LENsemble LENsemble [Lietuvos Ansamblių Tinklas] LENsemble [Lithuanian Ensemble Network]"> LEN: members
LENsemble [Lithuanian Ensemble Network]

LENsemble [Lithuanian Ensemble Network]

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Vykintas Baltakas, Conductor / Composer

Born in Vilnius in 1972, Vykintas Baltakas already caught attention as a musician and leader of two vocal ensembles, as well as a competition award winner, before studying composition with Wolfgang Rihm and conducting with Andreas Weiss in Karlsruhe from 1993 to 1997. He subsequently studied in Paris at the Conservatoire National Supérieur and took a one year course at IRCAM.
Conductors and composers make up two sides of the coin for the busiest of musicians. “One composes through playing, one plays through composing,“ he says – an attitude shared by Peter Eötvös who was his teacher between 1994 and 1997.
In the meantime he is a regular guest at festivals and with ensembles throughout Europe. Institutions that have commissioned works by Baltakas include the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Biennale, the Wiener Festwochen/Klangforum Wien,the Ensemble Modern and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/musica viva.
Vykintas Baltakas has in recent years conducted renowned orchestras such as the RSO and DSO Berlin, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the WDR Symphony Orchestra as well as ensembles including Ensemble Resonanz, the Ensemble Modern and Scharoun Ensemble. He has also collaborated with composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Georg Friedrich Haas and Dieter Schnebel. In 2009 he founded the Lithuanian Ensemble Network (LEN) of which he is the main driving force.
Vykintas Baltakas’ works have been awarded with prizes such as the International Claudio Abbado Composition Prize (2003) and the Siemens Advancement Award (2007). CD recordings of his compositions have been recently made by the Ensemble musikFabrik Cologne and the Ensemble Modern.

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Rita Maciliunaite (mezzo) started her music studies at Kaunas 1st 12-year music school with the emminent opera singer Giedre Jukneviciute-Beinariene, before later studying musicology at the Juozas Naujalis music gymnasium. Since 2004 Maciliunaite has been studying composition at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre with prof. Osvaldas Balakauskas. In 2006 Rita took part in masterclasses in Istebna (Poland), with composers Aleksandr Lasson and Vaclovas Augustinas, in 2007 - Internationale Werkstatt Schloss Trebnitz in Germany with prof. Dieter Mack, in 2008 - workshop for young composers in Dundaga (Latvia), teachers - Yannis Kyriakides, Johannes Maria Staud, Alla Zaykevic, in 2009 - 15th Young Composers Meeting, Apeldoorn in the Netherlands with teachers Louis Andriessen, Martijn Padding, Julia Wolf, Richard Ayres. In 2007 Rita gained an Erasmus scholarship for her studies in The Netherlands at the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague. There she was taught composition by Louis Andriessen, Cornelis de Bondt, Yannis Kyriakides, Gilius van Bergeik, Martijn Padding and Diderik Wagenaar. In the same year Rita was awarded a scholarship to attend the Dartington International Summer School (UK) were she studied with composers John Woolrich and Tansy Davies. In 2008 Rita got a Composer Residency of Britten – Pears Young Artist Programme in Aldeburgh.

Rita Maciliunaite is a highly active young composer. Her pieces have been played in various festivals: “Lek gervele” (2005), “Druskomanija” (2005- 2008), “The faces of Vilnius” (2006 - 2008), “Young ideas” (2006), “The new voices music”(2007), “International festival of audiovisual poetry”, contemporary operas festival "NOA" (2008, 2009) and also broadcast on the radio. At the 8th J.Svedas international folk instruments performers contest ’07, Rita‘s composition was chosen as an obligatory piece for all performers. Ritas music has also been played abroad in Poland (2006, Istebna), Latvia (2007, The theater of Riga), The Netherlands (2007, The Royal Conservatoire, Den Haag, 2009 Apeldoorn), and Great Britain (2007, Dartington). In 2007 Rita won a price for the best secular choir composition at the contest „Vox Juventutis“.

