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June- August Pazaislis Music Festival

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Placed on: 2006-12-06 16:08   Updated on: 2009-08-20 15:09   Comments: 0   Views from 2009-08-25: 0

June- August Pazaislis Music Festival
2009-06-06 17:05


  It is an all summer lasting cycle of events, which starts in the beginning of June since 1996. The start of this festival was G. F. Handel‘s oratorio „The Messiah", which was performed in a churchyard of Pazaislis monastery and attracted a couple thousands of people. It was understood, that acoustics of the churchyard was perfectly adjusted for the ample works. Festival increased annually by expanding performing places and musical genres. However, traditionally the beginning and closing of the festival is held in the grand courtyard of Pazaislis monastery. There were 30 events in 2009. The best performers from dozen of countries participated there, also the best orchestras, choirs, soloists from Lithuania. Pazaislis monastery is built in the beginning of the 17th century by a project of an architect G. B. Frediano. The monastery is planned by the requirements of the Camaldolese monks regula and considered as a masterpiece of Baroque architecture in North-East Europe. The monastery is famous for it's architecture, also a decoration. The painting of "Maria and a child" is especially worshiped by a congregation. This painting was called by the name of The Beautiful Mother of Love.

Every summer Kaunas, the second largest Lithuanian city, welcomes music lovers at the annual Pazaislis Music Festival, one of the most renowned music events taking place in Lithuania. It is set at various places in Kaunas; yet, the symbol of the festival is definitely the Pazaislis monastery, where most of the concerts are usually held. Forming the largest monastery complex in Lithuania, Pazaislis monastery and Church is one of the most magnificent examples of Italian baroque architecture in Eastern Europe. Due to its solemn atmosphere, this beautiful place makes an exceptional setting for having a musical festival.

Since as far back as the very first concert, held in July, 1995, the organizers have been continuously setting ambitious goals to present the widest possible range of music, performed to the highest standards. With over 350 concerts presented in the past ten years, they can certainly claim to be fulfilling these ambitions.

The festival covers a diverse range of genres, from opera to jazz, from symphonies to audiovisual projects, from vocal chamber to post-modern works. The number of internationally recognized guests featuring at the Pazaislis Festival seems to be constantly growing – the 2006 summer festival saw quite an impressive number of international performers. Among the people who have already honored the event with their presence, are such prominent figures as Jacques Loussier, Aleksander Paley, Andrẻ Arpino, Benoit Dunoyer de Segonzac, Petro Bingeli and many others. Moreover, such celebrated Lithuanian performers as Petras Geniušas, Mūza Rubackytė,Raimundas Katilius (1947 - 2000), Vilhelmas Čepinskis, Irena Milkevičiutė, Asta Krikščiūnaitė, Virgilijus Noreika, Vytautas Juozapaitis, Vladimiras Prudnikovas, and others rank alongside their famous international colleagues, making this festival a truly remarkable event. There is also a whole range of Lithuanian quartets, ensembles, and chamber choirs taking part in the festival every year.

In 1996, drama performances started to be held as a part of the festival. Thus, on the 6th of July, the State day (Crowning of Lithuanian King Mindaugas), people can enjoy a national drama performance, usually held in the environs of the Kaunas castle. Staging a historical play in such a historical environment is especially significant and meaningful for a Lithuanian state.

Photos by Edmundas Katinas


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