Short News

Audronė Žigaitytė presents her new opera in Klaipėda

The "Musical August at the Seaside" festival concluded this year with another premiere of a new Lithuanian opera, which was greeted with enthusiastic applause from the public, and positive reviews in the media. The evening of Aug. 24 saw the first performance of Audronė Žigaitytė's new opera Žilvinas and Eglė at the Klaipėda Music Theatre. The libretto for this stagework was adapted by the author herself from a well-known poem by Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas. In the composer's words, she saw this poem as a perfect match for her concept of musical drama based on depiction in sound of different psychological states and emotional outbursts. The opera is written for mezzo-soprano, baritone, mixed choir and symphony orchestra, with ballet also playing a significant part. The two principal roles in the premiere performance were sung by Vytautas Juozapaitis and Dalia Kužmarskytė.

Vykintas Baltakas' Poussla: Premiere in Cologne

This first orchestral work by the young composer Vykintas Baltakas was written under commission by WDR Cologne, and premiered on Sept. 13 with Sylvain Camberling, conductor. It is scored for 7 solo instruments (oboe, clarinet, saxophone, tuba, violin, piano, accordion) and symphony orchestra, and evolved out of the ensemble piece, Pusline. "I tried to implement a non-linear dramaturgy - a field of energy that is present at every moment and constantly rotating. A giant wheel, therefore, which offers ever-new aural perspectives." Harry Vogt engaged outstanding soloists for the premiere: Matthias Arter, Francois Benda, Marcus Weiss, Jagdish Mistry, Michael Wendeberg, Teodoro Anzellotti, and Gérard Buquet. Duration: ca.12'.

"Médal d'honneur" of Saint-Nazaire bestowed on Vytautas Barkauskas

In mid-September, Vytautas Barkauskas attended the "Consonances" festival in Saint-Nazaire, where among his earlier works was new concerto for violin solo and orchestra, Jeux, premiered by Philippe Graffin. Barkauskas was invited as guest composer, and awarded the "Médal d'honneur" by the Municipality of Saint-Nazaire.

An international Competition of Piano Duos, held in late September in Kaunas, featured the first performance of Barkauskas' three new pieces for two pianos: Little Games for Children, Conversations for Young People, and Etude for Adults Only. The premiere of Barkauskas' new Concerto for violin, viola and chamber orchestra, dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Yuri Bashmet, is planned for January 2003.

Tromba nostalgica by Mindaugas Urbaitis

Mindaugas Urbaitis' new piece for trumpet and piano was commissioned by the 1st International Timofei Dokshitzer Trumpet Competition, to be premiered at the 1st round, which commenced on Sept. 27 in Vilnius. The composer came up with a 5-6-minute piece, focusing on the different possibilities of trumpet playing technique and articulation along the entire range of its registers.

Urbaitis' other recent commissions include a piano piece for the London based AB RSM publishers of educational literature, who plan to include it in a collection of short pieces for children entitled "Spectrum".

Mindaugas Urbaitis, together with colleague Šarūnas Nakas, is currently hosting the Lithuanian Radio 2 talk show "Modus", dedicated to the most salient phenomena in contemporary music.

A series of brochures on Lithuanian Composers

Five new brochures on Lithuanian key composers Bronius Kutavičius, Onutė Narbutaitė, Jurgis Juozapaitis, Mindaugas Urbaitis, and Šarūnas Nakas (the only one thus far supplemented with a CD featuring four of Nakas' signature pieces) include the most comprehensive material on their work to date, and offer an indispensable guide to their music. Detailed information on the works, their instrumentation and duration, information on 'where to find the score', a complete list of discography, sample pages of scores, composer's biography, and descriptions of style make the brochures a 'must-have' for musicians, promoters, radio brodcasters, music journalists, musicologists, and other music professionals interested in Lithuanian music. For your free copy, e-mail your postal address to:

Lithuanian Music Link No. 5