Rita Maciliunaite is also a frequent performer. She collaborated with composers Jean-Franēois Laporte and Martin Ouellet and was one of the performers in their composition at the festival Gaida’06. In 2008 with Liudas Mockunas, Zenonas Bagavicius, So Jeong Ahn, Laurynas Lape, Andrius Radziukynas. Maciliunaite has taken part in various singing contests and was appointed a laureateat the International Antanas Kucingis, Elena Ciudakova, „The song of songs“ singers‘ contests. Rita has also sung in a various festivals, concerts, and TV broadcasts. She was singing as a member of a jazz group for three years, and more recently with traditional, ritual folk group „Kulgrinda“. With this group she performed in many concerts in Lithuania and abroad (Kaliningrad, Norway, Germany). During her studies in The Hague, the Netherlands Rita was singing in the Free Imoprovisers Orchestra. Rita has also taken part in perfromances of comtemporary music in concerts at the LMTA festivals (2005 - 2008), „The faces of Vilnius“ (2006 - 2008), Riga theater hall (2007), The Royal Conservatoire, The Hague (2007), Dartington International Summer School (2007) and new opera action "NOA"(2008, 2009), youth chamber music days in Druskininkai "Druskomanija" (2008). She is also singing in a contemporary duet "R&R electronics" (Rita Maciliunaite, Ruta Vitkauskaite) and in ensemble "Subtle trio" (Rita Maciliunaite - mezzo-soprano, Aiste Bruzaite - electric kankles, Tomas Bieliausias - obojus).

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RAIMONDAS SVIACKEVIČIUS (accordion) is a musician of wide horizons, inteletually and with determination upgrading the status of his instrument, with his programming daringly breaking the limits of repertoire and genres, and incessantly raising his professional standard.

Sviackevičius graduated with MA from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in 1999 (with Assoc. Prof. Zita Abromavičiūtė). 1998–1999 he studied at the Academy of Music in Lodz (Poland), with the accordionist and composer, Prof. Bogdan Dowlasz. 1999–2000 he attended the Sibelius Music Academy in Helsinki (Finland), with Prof. Matti Rantanen. 1999–2001 he pursued post-graduate studies at the Royal conservatoire in the Hague (Holland), with the world famous Prof. Friedrich Lips (Russia) and Johan De With (Holland).

Raimondas Sviackevičius is laureate of many national competitions. He participated in many international competitions (Citta di Castelfidardo, Pianello Val Tidone, Premio Internazionale per fisarmonica Stefano Bizzarri) winning many of them, he was first prize winner at the 9th international Premio Internazionale Stefano Bizzarri accordion competition, where he also received the “Golden Lyre” award in 2000.

As a soloist he has performed with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, Kaunas Symphony Orchestra, St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra and Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra. He has given recitals, appeared in original programmes at the festivals Sugrįžimai, St. Christopher Summer Festival, Druskomanija, Klangspuren, Venice Bienalle, Gaida, Jauna muzika, Druskininkų vasara su Čiurlioniu, Turning sounds 4 and Muzikos ruduo as well as W. Lutoslawski Modern Art Forum in Lublin, Musica Moderna in Lodz (Poland) and Bayan I Bayanisty in Moscow, accordion festivals in Sanok (Poland), Chelyabinsk (Russia), among others.

Performing actively as a soloist he also plays chamber music and participates in various formations and unconventional groups playing experimental and avant-garde music as well as jazz. In 2004, he joined the contemporary music ensemble Gaida, and since 2009 has been actively involved in the Lithuanian Ensemble Network.

The list of his partners includes BSM trio (Bačkus (cello)- Sviackevičius (accordion)-Mikeliūnas (violin)), Sviackevičius-Bačkus Duo, The New ARTrio (Dobrovolskis (percussion, electronics)-Sviackevičius (accordion)-Pabarčiūtė (vocal)) with guest star from Tuva Sainkho Namtchylak (vocal), ACCOsax trio (Sviackevičius (accordion)-Maksimovičius (saxophone)-Gotesman (percussion)), Sviackevičius-Kirsenka Duo (acc-tuba), as well as Chordos String Quartet, Disobedient Ensemble and many others.

Sviackevičius regularly appears (in the past as a participant, now as a pedagogue) in international master classes, seminars and festivals. He has performed with great success in Germany, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Denmark, Poland, Holland, Sweden, Austria, the USA and Russia, and has juried for the following national and international competitions: A. Krzanowski International Competition (Poland), Premio Citta di Castelfidardo, Val Tidone International Music Competitions and International Stefano Bizzarri Accordion Prize (Italy), Coupe Mondiale (Slovak Republic, Hungary and New Zealand).

