Music festival returns to baroque monastery

Baltic Times, Latvia
May 27 2004

Music festival returns to baroque monastery

Milda Seputyte

KAUNAS – An all-summer series of concerts will soon get underway in
the wonderfully picturesque surroundings of the Pazaislis monastery.
It’s the ninth outing for the annual international music festival and
a whole range of concerts are planned throughout the Kaunas region
that include the biggest and brightest names in Lithuanian music, as
well as many other internationally known performers.

The festival’s focal point is Pazaislis monastery, which is on the
right bank of the Nemunas River. The monastery, which is surrounded
by forests and Kaunas Lagoon, is one of the most beautiful baroque
buildings in the country.

The festival will begin with Beethoven’s immortal “Ode to Joy” on May
30 in recognition of Lithuania’s accession to the European Union. The
Kaunas State Choir, which was given a special award for its
performance of Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” as well as for its
contribution to the preservation of the world’s musical heritage at a
UNESCO gala in Berlin, will perform it at the opening ceremony.

The opening concert will also feature the three tenors from Armenia
who will be performing the tour program of Pavarotti, Carreras, and
Domingo. The three talented singers are rapidly becoming almost as
famous as their corpulent counterparts and, on that score, they’re
catching up as well to judge from their appearance.

One of the main goals of the festival is to showcase new works by
Lithuanian composers and one of the most eagerly awaited concerts
will be the performance of “Curonians” by Vidmantas Bartulis, who was
voted the best composer in Lithuania in 2003. The Curonians are an
extinct Baltic tribe but the Kaunas State Choir will perform the
piece in the Curonian language.

The festival’s variety of music will range from traditional classical
music to the distinctive Arabic sounds of Al Qantarah, who come from
Sicily, Italy. Over 30 chamber, symphonic, vocal and instrumental
concerts will be held at the Pazaislis monastery and various other
Lithuanian architectural heritage sites. Besides promoting music,
another aim of the festival is to encourage people to discover the
forgotten heritage of architecture.

For more information visit
Tickets: up to 20 litas
(5 euros – 80 euros)