Saluting the Spring (April 1st)
The 35th edition of the festival opens on the same day, April 1st, as the new concert institution of the Klaipėda Municipality, the Klaipėda Concert Hall, opened its doors in 2005. It became established in the refurbished premises on Šaulių street, the history of which has been closely bound with the riflemen’s society. In the second half of the 19th century, riflemen owned the largest concert hall in town.
The Lithuanian Armed Forces Orchestra’s “salute to the spring” will serve as a symbolical bridge between the past and the present. The musicians in military uniforms, under the direction of Egidijus Ališauskas, will present a rich programme of the 19th–20th-century music, together with three distinguished soloists: Robertas Beinaris (oboe), Mindaugas Bačkus (cello) and Daumantas Slipkus (piano).
The exhibitions will be displayed in the foyers of the Klaipėda Concert Hall, dedicated both to historical moments of the Riflemen’s House and to the present concert life.
A Resurrection Hymn (April 5th)
On the second day of Easter, the Klaipėda Choir Aukuras (artistic director and conductor Alfonsas Vildžiūnas) will rejoice in “A Resurrection Hymn.” Vytautas Miškinis, conducting his Light Mass, will make a special highlight of this festive programme. The composer says “there are two ways to understand its title: the mass comes close to pop music and, at the same time, it radiates much light and joy. It fuses the elements of traditional jazz and rock, while the Lithuanian sutartinės are always audible in the background.” The group of instrumentalists, consisting of Saulius Šiaučiulis (piano), Romualdas Lukošius (piano), Mykolas Eiva (drums) and Romas Grigaitis (double bass), will add an improvisatory touch to this composition.
Instrumental Concerti and Symphonic Dances (April 8th)
The Klaipėda Music Spring invites the young audiences to meet a bunch of young musicians from the National M.K.Čiurlionis School of Arts in Vilnius – the soloists and the symphony orchestra under the artistic direction of Martynas Staškus. The conductor prefers classical works for his work with the orchestra, because they can teach a lot in terms of precision and balance – that is, they suit best to teach basic skills of correct playing. As much as seven soloists, the most gifted young musicians from the National M.K.Čiurlionis School of Arts, will appear with the orchestra, performing the fragments from various instrumental concerti and symphonic dances and boasting their youthful vigour and precocious professional accomplishments.
The Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness (April 10th)
The Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra (artistic director Mindaugas Bačkus) will present two programmes at this festival. For its first appearance, the Orchestra invited a long-standing friend, the world-famous conductor and professor Saulius Sondeckis, to stand at its helm. Even in his early eighties, he looks as energetic as ever and pursues an intense concert career, delighting his audiences in every opportunity to see him perform on the stage of the Klaipėda Concert Hall.
The guest performer of the programme, Russian flutist Maria Fedotova, will join the orchestra in the performance of Vox clamantis in deserto (The Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness) by Lithuanian composer Arvydas Malcys and in Mozart’s Flute Concerto.
The spellbinding madrigal operas by Claudio Monteverdi (April 13th)
For the first and only time in Klaipėda, the festival brings two madrigal operas by Claudio Monteverdi, Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Il ballo delle ingrate, the productions of which made a big stir in the autumn 2008 and drew huge audiences to the performances in 2009. Thanks to the synergy of the multi-talented production crew, consisting of theatre director Gintaras Varnas, designer Julija Skuratova, music director Darius Stabinskas, soloists, actors and the Brevis Consort, these productions revealed the fragile and timeless beauty of Monterverdi’s music. The ravished critics described these productions as “the enchanting dream,” “the combat of puppets and humans,” and “the breathtaking theatre of souls in the nether world.” The expressive music of Monteverdi finds a good company here in diverse forms of baroque art and endless possibilities the puppet theatre has to offer.
Greatest Arias and Songs (April 16th)
This programme presented by the St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra of Vilnius Municipality promises many pleasurable and joyful moments. Young bass Liudas Mikalauskas, who has been regarded as the public’s favourite after he triumphed at the Lithuanian Television project “The Arch of Triumph,” will impersonate various characters from the operas and musicals, fascinating his audiences with sincerity and beautiful timbre of his voice. The Orchestra under the baton of its artistic director Donatas Katkus defies the crisis by giving as uplifting and inspirational performances as ever.
Video Club with Giedrė Kaukaitė (April 22nd)
The festival’s video club continues the series of meetings with prominent Lithuanian musicians. This time it offers a meeting with singer Giedrė Kaukaitė, who has made a name for herself some forty years ago with unique renditions of Lithuanian chamber compositions for voice. Her extraordinary musical talent and charming personality has captivated hearts of many music lovers in Lithuania and elsewhere.
Sounds from the New World (April 24th)
The powerful and lush “sounds from the new world” will announce the appearance of the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra under its artistic director and principal conductor Gintaras Rinkevičius. In defence of his authoritative and energetic manner of conducting, he says “one must become a dictator sometimes, because such are the rules of the game that one plays as a conductor. Music is passion; it cannot stay alive without true love and passion.” This is to be revealed in his interpretations of Dvořak, Bizet and Tchaikovsky. Singers Sandra Janušaitė (soprano), Vaidas Vyšniauskas (tenor) will sing with passion and devotion.
Transfigured Night (April 30th)
The festival will close with the programme “Transfigured Night” presented jointly by the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra and the Camerata Klaipėda. The artistic directors of both orchestras – cellist Mindaugas Bačkus and violinist Vilhelmas Čepinskis – will appear as soloists. The orchestras will part in the performances of works by Niccòlo Paganini and Edvard Grieg and unite in those of Antonio Vivaldi, Feliksas Bajoras and ArnoldSchönberg.
“The reason for the union of our collectives lies not only in the exchange of individual experiences, but also in the possibility to perform one of the most beautiful compositions of the beginning of the 20th century – Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) byArnoldSchönberg. This opus is sometimes called a “farewell to romanticism,” Mindaugas Bačkus reveals. This music will also make a perfect farewell to the festival, which celebrates the spring in Klaipėda for the 35th time in a row!
And now, “leaving all behind, let’s run catching wind in woman’s hair, when the sun goes bathing and the bird sings high in the air.” (Henrikas Radauskas)
Looking forward to meeting you at the Klaipėda Music Spring!