Since 2000, Sviackevičius has been on a faculty at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. Many of his students are winners of various international competitions, appear in various festivals, are actively involved in concert life where they are recognized as contemporary music adepts. He is also a pedagogue/expert at the Karoliniškės Music School.
Sviackevičius closely collaborates with Lithuanian composers, commissioning and performing new works for accordion. In 2004, he released his first solo CD entitled A Farewell to arms after Nomeda Valančiūtė’s work written for him. In 2006, he premiered the first Lithuanian Concerto for accordion and chamber orchestra Breakthrough by Žibuoklė Martinaitytė, which was dedicated to him. In 2007, he gave first performance of Promise, the first Lithuanian work for accordion and symphony orchestra by world renowned composer Feliksas Bajoras, at the Gaida Contemporary Music Festival. New Concerto for accordion and chamber orchestra AKO-07 by Jurgis Juozapaitis dedicated to Sviackevičius was premiered at Muzikos Ruduo festival in autumn 2007, and in 2009, Pažaislis Festival hosted a premiere of Elegy for Those Who Left Their Homeland for accordion and string orchestra by Giedrius Kuprevičius.
Recently, beside his performing career Raimondas Sviackevičius has been actively involved in organisation of various accordion events, and since 2008, he has been an artistic director of International Accordion Festivals in Vilnius and Palanga.

Critics on Raimondas Sviackevičius:

[…] Recital of accordionist Raimondas Sviackevičius […] was exactly what is needed for the performer in order to cultivate his own audience.  […] Sofia Gubaidulina’s De profundis was performed with utmost virtuosity (the composer used gliding quartertones, while the performer transformed the timbre of his instrument in such a way that the listener had to rely on his visual sensation in order to believe that accordion is capable to produce such sounds) as was her In Croce (accordion and cello duo) or petulant and capricious Alone by Finnish Erkki Jokinen. Mihail Bronner’s Dream Garden, in which cello and accordion intertwine in a delicately nostalgic waltz, was not the only composition on the programme evoking such vivid visual associations. – Literatūra ir menas, 2003.

Seriously seasoned musician presented an interesting and ‘cool’ programme – contemporary music for accordion in a church. The programme was devised in such a way that the accordion music and the possibilities of an instrument received a manifold representation. […] Technically it is a very flexible instrument and at the same time amazingly rich in terms of sound possibilities – accordion has an astounding array of timbres! After all, by simply blowing air one can produce the sound of flapping of bird wings! […] Certainly, all that is only feasible to a master. – Muzikos barai, 2003.

Saxophonist Janas Maksimovičius, accordionist Raimondas Sviackevičius and percussionist Arkady Gotesman presented programme of free jazz in a church. Their ability to rivet the attention by only a few sounds or create a specific atmosphere attested to obvious potentials and mastery of a new alliance. […] Is it possible to better present the relation between contemporary improvised and academic music, which was so perfectly embodied by Maksimovičius and Sviackevičius duo? The young accordionist has inspired a number of contemporary compositions, and earned a reputation of an outstanding virtuoso of new music. – Lietuvos rytas, 2004.

The festival’s programme was enhanced by two ‘lighter’ concerts: …somewhat different…improvisione… (participants – G. Skerytė, V. Mikeliūnas, R. Sviackevičius and M. Bačkus) and music and film project Cinemusique. Charlie Chaplin XXI. […] astounding was the ability of musicians to react to the minutest energy vibes of the colleagues, ‘live’ and expressive continuous dialogue. Truly, it was interesting to observe or even to become part of musicians’ improvisation: the listeners had a chance to feel the momentum of creative process. – 7 meno dienos, 2008.

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St. Christopher Woodwind Quintet
After the graduation from Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre as well as the studies abroad, a group of five young and professional musicians - Giedrius Gelgotas (flute), Justė Gelgotaitė (oboe), Andrius Žiūra (clarinet), Paulius Lukauskas (French horn) and Andrius Puplauskis (bassoon) - returned to Lithuania and decided to establish a quintet. As the result, in 2003, the St. Christopher Woodwind Quintet was founded.

