Beat Furrer

Beat Furrer

Composing for Vilnius


World Premiere

For voice, bass clarinet and accordion



Italy / Austria

Ukraine / Germany

JUNE 30 – JULY 1
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World premiere for Viilnius

World Premiere of the composition for the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania

A tour around the library included

• JUNE 30 | 6:00 PM

• JULY 1 | 6:00 PM

Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania

Gedimino av. 51

18,39 EUR

Discounts available

18,39 EUR | Taikomos nuolaidoos

The world premiere of the composition will be accompanied by a special library tour and an opportunity to meet the composer.

Performed by:

Helena Sorokina (voice / Latvia-Austria)
Marco Sala (bass clarinet / Italy-Austria)
Roman Yusipey (accordion / Ukraine-Germany)

Event Duration: ± 1,5 hours (included the tour)

Beat Furrer, one of Europe’s most renowned composers, can be considered a classical icon of contemporary music. His works have wielded a significant influence on the evolution of contemporary music in the Western world, transcending generations of composers to the present day. The Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania in Vilnius captivated the composer. This library can be described as an extraordinary haven, a place that envisions the future of history. Throughout the past few centuries, it has safeguarded the intellectual development of our country and the world, while actively engaging in today’s societal processes, thus becoming a symbol of national identity. The library’s exceptional architecture, acoustics, history, and its present state—all of these elements mesmerized the Austrian composer. He witten a composition for voice, bass clarinet, and accordion specifically for this place.


• Liepos 1 d. 14:00 val.

Susitikimas ir pokalbis su Beatu Furreriu

Lietuvos nacionalinė Martyno Mažvydo bibilioteka


Portrait Concert

Portrait Concert of the chamber music by Beat Furrer

• JULY 1 | 4:00 PM

Vilnius Town Hall

Didžioji str. 31

16,39–20,39 EUR

Discounts available

16,39–20,39 EUR | Taikomos nuolaidoos

Performed by:

„LENsemble Vilnius“
Creative director and conductor – Vykintas Baltakas

Indrė Baikštytė (piano), Kristupas Gikas (flute), Ingrida Rupaitė (violin), Robertas Bliškevičius (viola), Viktor Rekalo (violoncello), Joana Daunytė (harp), Gediminas Stepanavičius (double bass)

Concert Duration: ± 1 hour

The concert program features various and distinct chamber compositions by Beat Furrer, while revealing the most common characteristic of his musical identity.


  • Melodie – fallend (2002) for piano
  • Presto  for flute and piano (1997) for flute and piano
  • … cold and calm and moving (1992) for flute, harp, violin, viola and violoncello
  • Ira – Arca (2012) for bass flute and doouble bass
  • Lied (1993) for violin and piano
LIKO: tik 10 vnt.
Renginių rinkinys
specialia kaina


Composing would not interest me if I had the impression that I was reproducing a well-worn concept rather than taking a step in a new direction.

Beat Furrer was born in Schaffhausen (Switzerland) in 1954 and received his first musical training on piano at the Music School there. After moving to Vienna in 1975, he studied conducting with Otmar Suitner and composition with Roman Haubenstock Ramati at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst.

In 1985 he founded the Klangforum Wien, which he directed until 1992, and with which he is still associated as conductor.

Commissioned by the Vienna State Opera, he composed his first opera Die Blinden. His second opera Narcissus was premiered in 1994 as part of the Festival “steirischer herbst” at the Graz Opera. In 1996 he was composer-in-residence at the Lucerne Festival. His music theatre work Begehren was premiered in Graz in 2001, the opera invocation in Zürich in 2003 and the sound theatre piece FAMA in Donaueschingen in 2005.

In autumn 1991 Furrer became a full professor of composition at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Graz. He has been guest professor in composition at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt 2006–2009.

Together with violinist Ernst Kovacic he founded “impuls”, a International Ensemble and Composers Academy for Contemporary Music. In 2004 he was awarded the Music Prize of the City of Vienna, and in 2005 became a member of the Academy of Arts in Berlin. He was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2006 for his work FAMA.

