The festival’s opening programme “Musical Variations” (April 5) offers a somewhat unexpected yet even more attractive combination of instruments – cello and oboe – that will join the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra in the performances of variations by Russian composers and other Western classical masterpieces.
The unrivaled master of the cello, David Geringas is one of the most versatile musicians of today, making solo appearances with Europe’s most celebrated orchestras and conductors, as well as conducting concerts and opera productions himself.
Oboist Robertas Beinaris is an exceptionally active performer, appearing both as a chamber musician and concert soloist. He is also committed to nurturing the youngest generation of Lithuanian oboists.
The concert on April 9 invites to meet the flock of young musicians from the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Arts from Vilnius. Under the baton of conductor Martynas Staškus, the school’s symphony orchestra and chorus will join forces with the school’s most gifted pupils and a multi-talented guest pianist from Costa Rica. The programme will also feature the Klaipėda Choir Aukuras. The programme titled “Spring Fantasy” will demonstrate the young performers’ professional achievements and their irresistible enthusiasm.
The production of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera Mozart and Salieri, initiated by piano virtuoso Alexander Paley, is one of the main attractions in this year’s festival programme. The pianist, who is also an ardent lover and connoisseur of opera, suggested producing the original piano reduction of Rimsky-Korsakov’s one-act opera. In this version, the soloists will be accompanied by Paley at the piano instead of an orchestra. Young opera soloists Mindaugas Jankauskas and Eugenijus Chrebtovas will appear in the roles of two legendary rivals – Mozart and Salieri. The opera will be sung in Russian as it was written, while the action will be focused on realistic drama expressed through music.
Two performances of the Mozart and Salieri are scheduled on April 12 and 13.
The programme of the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra and Estonian violinist Andres Mustonen to be presented on April 18 is a combination of two very distinct elements – “Silent Prayer and Boisterous Dances,” as the concert’s title suggests. The music by Georgian-born composer Giya Kancheli will inspire the deeply contemplative mood of the first part of the concert will. After an interval, lively melodies and boisterous rhythms will evoke distant places and epochs from Renaissance to the present-day dance music.
On April 26 “A Baroque Pastiche Opera” will present a resplendent selection of opera gems by various Baroque composers. This performance is the debut appearance of the Baltic Chamber Opera Theatre on the stage of the Klaipėda Concert Hall, in which the modern visual aesthetic revives the artistic trends of the past epochs, as well as the 17th-century traditions of musical theatre that had taken root in the Royal Palace of the Lithuanian Grand Duchy in Vilnius. Among the performers of this programme are young opera singers who had already demonstrated their unique voices and charisma in various opera-related projects.
“Five pianists – Five Concerti” (April 30) is an exceptional project that features five talented Lithuanian pianists of young generation in the performance of complete five piano concerti by Ludwig van Beethoven. For that purpose five young soloists will travel to Klaipėda from various countries and cities: Gryta Tatorytė and Guoda Gedvilaitė will come from Germany, Lukas Geniušas from Russia, Edvinas Minkštimas from the United States, and Kasparas Uinskas from Vilnius. The audience will have a rare chance to experience and compare five different interpretations of Beethoven’s masterpieces in one take. Under the direction of Austrian conductor Johannes Wildner, the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra will be expanded to include the wind and percussion sections and thus approximate the symphony orchestra.
The festival’s closing concert “A Symphony for the City and for the Sea” (May 3) features two symphonic compositions depicting the sea performed by the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Kaspar Zehnder from Switzerland. Three symphonic sketches La mer by Claude Debussy and symphonic poem Jūra (The Sea) by Mikalojus Konstantintas Čiurlionis were both written at the beginning of the 20th century. The sea is on the fundamental, predominant themes in the work of Čiurlionis, as the metaphor for eternity, freedom, life, and the entire world. The performance of his most famous symphonic poem will be accompanied with the video projection of his selected paintings.
“The mighty sea. Great, boundless, without measure. The whole blue sky embraces your waves; and you, full of greatness, breathe calmly and silently, since you know that your might and greatness is limitless, your being is infinite. Great, powerful, and glorious sea!” (M. K. Čiurlionis)
The great and mighty sea of music! Come and hear the symphony of being in the endless hum of its waves!