Giedrius Gelgotas (flute) - a prize-winner of Lithuanian and international competitions and a participant of many festivals and concerts all over the world. In 2002-2003, he studied under Prof. William Bennett in London, and in 2006-2007, under Prof. Barbara Gisler-Haase in Wien. Also, the musician participated in master-classes given by such professors, as Emmanuel Pahud, Wolfgang Schulz, Jeffrey Khaner, Phillipa Davies, Lóránt Kovács, Christian Larde, Ian Clarke and Jean-Claude Gerard. Currently, Giedrius Gelgotas is a flute player at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre Symphony Orchestra, a student at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (doing his PhD), and a guest solo flutist at the Cairo Opera House Symphony Orchestra (Egypt). In 2008, Giedrius Gelgotas is invited to be an assistant at the William Bennett International Summer-School.

Justė Gelgotaitė (oboe) - a prize-winner of the National Juozas Pakalnis Wind Instrument Competition. As a student, she already performed a lot of solo recitals. Since 2002 Justė Gelgotaitė has been working at the Symphony Orchestra of the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society as a co-principal oboe. The musician has studied in Lion (France) under a well-known oboe professor Jean-Louis Capezzali. Justė Gelgotaitė always takes part in many international oboe master-classes. Moreover, she has played solo with all of the main Lithuanian orchestras, has given solo and chamber music concerts with various ensembles in Lithuania and abroad.

Andrius Žiūra (clarinet) - a prize-winner of international as well as Lithuanian competitions. In 2002-2003, Andrius Žiūra studied in the USA under Prof. Larry Maxey. Also, in 2003, the musician participated at the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium. The artist has participated actively in master-classes given by such professors as Richard Hawley, B. Harra and Ricardo Morales. Andrius Žiūra has given many solo concerts with various orchestras and chamber music groups, has participated in festivals in Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, France, Denmark, and Sweden. Since 1998, the musician has been working at the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra.

Paulius Lukauskas (French horn) - a diploma holder and prize-winner of international and national competitions. In 1999 he started his studies at Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music under Prof. Adrian Klisan, where he acquired his Master's Degree. At the same time he was studying at Dresden University of Music Carl Maria von Weber (Germany) under Prof. Peter Damm. Since 2003, Paulius Lukauskas has been a co-principal French-horn player at the Symphony Orchestra of Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society. The musician has performed as a soloist as well as with various chamber groups in Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Germany and Sweden.

Andrius Puplauskis (bassoon) - a diploma holder and prize-winner of international and national competitions. The musician has participated in many international master-classes in Lithuania, Germany and Sweden, has played solo concerts with orchestras as well as with different chamber music groups. Andrius Puplauskis has made recordings for the Lithuanian National Radio. Since 1993 he has been working as a solo bassoon player at the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra. Moreover, since 2006, Puplauskis has been giving lectures at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Although relatively young, the St. Christopher Quintet has already taken part in such festivals as Sugrįžimai (Vilnius, Lithuania), Druskomanija (Druskininkai, Lithuania), Sekmadienio muzika (Kaunas, Lithuania), FIMU (Belfort, France), the international festival of classical music the Musical summer in Kuzminki (Moscow, Russia) and the Christopher Summer Festival (Vilnius, Lithuania). The quintet has given concerts in Lithuania, France, Russia and Switzerland. With the help of the Classical Music Fund of the company Baltic Optical Disc and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, the St. Christopher Quintet recorded and published its first compact disc in 2005. The repertoire of the group is comprised of the music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Danzi, Paul Taffanel, Anton Reicha, Henri Tomasi, Samuel Barber, Luciano Berio, Malcolm Arnold, György Ligeti, Jean-Michel Damase, Julius Juzeliūnas, Rūta Vitkauskaitė as well as the pieces for quintets by numerous other composers from various epochs. In order to better reveal the peculiarities and possibilities of the instruments to the audience, the members of the quintet often include solo, duet pieces as well as other ensemble compositions into their concert programmes. Moreover, the quintet is expanding the repertoire for woodwind instruments through active cooperation with contemporary composers.

In 2007, the quintet won the first prize as well as the award for the best performance of the obligatory piece at the Henri Tomasi International Competition for Woodwind Quintets in Marseille (France) and as the result has achieved international acknowledgement.

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Formed in 1997, Chordos String Quartet derives its name from the Greek word ‘chorde’ – the string. During its relatively short existence the quartet has demonstrated an enduring commitment to promoting the latest in Lithuanian music abroad and bringing the most recent as well as greatest pieces of contemporary repertoire to wide audiences in Lithuania. They were in fact the first in Lithuania to perform quartet pieces by many world-renowned contemporary composers, such as M.Feldman, M.Nyman, G.Crumb, S.Reich, G.Ligeti, etc.

Apart from contemporary works, which normally forms the centrepiece of the quartet’s concert programmes, its extensive repertoire encompasses a rich variety of different styles, epochs and genres, ranging from Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantatas and other baroque composers (the quartet has been specialising in baroque interpretation in a number of seminars) to the joint projects with rock and jazz musicians. Chordos is often found participating in unconventional and innovative projects, which include collaborations with choirs, such as “Jauna muzika” and “Brevis”, and Lithuanian rock stars such as Andrius Mamontovas and “Lemon Joy”. The quartet has been regularly performing with many prominent Lithuanian classical musicians, including Z.Karkauskaite (piano), G.Skeryte (soprano), L.Mockunas (saxophone), S.Okrusko (piano) and others. Its recent recording credits also include incidental music for films and theatre.

Since its inception the quartet has been pursuing an active and versatile concert career by participating in a variety of national events and projects, including those organized by the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture and nearly all music festivals in Lithuania (Gaida, Vilnius Festival, Jauna muzika, Permainu muzika, Mariu klavyrai, etc.). Chordos has been also frequently invited to perform on international tours to various festivals and projects in Germany, Sweden, Latvia, Belgium, France, Austria and Rusia.

Chordos String Quartet has significantly enriched the musical resources of the Lithuanian National Radio by recording both newly written and classical pieces by Lithuanian and foreign composers. Its continuous collaboration with the living composers has thus far yielded a number of compositions written and dedicated especially for the group.

Chordos String Quartet has been recipient of several state scholarships: the State Scholarship for Young Artists in 1999 and the State Scholarship of the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture in 2001-3, 2005, 2006.

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The Kaskados Piano Trio officially started playing together in 1997, yet its members, Albina Šikšniūtė (piano), Rusnė Mataitytė (violin) and Edmundas Kulikauskas (cello), had been known as soloists and members of other chamber music ensembles well before that. Joining together into a regularly performing ensemble, with a repertoire demanding highly professional skills, was a crucial and ambitious step in the careers of the three musicians, given their active participation in other spheres of musical life. All three musicians are closely related by the experience they gained during their studies at approximately the same time at the Moscow Conservatoire. Mataitytė and Šikšniūtė performed as a duet during their five-year postgraduate studies at the Conservatoire. The birth of the Kaskados Piano Trio resulted naturally from the interaction between the times and the experience and the inner demand to play in an ensemble. The trio has consequently become one of the most active chamber music ensembles in Lithuania. It has given numerous performances at the main Lithuanian festivals, such as Gaida, the St. Christopher Summer Festival, the Thomas Mann Festival and the Pažaislis Festival. The trio has also appeared in Austria, Germany, Russia and Sweden. The year 2002 was particularly successful as the Trio won the First Prize at the 9th International Johannes Brahms Chamber Music Competition in Portschach, Austria. In 2005 they were awarded the Golden Disc prize by the Lithuanian Musical Society.

Lithuanian audiences follow the Kaskados Piano Trio with great interest and anticipation, as it prepares a number of new programmes each year. As well as chamber music, the Trio participates in other projects having performed, for instance, the solo parts in Beethoven’s Concerto for violin, cello and piano in C major with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra. Their most recent (2005) concert performances include a cycle of complete Beethoven’s trios and an innovative project combining contemporary Lithuanian music with on-stage improvisations by famous Lihuanian artist Stasys Eidrigevicius.

The repertoire of the Trio embraces different genres from all periods, among which Romantic music is played with particular enthusiasm. In addition to this, much of their interpretational energy has been devoted to contemporary Lithuanian music. As a rule, new pieces by Lithuanian composers appear in their repertoire every year. A number of composers appreciate the professional skills and artistic imagination of the Kaskados Piano Trio: Loreta Narvilaitė and Algirdas Martinaitis have written new compositions for the ensemble, whereas Osvaldas Balakauskas, Feliksas Bajoras and Bronius Kutavičius, Arvydas Malcys have made transcriptions of their earlier works for the Trio.

The distinct style of the Kaskados Piano Trio, widely acknowledged by both Lithuanian and foreign critics, encompasses harmony and integrity, striking combination of expressive approaches, strict stylistic orientation, deep understanding of the sonoric quality of all three instruments, and precise and firm technique.

