XXIV Pažaislis Music Festival

With the pleasant summer warmth the joyful news are coming – the start of the 24th Pažaislis Music Festival, one of the most important music events in Lithuania. Let’s find out what the 24th festival with deep traditions, and attracting more and more audience each year, is offering for the listener this time. This year the festival has new Moto – “#Get to know” and will offer plenty of events for the admirers of various music genres. The concerts will be held in the traditional spaces and in newly discovered halls. The listeners will have an opportunity to listen to the renowned music grands and to new artist as well.

The 24th Pažaislis Music Festival will celebrate the 15 years anniversary since Lithuania has joined the European Union and invite everyone to more then forty concerts. During these 24 years the traditions have strongly settled in every music lovers memory. And one cannot imagine the festival without the glorious concerts in the Pažaislis monastery yard, cozy chamber music projects in the manors all over Lithuania, important recitals in the Kaunas State Philharmonic Hall, and the performances of exceptional artists in Babtynas-Žemaitkiemis Manor. Inseparable part of the festival – commemoration of the jubilees with the dedicated programmes for them. This year the festival will celebrate the Kaunas State Choir 50 years activity anniversary, the solid birthday anniversary of the composer Giedrius Kuprevičius, as well as Juozas Naujalis, Eduardas Balsys and Stanislovas Moniuška anniversaries.

The 24th Pažaislis Music Festival will invite all the listeners to get acquainted with the European Union countries through the history, nature peculiarities, and minorities narrative of these countries. The Western Europe culture, music and traditions, talented artists, spread all over the world are the most significant attributes identifying the European Union in the world context. This year for the first time in the festival history the programme will include the music from all 28 European Union countries. The festival will host the artists from Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain and other countries. The brightest Lithuanian artists will present their new programmes. The special attention will be concentrated on the music from Bulgaria, Malta, Cyprus and Slovenia that is rarely performed in Lithuania. Inspired by the festival, Lithuanian artists will perform music programmes, including piece never performed in Lithuania before, from these countries.

The opening concert of the festival in the yard of Pažaislis monastery will present the concert dedicated to the Kaunas State Choir anniversary featuring the Lithuanian National Symphony orchestra and Lithuanian soloists who are spreading the name of Lithuania all over the world namely: Vida Miknevičiūtė, Jovita Vaškevičiūtė, Vaidas Vyšniauskas-Kristian Benedik and Liudas Norvaišas. The conductor of the concert will be the founder and the head of the Kaunas State Choir Prof. Petras Bingelis. The final concert of the festival will be not less impressive. The 50 years anniversary celebrating Kaunas State Choir and the Lithuanian State Symphony orchestra conducted by Gintras Rinkevičius will perform the impressive piece “The Queen Symphony” created by the songs of the legendary artist Freddie Mercury and The Queen.

The listeners will meet the Kaunas State Choir in other projects of the festival as well. Powerful voices of the choir will melt in to the uniform ensemble with the timbers of the soloists: Karina Flores, Eleni Matos, Hovhannes Ayvazyan and Hayk Tigranyan in Giuseppe Verdi Requiem. This immortal masterpiece will be performed by the Kaunas City Symphony orchestra conducted by Constantine Orbelian at the Kaunas State Philharmonic Hall. Both those collectives and the Kaunas String Quartet will perform the audio-visual project “Kaunas. Resurrection I” directed by Paulius Jurgutis conducted by Adrija Čepaitė. Composer Juozas Naujalis will be honored during the traditional concert held on the Feast of the Assumption at Pažaislis monastery, and at the Dubingiai church where the composition “Nobody Will Ever Love You So” composed by Vidmantas Bartulis will be performed with participation of the actor Dainius Svobonas.
The festival’s programme will be full of other traditional events that the listeners are waiting for.

The Lithuanian National Symphony orchestra directed by Modestas Pitrėnas will invite everyone to romantic evening at the Kaunas Yacht Club, where the elevating sounds of Johann Strauss and the voice of the soprano from Belarus Margarita Levchuk will fill the summer air. The project “The Sounding Stories” will traditionally invite you to listen to the sounds of carillon and church organ with the guest from the Netherlands Auke De Boer. The event near Kaunas castle will invite you to enjoy the opera “The Prussians” by Giedrius Kuprevičius staged by Klaipėda Musical Theatre collective.