In 2010 his music theatre Wüstenbuch was premiered in Basel. In 2014 he was awarded with Great Austrian State Prize. In 2018 he received the Ernst-von-Siemens music prize in recognition of his lifetime’s compositional outoput. His one of the latest opera La Bianca Notte based on texts by Dino Campana, was premiered in Hamburg in spring 2015. In January 2019 his new opera Violetter Schnee (Violet Snow) with a libretto by Händl Klaus based on a libretto by Vladimir Sorokin premiered at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin.

Since the 1980s Beat Furrer has composed a wide range of works, from solo and ensemble music to orchestral and choral works and opera. He is well know for his nuanced exploration of the human voice and its relationship to instrumental sound. Furrer’s music tends to restrict itself to hints rather than making full-blown statements. In vocal works, too, the text is not necessarily set to carry a meaning.

In a way, you can describe Furrer’s oeuvre as ‘concept music’ in that each new work is based on a new concept – the composer sets great store by the search for new and flexible systems. He says:

“For each piece I want to create the material and the interrelationship of the intervals anew. Composing would not interest me if I had the impression that I was reproducing a well-worn concept rather than taking a step in a new direction. Surely, some works are recognizably linked together in that they spin on the same idea but always, that idea appears in a completely new light”.

However, Furrer never sticks rigidly to a new concept on which he is about to base a composition. He is always examining the relationship between the formal concept to the subjective need of expression, as a result revising and even discarding the concept. In other words, He never apply it slavishly but reserve for his-self the freedom of decision.


Claude Levy Strauss describes in “sad tropes” a tribal chief who retires after the ritual and begins to sing : he sings in the voices of many different persons, animals and mythical figures, and sings them each in the pitch and register assigned to each.

This narrative has connected itself to me with a specific idea of a song : a melody, heterogeneous, as an interweaving of many different melodies, different positions in the body, different timbres.

The instruments accordion and contrabass clarinet reinforce this heterogeneity embodied in a voice by discontinuously changing its resonances – big space, small space – and colouring them darker, or lighter.

The text is taken from the novel Eisejuaz by the Argentinian writer Sara Gallardo.

Martynas Mažvydas
National Library of Lithuania

Due to its diverse activities and events, today the library has become a highly dynamic space, not only in terms of information but also as a societal and cultural hub.

The National Library of Lithuania was founded in 1919, though the idea to establish it had existed long before. For several decades its progress was considerably hindered by the lack of funds and special buildings as well as by the absence of a coherent conception of its aims and functions; not once its very existence was threatened.

In January 1919 the Lithuanian People`s Commissariat for Education reorganized the former Vilnius Public Library (Vilnius University Library until 1832) into the Central Library of Lithuania which started functioning on February 1, 1919. On April 21, 1919, when Vilnius was occupied by the Polish legionaries, the work of this library stopped.

The first Director of the Library, Eduardas Volteris, who had moved to Kaunas, once again started accumulating books for the Library. On December 2, 1919, the Temporary Lithuanian Government in Kaunas issued an order to start the activities of the Central State Library. Towards the end of 1919 the Library had already 18 000 units in its stocks. The Library existed just as a place where new Lithuanian publications were available, not as a scientific institution. Nevertheless, Library`s contribution to cultural life was quite noteworthy.

The Library`s activity could be founded on more stable lines when The Law on State Public Libraries (1936) was issued. The Library was designated to collect and store all lituanistic printed matter published in Lithuania and abroad.

But the crucial turning point in the Library`s activities occurred in 1939. Unhappily, the plans and intentions of the new director, Juozas Rimantas, were hindered by the changes in the political and social life of Lithuania. During the period of 1940-1941 the Library greatly expanded its collections but mainly through the flood of numerous Soviet Russian publications; also a part of nationalized book collections was taken over this Library. At the beginning of 1941 the book stocks comprised more than 200 000 units of printed matter.

After the annexation of Lithuania by the USSR in 1940, the Library started to practically apply the Soviet regulations on librarianship and bibliography.