The pianist Albina Šikšniūtė is a graduate of the National M.K. Čiurlionis School of Arts and the Moscow Conservatoire, where she studied under Professor Drąsutienė and Professor Nosov, respectively She has won prizes at international piano competitions in the Czech Republic (1977) and France (1999). Albina Šikšniūtė has given recitals and performed with chamber music ensembles and chamber orchestras from Vilnius, Prague, Moscow and Alma Ata. She has appeared in concert halls in Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Turkey and Latvia. Since 1991, as a soloist and as a member of chamber music ensembles, she has participated regularly at the annual international festival Ost-West Musikfest in Austria. In 1995, she recorded a CD of three of Bach’s clavier concertos with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Saulius Sondeckis. Another CD was released in collaboration with Mataitytė, Zimmermann and Kulikauskas, and includes works by Osvaldas Balakauskas. Šikšniūtė combines her concert activities with teaching at the National M.K. Čiurlionis School of Arts and at the Lithuanian Academy of Music; her students have participated in numerous international competitions. She also teaches at the summer masterclasses for children in Krems am der Donau, Austria.

The violonist Rusnė Mataitytė graduated from the National M.K. Čiurlionis School of Arts (under Professor Radovich) and the Moscow P. Tchaikovsky Conservatoire (under Professor Valeri Klimov) and also completed postgraduate studies their under Professor Igor Bezrodny. She has won prizes at the David Oistrach and Ludwig Spohr international violin competitions. For a number of years, she was the leader of the Gottingen Symphony Orchestra and the Gottingen Chamber Orchestra in Germany. Mataitytė has given concerts in Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Austria, Yugoslavia and Greece. Leading contemporary Lithuanian composers Algirdas Martinaitis,Osvaldas Balakauskas and British composer Sadie Harrison have written violin concertos dedicated to Rusne, which she premiered with the Lithuanian National Symphony and St. Christopherus Chamber Orchestras. She appeared at festivals in Newbury and Aldeburgh in Great Britain and Europa Musicale in Germany, and gave concerts at the Carnegie Hall in New York and St.John’s Smith Square in London. She has participated in the recording of three CDs released by Proud Sound, ASV (England) and BIS (Sweden). Rusne has been a member of the Tate Ensemble (London) and, since 2002, of the Gaida ensemble (Vilnius).

The cellist Edmundas Kulikauskas studied at the National M.K. Čiurlionis School of Arts under Domas Svirskis and Romanas Armonas, and at the Moscow P.Tchaikovsky Conservatoire under Professor Shachovskaya. From 1986 to 1989, he was a cello teacher at the National M.K. Čiurlionis School of Arts, and later continued as a member of the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra and the Lithuanian String Quartet. Since 1996 he is the principal cello of the National Symphony Orchestra and also the lead cellist in the Gaida chamber music ensemble. Edmundas collaborated in a number of CD recordings, took part in numerous concerts in Europe, Japan and Israel, and recently performed with the Ysaye Quartet at the Vilnius Festival.

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Rima Khachaturian (piano) was born in 1984. R. Khachaturian won several international and national piano and chamber music

competitions. She participated in various festivals in Lithuania and Europe – in “Summer with piano music” in Druskininkai,

“Interpretations of young generation” in Vilnius, “Christopher Summer Festival”, “Birmingham International Piano Academy” in England,

“Academie musicale de Villecroze“ in France, „Thy chamber music festival“ in Denmark, etc.

Rima Khachaturian played with Latvian and Lithuanian chamber orchestras. She had concerts solo and with chamber music in

Lithuania, Poland, Germany, England, France, Sweden, Armenia, Denmark. R.Khachaturian participated in masterclasses with

famous professors – D. Merlet, P. Donohoe, J. Lowenthal, N. Seriogina, V.Nosina and others.

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The Synaesthesis ensemble was founded in 2013 by conductor Karolis Variakojis and composer Dominykas Digimas Synaesthesis.

The members are young and ambitious musicians who have studied in various leading music colleges in Europe, and practiced their skills under the wings of Ictus, Klangforum Wien, Quatour Tana, Chordos and FortVio.

The ensemble’s vision goes beyond sound - but into space, light, movement, and narrative – anything that allows for professionally performed music to become a multidimensional creation, blurring lines between genres.

The ensemble is an active performer in the Lithuania contemporary music scene and is making its first, but very secure steps into the international scene. Among the next projects of Synaesthesis are the Kintai Music festival, Festival Gaida, Druskininkai Artists’ Residence and CROSSROADS in Salzburg.