News from Lithuania

Chamber Music Competitions in Lithuania

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The activity of Chamber Ensemble Department of Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre remains very active. Studies are constantly supplemented with student concerts, competitions and master courses of arriving foreign professors. There were six chamber music master classes organized this year, forty chamber ensembles and string quartets participated in them. The courses were led by prof. G. Sproge (Latvian Academy), prof. W. Klos (UDK, Austria) and prof. K. Aho (Metropolia University, Finland). For the first time, courses were held for chamber guitar ensemble. They were led by prof. H.Maetlik (Estonia MTA) and prof. E. Rosella (Montovos Conservatory, Italy). Next week masterclass of prof. M. Fernandes (UDK, Austria) will take place. Both the professors and the students of the department are very grateful to the colleagues that led the master classes for valuable remarks and inspiration for the search of musical self-expression.

An important component of professional growth of student is the participation in competitions.

There is a number of chamber music competitions for schoolchildren, students and graduates organized in Lithuania. They take place not only in the capital Vilnius, but in different - bigger and smaller - cities of Lithuania. I will present a brief overview of the major Lithuanian instrumental chamber music competitions.

The ability to take the first steps into the world of chamber music competitions in Lithuania is provided by two International young musicians chamber ensemble competitions – Pavasario sonata (Spring Sonata, National M.K.Čiurlionio school of arts, Vilnius), Muzikinė akvarelė (Musical watercolour, B.Dvariono Music School, Anykščiai) and Sąskambiai (Consonanse, Vilnius).

These competitions represent an opportunity for young musicians to reveal their talents to chamber music, to gain experience of international competitions, to hear chamber music tradition of different countries, expand their repertoire.

B.Dvarionas Music School organizes the International Young Artists chamber and jazz music festivals - competitions Consonanse. The next competition is planned for the 2013 03 20. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Spring Sonata is open to instrumental ensembles of two to six players (excluding piano duos and folk instruments). The average age of players in each ensemble cannot exceed 21 on the competition day. The next Spring Sonata competition is planned for the 2014. Internet site www.pavasariosonata.lt

Musical Watercolour invites schoolchildren and students from all musical schools. The main requirement of the competition - the ensemble must contain at least one wind-instrument. Other instruments are optional. The ensemble's age group is determined by the eldest performer in the ensemble. The program is optional, though one piece of classic genre is preferable. Contestants are divided into seven age groups, four for professional musicians and three for amateurs. First, second and third professional groups are limited for pupils of music school, music gymnasium, students of conservatoire. Group is limited for students of higher musical education.

First group is limited for 11, 12 and 13 years old pupils, second – 14, 15, 16 years, third – 17, 18, 19 and the forth group is for 19, 20, 21, 22 years old students. The next Musical Watercolour competition is planned for the 2014. Internet site www.muzikos idejos.lt

International competition of student and pupils' in chamber ensembles and accompanists (Klaipeda University) invites the piano students of higher music schools, colleges and conservatoires, pupils of music schools and art gymnasiums playing piano, string and wind instruments to participate.

Participants are divided into two groups - up to 20 years (15 min. program) and more than 20 years (25 min. program). Program of the competition preferably should include the piece from composer of participant's country. This year's contest will be held on 14-17 of June. More information about the competition, the CV of jury member and other information one can find on Klaipeda University internet site at the following address: www.ku.lt

International Youth Music Festival - Competition With Music through Europe in 2012 is organized by Vilnius J.Tallat-Kelpša Conservatory with cooperation with LAMT and L'Aquila Alfredo Casella Konsevatoria. The purpose of the festival – competition is to energise and proceed cultural – educative cooperation of Lithuania and Italy between music, art schools, gymnasiums, conservatoires and higher education institutions. This festival-contest is open to piano soloists, singers soloists, ensembles, piano and various chamber ensembles. The contest will be held from May 30th to June 4th 2012. Entries must be submitted to the organizers of the festival-competition until 8th of May. at nijole.karaskaite @ gmail.com. Information - www.musicavitale.org;

The XII International Competition-Festival Music Without Limits will take place on August 14-23, 2012 at M.K. Čiurlionis music school in Druskininkai. Competition will be held in four categories:

I.   Solo piano; Harpsichord; Jazz Performance.

II. CHAMBER (voice, instrumental and a capella), PIANO ENSEMBLES (four, six , eight hands, two pianos), AMATEUR (voice, instrumental and a capella).

III. Concerts for Piano with Chamber Orchestra.

IV. Jazz (soloists and ensembles).

II category divided into 4 age groups: A – grades 1-8 - 10 min; B – middle section - 12-20 min; C - higer school students and performers without age restrictions - 20-30 min; D - pupil and teacher - 15 min.; E - amateur without age restrictions - 10-12 min

Program is up to the participants 's choice. It is preferable to include a baroque or a classical piece in the performance. Entries must be submitted until June 15th, 2012.

Since 1999 LAMT is organizing the Competition of Lithuanian composers chamber music performance. This is an annual contest for student ensembles of various instrumental compositions. The aim of the competition is to help students prepare for higher grade competitions and promote Lithuanian music. Therefore, the main requirement of the competition is that the program must include a piece of Lithuanian composer (or whole program for 10-15 min.). Information – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In 2006 it became the international Stasys Vainiunas Piano and Chamber Ensembles Competition.

Stasys Vainiunas (1909-1982) is famous for his work both as pianist and composer. He was Lithuania's first international competition laureate. In 1933 he won eighth place (out of 252 pianists) in Vienna, and earned an honorary diploma and the right to be called a laureate. In seeking to perpetuate his memory and to popularize the legacy of his works, the republic of Lithuania dedicated Stasys Vainiunas' name to a young pianists' competition.

VII International Stasys Vainiunas Piano and Chamber Ensemble Competition this year has been included in Alink-Argerich international competitions registry.

The competition is open to the violin and piano duos, piano trios and quintets from any country, as long as the average age of the ensemble members on the competition day does not exceed 35 years. The contest will be held in Vilnius from March 31st to April 6th in 2014. http://www.ipmc.lt/?id=16&lang=en

Lithuanian International Competition look forward to the participants from your country's musical institutions - students and graduates!

Prof. Dalia Balsytė
Head of Chamber Ensemble Department
Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre