XXII Pažaislis Music Festival

As if replicating the eternal circle of time, the beginning of the summer brings the twenty second Pažaislis Music Festival to Kaunas, Kaunas district and other concert spaces all over Lithuania, and invites everybody to the feast that lasts for three months. Over these years the festival have created deep traditions and became recognised even in the most distant corners of the country. The number of people attending the concerts shows the quality, originality and attractiveness of the events.

The listeners will be able to enjoy the 22nd Pažaislis Music Festival from the beginning of June till the end of August. This summer the music feast will introduce as much as 43 events held in traditional concert spaces in Kaunas city and its nearest districts, under the arks of Lithuanian Churches, in the halls and barns of the marvelous restored manors, and non-traditional spaces which initial purpose has been gradually transformed into art and music attraction centres adored by the listeners.

Keeping the traditions, that resemble the maturity of the festival, important dates for Lithuania and for the music world will be noted. As annually, the listeners will be invited to The Feast of the Assumption at Pažaislis Monastery together with the Kaunas State Choir; Johann Strauss music will be performed by the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra and the soloists Lina Dambrauskaitė and Andrius Apšega at the Kaunas Yacht Club; the mood of the Day of Mourning and Hope will be filled with chants performed by the guests from Germany the Chamber Choir “Camerata Carolina” of Heidelberg University’s International Study Centre. The festival will begin with the impressive programme dedicated to the opera genre performed by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Modestas Pitrėnas and two wonderful soloists: Sandra Janušaitė and Almas Švilpa. The closing concert will invite you to the Giacomo Puccini “Messa di Gloria” performed by Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, Kaunas State Choir and the soloists Edgaras Montvidas and Kostas Smoriginas conducted by Gintaras Rinkevičius.

The events of the festival will commemorate Claudio Monteverdi’s 450th birth anniversary with the programme prepared by two talented mezzo-sopranos Saulė Šerytė and Renata Dubinskaitė ensemble “Duo Barocco”. Well known viola player Povilas Syrrist-Gelgota and his ensemble “International” will mark 500 years of Reformation and introduce the most notable composers of this period. The central line of the festival will be the drama play performed near the Kaunas Castle in the dimmed evening light. This year, the festival in cooperation with the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre will stage the legendary play written by Juozas Grušas “Barbora Radvilaitė” one of the best known Lithuanian drama works. This story, full of the Renaissance spirit about Žygimantas Augustas and his wife, became an iconic example of human ambition, sacrifice and passion after staging directed by Jonas Jurašas.

The carillon concerts first held during the 21st Pažaislis Music Festival were so successful that this year, this the heaviest musical instrument, will sound for the listeners as well. Five carillon music concerts will be held in the Yard of the Vytautas Magnus War Museum in Kaunas and the Yard of Museum of Clocks in Klaipėda. The listeners will have an opportunity to enjoy the carillon music performed by the virtuosos from the Netherlands – Gijsbert Kok, Auke de Boer and Gerda Peters. Two of them, G. Kok and A. de Boer, will reveal the other side of their talent inseparable from performing on carillon: they will perform on organs at the Church of the Holy Virgin Mary Queen of Martyrs in Elektrėnai and Sts Peter and Paul Cathedral in Šiauliai.

Chamber music lovers shall find interesting and colourful programmes prepared by the Kaunas Piano Trio with the soloist Eglė Šidlauskaitė, as well as by the exceptional guests of the festival Zagreb Guitar Quartet, clarinet player from Ireland Macdara ó Seireadáino and pianist Gintaras Januševičius, Kaunas String Quartet and friends, ensemble “Grieg Trio” from Norway, international band “Merope” and piano quartet “Confero”. The festival is proud to present the author evening the concert of the pieces by Faustas Latėnas, the winner of the Lithuanian National Prize, performed by the outstanding Lithuanian instrumentalists.

The Kaunas State Choir will invite to the traditional events and the concerts at the Church of St George in Žasliai, Kaunas State Philharmonic Hall and the Church of St George in Dubingiai. The listeners will have an opportunity to listen to Vidmantas Bartulis project “Yes, Donelaitis!“ and the impressive cantata by Carl Orff “Carmina Burana” where the voices of the choir, pianos played by Mykolas and Motiejus Bazarai and the sounds of the massive percussion group will mix with the expressive arias performed by Raminta Vaicekauskaitė (soprano), Mindaugas Zimkus (tenor) and Andrius Apšega (baritone). The charm of the choir music will spread in other concerts of the festival as well. The “Stabat Mater” by Joseph Haydn will be performed together with already mentioned “Camerata Carolina” choir, subtle a cappella programmes will be performed by the Hertford College Chapel Choir of Oxford University and the Chapel Choir of Downing College, Cambridge. The most exotic choir music evening will be the concert of the Australia’s National Children’s Choir “Gondwana Voices”.
The fans of the academic solo singing will be pleased with the performance of the winner of the Lithuanian National Prize Asta Krikščiūnaitė, who has prepared the programme “Lady from Monte Carlo“, and the recital performed by the talented owner of lyric baritone Roman Kudriašov. The feast of the popular vocal music will be held by Kaunas Big Band at the Pociūnai airport together with Vilija Matačiūnaitė; the concert is dedicated to famous singer Natalie Cole. The rock music genre fans will have an opportunity to enjoy the ballads performed in Jonava Joninės Valley by Lithuanian State Symphony orchestra together with well known Lithuanian singers: Povilas Meškėla, Česlovas Gabalis and Jeronimas Milius.

There will be many guests from various countries including European Union Youth orchestra and world famous soloist Swedish trombonist Christian Lindberg, as well as the ensemble from Szczecin (Poland) “Baltic Neopolis Virtuosi” with their innovative programme. The colorful world music will be presented in the Pažaislis Music Festival by three exceptional projects. Flamenco rhythms will fill the Arts Incubator hall at the Raudondvaris Manor, with the famous flamenco artist Maise Márquez. Tango music performed by the quartet “Ma’Tango” will be presented at the newly discovered concert space the Barn of the Akmenėliai Manor located in Pakruojis district. And the charismatic Babtynas-Žemaitkiemis Manor will invite you to dive into the Jazz, classics and Afro-Cuban rhythms performed by the band formed by Cuban artist Yilian Cañizares.

The 22nd Pažaislis Music Festival will be shining with exceptional variety and number of events. The festival invites everyone who longs for live music, unique impressions and new experiences. We believe that each concert of the festival will find the listener; we hope that pleasant summer weather and good mood will follow every project of the festival and every visitor will experience that unique joy of knowledge. See you at the events of the 22nd Pažaislis Music Festival.

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