One more exceptional feature of the 24th Pažaislis Music Festival – return of the most adored artists to the stages of the festival. One of the most colourful returning ensembles – “Karavan Familia“ from Hungary presenting gypsy music in new forms. The listeners will have an opportunity to enjoy this expressive performance at the Babtyno-Žemaitkiemis Manor and the Birštonas Culture Center. Traditionally the programme of the festival welcomes the talented women ensemble “RAMuzika”; Pociūnai Airport will host “The Disobedient” ensemble, and the tenor Edgaras Montvidas will celebrate 20 years anniversary of his artistic activity with the recital at the Kaunas Philharmonic Hall. Duo of the singer Rita Novikaitė and guitarist Sergej Krinicin are also returning to the stage; regular guest of the festival Asta Krikščiūnaitė will present the programme “Songs of Jerusalem” performing together with the ensemble “Duo Lorenzen” from Israel; talented Latvian cellist Ruslan Vilensky will present his own interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach music; the soloist Sabina Martinaitytė and the pianist Audronė Eitmanavičiūtė will appear on stage of the festival twice and perform a programme prepared together with the guests from German: countertenor Matthias Rexroth and pianist Eytan Pessen.

The listeners will have an opportunity to listen to the original and distinctive music of European countries in several concerts. The string quartet “Epoque Quartet” will present the works by composers of the Czech Republic; the compositions from Scandinavian and Baltic countries will be heard in the joint project cooperating the with the festival “O/Modernt:; the colourful Bulgaria will be presented by the trumpeter Miroslav Petkov and the “Bodurov trio”. Europe of Romanticism and Classicism epochs will resemble Chinese pianist (currently residing in Germany) Haiou Zhang; tenor Mindaugas Zimkus, alto player Ainis Kasperavičius and pianist Paulė Gudinaitė will invite you to get acquainted with the Central Europe; the pianist from Poland Wojciech Waleczek will perform the works of the composers from all European Union countries in one concert.

The festival will introduce many interesting projects mixing almost impossible to mix genres and unusual ensemble sets. The Kaunas Philharmonic hall will invite the listeners of the festival to the exceptional meeting with the pianist and singer Judith Owen who resides in the USA and UK; this year the academic chamber ensemble “Vilniaus Arsenalas” will breath with the passionate tango rhythms; the listeners will have an opportunity to enjoy unusual duo: soprano Dovilė Kazonaitė and accordionist Tadas Motiečius; actress Birutė Mar, vocalist Irena Milkevičiūtė and pianist Rūta Mikelaitytė-Kašubienė will weave the fabric of music and poetry.

Rare alto and accordion duo performed by Greta Staponkutė and Augustinas Rakauskas will present their programme “Rhapsody for Two”; Robertas Beinaris and Virginijus Barkauskas project will mix the oboe and organs under the arcs of the church.

Chamber music lovers will have several chances to walk through the labyrinths of this genre with the violinist Barbora Valiukevičiūtė who has returned from the USA and her partner pianist Julija Sadaunykaitė, and with the prizewinner of the Niccolo Paganini competition violinist from China Mengla Huang and the Čiurlionis String Quartet. The treasures of Lithuanian music will reveal the creative Kaunas String Quartet; the Kaunas Piano Trio and baritone Giedrius Prunskus will perform the most beautiful melodies from the musicals with the programme “The Night in Broadway”; romantic Russian vocal music will be presented by Raminta Vaicekauskaitė and pianist Beata Vingraitė; the guests form Russia Mila Shkirtil and pianist Yuri Serov will bring the programme of Russian, Czech, and Slovakia composers songs.

The colourful 24th Pažaislis Music Festival invites everyone willing to get acquainted and united with the cultures of the European Union countries, those who are looking for the live sound and are willing to experience new sensations and get new impressions. The organizers of the festival sincerely believe that each concert of the festival will attract many listeners, that wonderful summer weather and joy will follow every event of the festival, and all attending people will experience that unique feeling of the knowledge joy. See You at the concerts of the 24th Pažaislis Music Festival!

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