Young Music comes back

The new music festival Jauna muzika (Young Music) hosted by the Lithuanian Composers' Union might have celebrated its 10th anniversary if not the forced omission of two last years' festivals. In the beginning, the festival constituted an alternative to other 'semi-official' festivals of contemporary music in Lithuania featuring the works by older generations of Lithuanian composers. For some years, Jauna muzika festival was the only opportunity for the youngest generation of composers to showcase their works.

The contemporary art music apparently gains new audiences in Lithuania. This was proved by the 10th new music festival Gaida in October 2000: all ten concerts of the festival were packed with listeners. The rising interest in new music was one of the main incentives for the organizers to resume the Jauna muzika festival. At present, Gaida and Jauna muzika are the only international festivals of new music being held in Lithuania.

The 8th Jauna muzika festival, once again, focused on the music of young composers. Two chamber music concerts served as a tribune for the most recent chamber pieces by Gintaras Sodeika, Arvydas Malcys, Nomeda Valančiūtė, Šarūnas Nakas, Remigijus Merkelys, Loreta Narvilaitė, Rytis Mažulis, and Raminta Šerkšnytė premiered by the outstanding Lithuanian performers.

Another constant feature of the Jauna muzika festivals - participation of the celebrated foreign performers - was retained here as well. This year festival's audience had an exclusive encounter with the finest performers of the Ensemble Intercontemporain.

Reaching the climax in the evening of symphonic music, the festival ended with the works by the youngest generation of Lithuanian composers - Raminta Šerkšnytė, Diana Čemerytė, Ramūnas Motiekaitis - premiered by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra and, together with the Latvian Radio Chamber Singers, followed by the Luciano Berio's Sinfonia - a truly joyous and exalted conclusion of the festival.

© Linas Paulauskis

Lithuanian Music Link No. 2