During the Fascist occupation the recently obtained premises of the Library were occupied by German soldiers. The reading-hall stopped functioning, only part time working hours at the circulation department were preserved. Book stocks were “purged” of publications unacceptable to Fascist ideology. The Library lost about 19 175 valuable pieces during the period of Nazi occupation.

After the retreat of Hitler’s army, the Library moved to the premises of the former Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Crafts. As soon as Library settled in the new building, its dispersed stocks were newly assembled and their systematic supplementation with fresh publications was continued; the bibliographic information system was reorganized.

During the early post-war years, the Library used to receive all publications printed on the territory of the USSR; since 1949 it received the publications in the Russian language only. The book stocks (especially Lithuanian and foreign publications printed between two wars) were greatly damaged by the campaign of “clearing the libraries of ideologically harmful publications”. Many books, even old and rare ones, were removed from the Library stocks and destroyed. Special attention was paid to such forms of library work like mass education and propaganda activities.

Nevertheless a relatively good bibliographic information system was developed. In 1951 new library regulations were adopted, and the Library was granted the status of the main Library of the Republic.

With the changes in the political situation, the Library started to recover its contacts with the libraries abroad; the Interlibrary Loan Department was expanded, skills of the Library staff members were being improved. Principles of research work were introduced into the Library`s activities.

Due to the intensive growth of book stocks and the increasing number of readers and staff the Library once again faced the problem of lacking space. A decision was made to transfer the Library to Vilnius, where a special building would be constructed to meet its needs. In 1963, within a period of 4 months, more than 2 millions of publications, both catalogued and un-catalogued, were moved to Vilnius. On the 6th of December the Library started operating in Vilnius.

The Library was the initiator of many innovations. It was the first Library in the USSR which started applying teletype communication in interlibrary loans and for bibliographic information. The Library supplied its premises with automatic telephones for the transmission of the newest bibliographic surveys of books all over the Republic. A Room of Fairy Tales was established with a puppet theatre that enjoyed popularity among children readers.

The National Rebirth of 1988, new democratic tendencies that shattered official dogmas in many spheres of our life, also affected libraries. The Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania conducted a fundamental revision of books and periodicals removed from the Library books stocks in the post-war period. In 1988 the book stocks of the Library amounted to 5 million volumes. The initiative of readers increased immensely. The Library mounted a number of meetings and events dedicated to eminent cultural personalities who started the movement of National Revival in past years. These meetings enjoyed such great popularity that often only a part of the people willing to attend the event could take part in it. The Library staff felt its great responsibility fostering traditions always inherent in the best Lithuanian centres of cultural and aesthetic education.

On March 11, 1990 independence of the Republic of Lithuania was restored. The Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania together with the whole nation opened a new page in its history.

In 2003, an extension to the library was opened. Through the efforts of the National Library, the academic journal ‘Parliamentary Studies’ was launched in 2004. It analyzes the history and traditions of parliamentary systems in the country, as well as significant research in political science, sociology, and other fields related to the structure and governance of the state, along with current state governance processes.

Due to its deteriorating condition, the library building underwent reconstruction for more than eight years (2008-2016). The project was carried out by the ‘Jungtinės architektų dirbtuvės’ with interior design by the ‘2XJ’ architects. The historically and architecturally significant building, revived through reconstruction and interior solutions, received numerous awards. In 2017, the Statehood Center was opened in the library.

Due to its diverse activities and events, today the library has become a highly dynamic space, not only in terms of information but also as a societal and cultural hub, taking on a new role of uniting, socializing, educating, and fostering communication beyond the traditional confines of a library.


Latvian contralto/mezzo-soprano Helēna Sorokina begun her musical education with the violin and piano, later she went on to study choral conducting in her hometown Riga. Helena was studying classical vocal performance and vocal pedagogy and since 2021 continues with the Artistic Research at the prestigious Doctorate School at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria.

Notable highlights include solo appearances in some of the biggest concert halls of Germany, Austria, Italy and Latvia. As a soloist. She sung under the baton of Sir Roger Norrington, Joshua Rifkin, Beat Furrer, Paolo Paroni, Joshard Daus, Erwin Ortner, Johannes Prinz etc. 

