Open for viewing before the festival’s events, from 6 pm, at the KCH’s Ground Floor Foyer
“From Sand, Water and Iron”
Concert-installation by Yiorgis Sakellariou (Greece / UK)
Meet the artist on September 22nd, during the interval (around 7.15 pm)
Tuesday 20 September, 6.30 pm
The opening concert is comparable to a bomb explosion in musical terms. The internationally renowned Lithuanian composer Justė Janulytė will present her most recent piece Radiance, a metaphoric reflection on the philosophy and energetics of the nuclear explosion, scored for twelve voices and live electronics. The piece will be performed by the Jauna Muzika Choir under Vaclovas Augustinas and Janulytė’s regular collaborators for electronic music Michele Tadini and Antonello Raggi.
Radiance is a hundred thousand suns bursting in the sky and a post-apocalyptic void. This overwhelming musical tableau commemorates the victims of the first atomic bombing and is dedicated to Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. Five of his choral compositions will be heard in the first half of the concert. According to Janulytė, “I have always sought example in the purity, rational nature and immense emotional, physical and spiritual power of his work.”
The Jauna Muzika Choir will demonstrate its superior mastery in the performance of works demanding utmost subtlety and precision of vocal execution.
Thursday 22 September, 6.30 pm
“Violin, Viola & Video Virtuosity”
International new music violinist Karen Bentley Pollick debuts at the “Music of Changes” festival with a diverse program merging music and videos from Sweden, Lithuania, France, Lebanon, Israel and America. The imaginative interaction of imagery and music will be wide ranging.
The social consciousness of Ole Saxe's 'Užupis Constitution Song' lies in contrast to Brian Moon's lamentation 'Duetto con Bobik', featuring the vocals of Karen's beloved, yet deceased beagle merged with camerawork by her current hound dog on the cobblestones of Vilnius. Ethereal Baltic harmonies haunt Žibuoklė Martinaitytė's 'Serenity Diptychs', as well as Loreta Narvilaitė’s effervescent 'The Wave Follows the Bird's Flight' and Gediminas Gelgotas’ wintry tribute to Anykščiai in ‘To the Skies’. In ’Cluck Old Hen Variations’, David A. Jaffe merges Paganini with bluegrass fiddling style. Neil Rolnick’s jazz infused ’Fiddle Faddle’ is supplemented with visuals filmed at LRT Studios with a neon bow. Dominique de Williencourt's soulfully evocative 'Mont Ararat' simulates a duo of duduks on scordatura viola. Randall Woolf's thought provoking music is featured in the film 'Beirut is a House of Many Rooms'. Israeli spectral composer Ayal Adler contributes ’Contrasts in Time’, an intense interaction of colors - both in sight and sound.
For several years now Bentley Pollick has shared her time between Vilnius and Evergreen, Colorado (USA), pursuing active career as a soloist and chamber musician, as well as producing various projects in the U.S. and elsewhere. Her unabating thirst for new music, “keen sense for gleaning quality in experimental music and giving these scores their rightful due” (Michael Huebner, Birmingham News) characterize Bentley Pollick as a higly gifted and creative performer, equally adroit on the violin and viola. Being open to new experiences and social life, she may be frequently seen attending diverse cultural events and collaborating with various artists from across disciplines. In her work, like in A. Adler’s piece Contrasts in Time, she has unchangeably and remarkably displayed an intense interaction of colors ‒ both in sight and sound.
Wednesday 28 September, 6.30 pm
American flautist, improviser and composer Camilla Hoitenga is highly regarded as one of the most sought-after and creative artists of our time. As an expert and a tireless promoter of new music, she has always been concerned with expanding the expressive possibilities of her instrument and contemporary repertoire. She has had pieces dedicated to her by wide range of composers. Over the years she has developed an especially intensive collaboration with the Finnish-born composer Kaija Saariaho, whose piece Six Japanese Gardens for percussion and electronics will be featured at this concert. Hoitenga will be playing not only the C-flute but also the alto, bass, and piccolo flute. This concert will also feature a piece by Mike Svoboda, an internationally acclaimed trombonist and composer who has returned to Klaipėda several times before.
The programme will further include compositions for flute and percussion, enlivened in the nimble hands of percussionist Norbert Krämer. He frequently appears as soloist and member of various chamber formations for contemporary music performance; he is also active as an arranger and leader of the percussion ensemble.
