Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra
Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra (KCO) was formed in 1992 by the violist Liuda Kuraitienė, who has remained its founding member and artistic director from the very inception. From June 2009 she is succeeded by cellist Mindaugas Bačkus as the Orchestra’s new Artistic Director.
Over the years the Orchestra has given more than 400 concerts and mastered a broad and diverse repertoire that they continue to amass by adding new works from different epochs, genres and styles each year.
As musicologist Laima Sugintienė once noted in one of her reviews, the progress that the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra has made over the past few years is undisputed. The Orchestra had numerous opportunities to polish their performance techniques through collaboration with the cream of Lithuanian conductors and with accomplished Lithuanian and international soloists. In return, they show no reserve in giving accolades to the musicians from Klaipėda, while the latter strive to be their equal partners on stage.
KCO, soloist and conductor Alexander Paley (piano, USA), 2008
|Festival "Music of Changes", KCO, soloist Mindaugas Bačkus (cello), conductor Robertas Šervenikas, 2010||
Festival “Klaipeda Music Spring”, KCO, conductor Saulius Sondeckis, 2010
Thus, through intense creative collaboration, the Orchestra brings new programmes to the public almost each month, which become part of the Klaipėda Music Spring, Music of Changes and Salve Musica festivals as well as regular season’s engagements at the Klaipėda Concert Hall. Over the past few years, the KCO has appeared at a number of Lithuania’s musical events, such as the Alternative Classical Music Festival, the International Sacred Music and Charity Project Pax et Bonum, Šiauliai Sacred Music Festival Resurexit, Tytuvėnai Summer Festival, as well as at the major halls, such as the National Philharmonic in Vilnius. Internationally, the Orchestra has represented Lithuania at the Lithuanian Culture Days in Hessen, Germany, at the Festival of Towns of the Baltic Region in Szczecin and at the International Sacred Music Festival in Gdynia, Poland. In 2008, the Orchestra went on tour in Poland and plans to tour Latvia in 2009. The KCO is especially delighted by the enduring partnership with the charismatic Moldovian-born American pianist Alexander Paley who ravished the audiences with his performances of Bach’s six and Mozart’s four keyboard concerti in April 2008 and February 2009, in which he appeared both as a soloist and conductor.
Involving many musicians who are also active as teachers, the Orchestra devises many educational outreach projects. For several years, it has targeted schoolchildren in the series of concerts titled “Musical Letters,” which continues as a series of events organised by the Chamber Orchestra Club (COC). Recently, the Orchestra has been involved in the educational project “Playful Music Orchestra,” with Mindaugas Piečaitis conducting, which evoked enthusiastic response from the young audiences.
With each new project, the music performed by the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra reaches still wider audiences. We sincerely hope that their number will continue growing after the release of their second album, Perfect Harmony of Sounds.