbuilder A.G.Casparini and his organs.
A.Motūzaitė-Pinkevičienė won several prestigious scholarships and prizes, including Graduate Performance Competition at Eastern Michigan University in 2003. She performed recitals in many venues in Europe and the USA, including several international festivals. A.Motūzaitė-Pinkevičienė participated in a number of major masterclasses and organ academies in Sweden, Austria, the Netherlands, USA, and other countries. A. Motūzaitė-Pinkevičienė frequently performs in organ duet together with her husband, dr. V.Pinkevicius.