Named after the piece by Saariaho, this programme has several Japanese features. A frequent guest in Japan, Hoitenga and Krämer will acquaint the audience in Klaipėda with the recent music by Japanese composers.
“Rites for the Orchestra” is a programme of “music that involves not only auditory experience but also participation. We sought to combine different kinds of artistic expression to augment the effect of the music we perform,” says the artistic director of the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra, Mindaugas Bačkus. The first half of his specially tailored programme is dedicated to Lithuanian music, including new works by Gintaras Sodeika and Nijolė Sinkevičiūtė, as well as a theatrical opus by Jurgita Mieželytė, allowing for some histrionics on the part of the orchestra musicians.
But the emotional climax will be certainly reached in the performance of John Tavener’s Protecting Veil for cello and orchestra. In his piece, the composer said he has “tried to capture some of the almost cosmic power of the Mother of God. The cello represents the Mother of God and never stops singing throughout. One can think of the strings as a gigantic extension of her unending song.”
Mindaugas Bačkus, who will play solo in this meditative music, appreciates it “as a conceptually wrought 45-minute-long prayer in music. I was drawn to it because of its symbolical content that enriches music with deeper meaning and sensibility.”
Tuesday 4 October, 6.30 pm
“An ethereal cultures, absorbed in perfume, light, silence and ambient sound … “ (David Toop, Ocean of Sound)
The music of this concert could be described as sound-sculptures, musical landscapes or small pools of sounds to bathe your ears in. The experience is like watching a landscape, without any specific goal in mind, just taking it all in, watching the small changes as the wind blows through the leaves, letting your emotions and your memories run free. This is ambient music, “soundscapes”, if you like, but created without any electronics, using only two plain acoustic guitars.
Being classically trained musicians, The Gothenburg Combo were, just like most people in our generation, born and raised to the sound of pop music, hip-hop, house, techno music and so on. It is music that has a steady pulse, a clear tonal centre and uses a lot of repetition. The Gothenburg Combowants to utilize these elements and to engage with the emotions they bring out in people”.
The concert is built around three works by the great American minimal composers Terry Riley and Steve Reich, two composers The Gothenburg Combo has worked closely with.
”Like Siamese Twins in ensemble playing The Gothenburg Combo enters new guitaristic territory, with minimalistic music and quasi-electronic sounds on acoustic Guitars.” (Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany)
The first half of this concert, according to the artistic director of the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra Mindaugas Bačkus, “will acquaint the audience with the academic work of the world-famous jazz pianist and composer Vyacheslav Ganelin. In addition, the orchestra will be challenged to accompany the improvising soloist, following the fully notated score. Something that we have never done before and feel very excited about.” The orchestra will also share the stage with percussionist Arkady Gotesman. All together they will perform a version of Osvaldas Balakauskas’s Psalm for string orchestra, percussion and improvising pianist.
After the interval, Ganelin and Gotesman will accompany the silent film, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927). It is one of the most successful early works by the British director, which helped shape the modern thriller genre in film.
Back in his young days when he lived in Lithuania Ganelin was the founding member of the Ganelin Trio, arguably the world’s greatest free jazz ensemble in the 1970s and 1980s, with which he has appeared at many jazz festivals in Europe and the U. S. before disbanding in 1987. He now lives in Israel where he continues to teach, compose and perform.
At the festival’s closing concert we are proud to present the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra under its current artistic director and principal conductor Modestas Pitrėnas. They will appear together with the Signum Saxophone Quartet from Germany.
With youthful energy, persuasive talent and unusual ideas the Signum Saxophone Quartet has brought a much fresher wind of change to European concert halls and festivals for several years. No matter where the Signum quartet is playing, either in the Carnegie Hall NY or on the snow-covered mountain peaks of the Dolomites, the Signum’s experimental joy and versatility is certainly not only reflected in their extraordinary program.
The four young musicians are to be heard in classical quartet formations and keep on creating exciting, never seen joint arrangements with inspiring sounds. Playing with superior ease and mostly without notes this young ensemble uses this gain in freedom also for creative choreography and productions within its sphere of activity.
These excellent performers will join in the performance of Philip Glass’s Concerto for Four Saxophones and Orchestra. This work by the famous American minimalist composer will be hemmed in by two ballet suites from Vladas Jakubėnas’s Vaiva’s Belt and Igor Stravinsky’s Petrushka.