After last year’s success, the town of Birzhai and the Lithuanian Musicians’ Union (LMU) agreed to join forces once again with the V. Jakubenas Music School to organize the 3rd annual Creative Education Chamber Music Camp “Muzikuokime drauge” (Let’s Play Music Together) in Birzhai. Thanks to the invitation of Professor Petras Kunca, Board member of the association, the ECMTA was also closely associated with the realization of the project. With the strong support of Mrs Irute VERZIENE, Mayor of Birzhai and in the presence of Mr Aleksandras ZELTINIS, member of the Lithuanian Parliament, the session was an even greater success than last year. Led by Professor Kunca, Audronė Žigaitytė-Nekrošienė, President of the LMU, and Rima Zuoziene, Director of the Jakubenas School, the camp has now expanded to include students and teachers from more schools in Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia: 24 student ensembles participated, from duos to a 15-member string ensemble, with a great many local students and teachers involved. In all, over 80 students participated, mostly between the ages of 8 and 20, many of them accompanied by their teachers. Repertoire included arrangements of popular pieces and children’s works as well as standard masterpieces, and every concert programme was filled with variety of instrumentation, style, age and level of participants. The spirit of the camp was clearly an excellent balance between ability, careful preparation, and inclusiveness.
News from Lithuania
The European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA) is an international network connecting 7 European music academies and 3 European music festivals. ECMA was established in 2006 on the initiative of the prominent professors of chamber music and fosterers of this music genre Hatto Bayerle (viola, Germany) and Johannes Meissl (violin, Austria). In 2011, the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre was also invited to participate in the activities of the network for its considerable educational achievements in the field of chamber music. The ECMA forges young European talents focusing on established chamber ensembles – string quartets and grand piano trios. The session will provide an opportunity for young and prospective chamber ensembles to improve their skills, to get professional experience from one of the best specialists of chamber music in the world, and to forge international relations that will be useful for the future international concert activities of the ensembles. Each of the seven ECMA member academies operating in Austria, Finland, France, the UK, Norway, Italy and Lithuania, organises master class meetings on chamber music once a year, which ECMA professors and students attend. Alongside the master classes there are lectures on the different courses of chamber music and the visitors can learn about the culture and traditions of chamber music of the receiving country; chamber ensembles participating in the ECMA courses also organise courses and perform and present new programmes of chamber music which they prepare during the session.
22 mixed ensembles (duos to septets) of children from children’s music schools across Lithuania gathered at the V. Jakubenas music school in Birzhai for an intensive chamber music workshop and festival September 6-8, 2012. The workshop/festival included teachers not only from important music schools in Lithuania, but also included representatives from Latvia and the United Kingdom. The project received support from the Lithuanian Musicians’ Union, which was represented by its dynamic and creative President, the composer Audronė ŽIGAITYTĖ-NEKROŠIENĖ. The Musicians’ Union presented gifts to participating ensembles and their teachers, and demonstrated the commitment of musicians to the development of a love of chamber music in young people. The significance of the event was also underlined by the presence of local and national television filming both recorded and live interviews and lessons during the weekend.
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.
SUMMARY of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre Chamber Ensemble Department history and professors can be found online (http://lmta.lt/index.php?id=1802). Professors of LAMT Chamber Ensemble Department are open to the propositions for masterclasses in English, German, Russian and Spanish.
NEW DEGREE PROGRAMME. In the school year of 2011/12, two new mandatory programs were launched in the Chamber Ensemble master program: practical studies in early music ensemble, and a theory course of instrumental ensemble music history.
Masterclasses of prof. Avedis Kouyoumdjian (UDK Wien, 05-08 of May) and of members of ARTIS string quartet (Austria, 19-23 of May) took place. Masterclasses attracted interest among students, prof. Kouyoumdjian worked with 13 ensembles and 20 ensembles came to the masterclasses of the members of ARTIS quartet.
A beautiful example of partnership of ECMTA members was the final exams of the year 2011 (19-23 of May) where colleagues from Academy of Gdansk where asked to be the heads of the juries: prof. Ana Prabucka-Firlej was a head of chamber music jury and prof. Krzysztof Sperski was the head of string quartet jury.
Trio CLAVIOLA (class of prof. Julius Andrejevas) won the first prize in the 12th International Academic Music Competition JŪRMALA 2011 (Latvia, 24-28 of May, head of the jury prof. Alexander Bonduriansky, member of the jury prof. Gunta Sproge).
The string quartet TOTO (class of prof. AugustinasVasiliauskas) participated in the festival Lycka Kammarmusik (Sweden, 3-10 of July, invited by prof. Per Lundberg) and in the courses of Academy Musicale de Villecroze (France, 12-22 of July).
Both of these quartets participated in the courses of Internationale Sommerakademie Pragwienbudapest (Austria, 16-28 of August)
The department organized cycle of chamber music concerts in LAMT (27-30 of April), where the students of prof. Petras Kunca (27th of April, Concert hall), prof. Dalia Balsytė (29th of April, Chamber hall) and the students of the department (28th Concert hall, 30th Juozas Karosas hall) performed.
Also, the concerts of students of the Department took place on 11th of April and 05 of May in the Concert hall of LAMT.
Prof. G. Sproge (Latvia) was asked to lead the masterclasses on 30th of November to 4th of December and to be a member of the jury of 11th Lithuanian Composers' Chamber Music Competition on 3rd of December 2011.
Report from the Head of the Chamber Music department prof. Dalia Balsytė
Tutors of TOTO string quartet:
There are 530 students studying and 230 professors working in Music Faculty.
I will shortly introduce you to the activity of our department of the last two years.
During November of 2010, two masterclasses, with the Gdansk Trio of the Gdansk Music Academy and Per Lundberg from the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm were followed by the the 10th Lithuanian composers chamber music performance competition took place in Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater Chamber Music Department.