World Music Days in Vilnius to feature world-known celebrities

On the 24th of October, Lithuania’s largest festival of contemporary music to date, World Music Days, will start in Vilnius.

World Music Days 2008 is the first contemporary music event on this scale not only in Lithuania, but also in the Baltic States and altogether the first festival of the kind in Eastern Europe. This event of ISCM (International Society of Contemporary Music) is often compared to the Olympic Games as many countries compete for the right to host it. A few years ago Lithuania succeeded in winning this honourable right after outrivaling Greece in the final voting. Being part of the programme “Vilnius – European Capital of Culture 2009”, this festival will undoubtedly become one of its most significant introductory events this year.

“World Music Days” will invite Vilnius residents and visitors to a real feast of music. Lasting a little over two weeks, it will feature the broadest range of contemporary music to date: from symphonic to electronic music and from DJ shows to contemporary opera whereas the festival's declared openness to different viewpoints and ideas will be reflected in not only diversity, but also abundance of events. Every day the audience will have the opportunity to visit two, three or four concerts. Organisers are convinced that this comes as a pleasing surprise to not only music “gourmets”, but also sceptics.

This promise is supported with the strongest creative forces mobilised for the occasion. Back in autumn last year the international panel selected 46 best works from 350 submitted by different countries of the world.

Yet Lithuanian musicians and world-known performers will serve as the best guarantee for the festival’s quality. Top-level performance quality and excellence, the experience of interpreting contemporary music and the zeal for performance and passion are distinctive features of “World Music Days 2008” because only the hands of a master can give birth to a real work of art which is a perfect materialisation of the creator’s ideas encoded in the score.

The honour to open the prestigious event on the 24th of October at the Congress Palace was conferred upon the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, which will be conducted by the festival's guest star Peteris Eötvösas, world-scale music interpreter, conductor and famous contemporary composer. The performance by trumpet virtuoso Hakan Hardenberger, whom The Times called “the planet’s best trumpeter”, will be the undoubted highlight of this concert.

On the 26th of October, legendary music company from Germany Ensemble Modern will give a concert at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic. In Vilnius, the ensemble will perform together with owner of fantastic voice Barbara Hannigan under the baton of famous Peter Eötvösas.

On the 28th and 29th of October the festival will invite to the National Drama Theatre hosting one of the most spectacular theatrical events of “World Music Days 2008” – the play Eraritjaritjaka – museé des phrases. Apart from being recognised the best production of Vidy Lausanne theatre (Switzerland) in the last decade, this performance has earned even six most prestigious European awards. The project was developed by legendary German composer and director Heiner Goebbels with starring famous French actor André Wilms and renowned string quartet Mondriaan from Amsterdam.

On the 30th of October the festival will offer even two exclusive programmes: a concert at the National Philharmonic featuring the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra and fabulous musicians from Senegal, Sira Diabate (vocal) and Boubakar Diabate (kora). Totally unexpected and exotic musical colours in the work by famous Heiner Geobbels, who, again, offers a mix of different traditions and cultures, will be the concert's highlight. Meanwhile that day the Contemporary Art Centre will bang with Les Percussions de Strasbourg, one of the world’s most famous percussion bands. Each of their performances is a big event in musical life. The band is also unique for the fact that its members have collected and mastered about 400 different percussion instruments.

One of the “gems” of vocal music during the festival is the concert of the Latvian Radio Choir at St. Catherine's Church on the 31st of October. The world-scale company currently rated as one of the best choirs in Europe will perform the programme developed by the festival’s guest composer Jonathan Harvey. One of Europe’s most famous conductors James Wood will lead this wonderful ensemble of singers in Vilnius.

Mike Svoboda, one of the world’s most renowned and most intensively performing trombonists, will perform on the 3rd of November during the unique GARSO KUBAS project at the big studio of Lithuanian television. On the 4th of November, the project “Laborintus II”, which includes jazz improvisations and soundtracks from Italian films of the 60-ies and special video projections, will feature famous French actor of Italian origin Fosco Perinti, who has played many comic and different roles in theatre and film. The project’s musical director is conductor of the elite ensemble “Ictus”, Georges-Ellie Octors.

On the 5th of November , the selected orchestra of the best young musicians from the Baltic States “Kremerata Baltica” and talented Bulgarian pianist Boyan Vodenicharov will perform music by authors from different countries of the world at the hall of the National Philharmonic, and on the 6th of November the Contemporary Art Centre will feature three grandees of improvisational music – Lauren Newton (vocal), Dror Feiler (saxophones and clarinets) and Vladimir Tarasov (percussion), who will demonstrate their talent to create music live, eye-to-eye, here and now.

Festival “World Music Days 2008” will culminate in the biggest and most wanted work by guest composer Peter Eötvös – opera Love and Other Demons. Its premiere will take place on the 7th and 8th of November at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. Tickets to this performance have been available at theatre box-offices starting from May and all has been sold out. Fortunately, tickets to all other events of “World Music Days 2008” are still available from BILIETAI LT. For more information and ticket reservations please call 118 (1.50 Lt/min.).

For more detailed information about the entire programme of the festival please visit www.wmd2008.org 

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