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. o
For more information visit www.pazaislis.lt
Tickets: up to 20 litas
(5 euros - 80 euros)