The International Klaipėda Cello Festival and Competition was launched in 2017, at the initiative of cellist and Artistic Director of the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra, Mindaugas Bačkus, and since then remained the only such event focusing on cello music in the Baltic countries. Held every two years, the festival presents the cream of country’s best string players and internationally acclaimed cellists from around the globe, performing their exclusive programmes. Soulful and powerful voice of the cello draws the audience into an exciting showcase of its many different guises, ranging from Baroque to contemporary, from traditional playing to cross-art experimentation and live participation in dance and film projects. A week-long programme, offering a variety of artistic disciplines, artists and cultural institutions working in close collaboration, an ample supply of events tailored to suit all ages, backgrounds and tastes, turn Klaipėda into a harbour of live cello music.
The competition held during the festival casts the spotlight on the most talented young cellists who compete for prizes in the presence of the international jury – a corps d’elite of cellists and cello teachers from around the globe. Nearly a hundred competitors from more than twenty countries have entered the 2nd International Klaipėda Cello Competition in 2019.
From its third edition onwards the competition will adopt the name of the world-renowned Lithuanian-born German cellist, David Geringas: in 2021 and later the competition’s title will be styled as the International David Geringas Cello Competition.