She also specializes in German and French chansons, especially that of Zarah Leander, Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich. Her gift of perfect pitch exposes her to contemporary music performance, which has become one of her biggest passions. Since August 2017, Helena is a resident member of the vocal ensemble Cantando Admont and has performed in different festivals and venues around the world.

Since 2018 Helena has been holding masterclasses and lectures in different topics of the New Vocal Music at the NUS Yale College (Singapore), University of California Berkeley, University of California Davis, New York University (USA) and Conservatory of Terceira (Azores, Portugal). 2020 she started a new project for an unaccompanied solo voice called VOICE.ONLY, which she premiered at CNMAT in Berkeley, California.


Marco Sala was born in Lecco (Italy). He achieved Bachelor and Master degrees in clarinet with professor Carlo Dall’Acqua at “G. Verdi” Conservatory in Como. He was awarded the city of Como’s “Franz Terraneo” prize as the graduate with the best grade of the 2008/2009 academic year. He continued his clarinet studies with Alois Brandhofer at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg earning a Master of Arts degree with distinction, followed by postgraduate studies with Albert Osterhammer and Wenzel Fuchs.

Specialised in the lower instruments of the clarinet family (bass clarinet, basset horn and contrabass clarinet) and in contemporary music, he performed as soloist in Italy, Austria, Germany, Croatia, Hungary and South Korea. He also recorded for various labels such as VDE-GalloRecords, Brilliant Classics and Deutsche Grammophon.

Marco Sala is the clarinet player of the New Art and Music Ensemble Salzburg (NAMES) and principal clarinet of the Orchestra Antonio Vivaldi. Since 2019 he holds the position of Senior Artist at the Institute of Contemporary Music of the Mozarteum University.

Roman Yusipey

Accordion-player Roman Yusipey was born in 1979 in Kherson, Ukraine. He’s graduated from National Music Academy of Ukraine, took a postgraduate course in University of Music and Drama in Hannover and in Folkwang Univerity in Essen.

He participated in IX Premio di Montese International Competition in Italy (1st prize) and in the I Golden Accordion International Competition in New York (2nd place).

As a soloist Roman Yusipey has performed about hundred concerts with camber and symphony orchestras. He collaborates vigorously with contemporary composers and has premiered numerous works for button accordion. He has performed in the last seasons at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Radio Berlin-Brandenburg, De Doelen Rotterdam, Salle Cortot Paris among others.

He has been a visiting professor at the Kazakh Kurmangazy National Conservatory and a jury member at the International accordion competition in Lanciano, Italy.  He was the initiator of first Sofia Gubaidulina visit to Ukraine in 2012. Author of an audio anthology “Ukrainian music of the 21th century for button accordion”.



This project is a breakthrough in contemporary music in Lithuania: we become visible on the map of Europe not only as reproducers but also as active music creators, opening up new horizons for performers.


Artistic director and conductor – Vykintas Baltakas

Initiated by Vykintas Baltakas, LENsemble Vilnius (Lithuanian Ensemble Network) connects professional ensembles, soloists and conductors.

LENsemble consists of: the Chordos String Quartet, Kristupas Wind Quintet, Kaskados Piano Trio, Vilnius Brass Quintet, accordionist Raimondas Sviackevičius and others. LENsemble is working with established institutions of contemporary music in Lithuania and abroad, such as the Lithuanian Composers’ Union, Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Centre, Lithuanian Academy of Music and theatre, Goethe-Institut Vilnius and Karsten Witt Musikmanagement Berlin.

LEN is proud about its performances at the WDR (2009), at the Ruhr European Capital of Culture (2010), Ultraschall Festival Berlin (2013), Gaida Festival, Flagey Brussels, Concertgebouw Brugge, tours in Serbia, Egypt, Poland, Latvia and its recordings for Kairos, Megadisc Classics, WDR, Deutschland Radio Kultur, WDR, etc. In 2011 LENsemble started the concert series Composers of our time, featuring the influential international and lithuanian composers.