Gaida 2003: How Does New Music Sound Today?

What type of music is popular in 2003? What music can attract interest, charm, or even startle today?

The Gaida Festival seeks answers to these questions, and for the thirteenth time, after a very careful selection, brings to Vilnius the most interesting programmes the global contemporary music community has to offer. Furthermore, one of its main concerns remains initiating new projects by Lithuanian composers and thus extending the boundaries of creativity. Annually serving as a major scene for world premiere performances of new Lithuanian music, this festival has been persistently implementing its mission to present the broadest possible panorama of the present-day musical avant-garde from symphonic, chamber works and musical theatre to multi-media projects that unabashedly traverse over the boundaries of contemporary academic, improvised music and pop culture.

Gaida has set exceptionally high standards this year by inviting a mighty handful of Europe's top performers - The Arditti Quartet, The Gavin Bryars Ensemble (both from the United Kingdom) and Orkest de Volharding (The Netherlands) - who have developed their own distinctive philosophies of performance. They will be followed by new and ambitious projects of KammarensembleN (Sweden) and Gaida Ensemble. The other focal points of the festival include Bronius Kutavičius' new stage diptych Ignis et fides (Fire and Faith) to be put on at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, three world premieres of new symphonic works by Loreta Narvilaitė, Rytis Mažulis, and Vytautas Laurušas to be showcased by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, and a host of new pieces for ensembles of variable dimensions - 13 newly written works by Lithuanian composers in total.

The eventful programme also features four compositions by the Italian composer Luca Francesconi. In similar way as Wolfgang Rihm in Germany and Gérard Grisey in France, he epitomizes new generation of composers who seem to continue the European music tradition by rejecting every manifestation of dogmatism in new music.

Lithuanian Music Link No. 7