Composing for Vilnius
United States of America
For 9 trombones
Con. Vykintas Baltakas
World premiere for the courtyard of the former Jewish Council in Vilnius Ghetto
• JULY 5 | 9:00 PM
Entrance trough the Vilnius Theatre „Lėlė“
Arklių str. 5
16, 22, 28 EUR
16, 22, 28 EUR | Taikomos nuolaidos
- „Resonance“ for 9 trombones (world premiere)
- „Tree-oh“ for 3 violins (2011)
- „Industry“ for violoncello and electronics (1992)
Creative director and conductor – Vykintas Baltakas
Albinas Gražulis (trombone), Remigijus Gumuliauskas (trombone), Adrijus Alminas (trombone), Jovaras Šiekštelė (trombone), Gabrielius Songaila (trombone), Kamilė Makarevičiutė (trombone), Rimantas Jagminas (trombone), Yiannis Bontis (trombone), Marius Balčytis (trombone), Viktor Rekalo (violoncello), Ingrida Rupaitė (violin), Rakelė Chijenaitė (violin), Toma Bandzaitytė-Puplauskė (violin)
Concert Duration: ± 1 hour
One of the most renowned composers in the world, American minimalist Michael Gordon, has a connection to Vilnius through his family history. With his new piece, the composer aims to shed light on the rich Jewish cultural heritage in Vilnius. Michael Gordon has selected the inner courtyard of the Vilnius Theater “Lėlė” as the venue, a space that encapsulates both the radiant and poignant memories of Jewish history: from the activities of the culturally enriching gymnasium to the poignant stories of the Vilnius Ghetto. In his customary manner, Gordon will take the audience on a contemplative musical journey. His composition, “Resonance,” written for nine trombones, fills the unique acoustic space with sculptural sounds that blend harmoniously with the “Flame of Hope” sculpture, created in 2000 within the courtyard as a tribute to Holocaust victims.
The concert program will not only feature a world premiere but also other works by Michael Gordon. The composer himself will be present at the concert, warmly greeting the audience during the event.
Vieną tarp pasaulyje pačių žinomiausių kompozitorių, amerikiečių minimalistą Michael Gordon su Vilniumi sieja jo šeimos istorija. Nors sostinėje jis yra lankęsis ne sykį, tačiau čia pasaulinę premjerą pristatys pirmą kartą. Kūriniu kompozitorius išryškins jam artimą žydiškojo Vilniaus kultūros paveldą. Michael Gordon pasirinkta erdvė – vidinis Vilniaus teatro „Lėlė“ ir Jaunimo teatro kiemelis – saugo ir šviesius, ir tamsius žydų istorijos atsiminimus: nuo miesto kultūrą turtinusios gimnazijos veiklos iki sukrečiančių Vilniaus geto istorijų. Kaip įprasta, M. Gordonas pakvies į meditatyvią muzikinę kelionę. 9-iems trombonams skirtas kūrinys „Resonance“ užlies savitos akustikos erdvę skulptūriškais garsais, puikiai derančiais su kiemelyje 2000 m. pastatyta Holokausto aukoms pagerbti skirta skulptūra „Vilties liepsna“.
Koncerto programoje skambės ne tik pasaulinė premjera, bet ir kiti Michaelo Gordono kūriniai, renginyje dalyvaus ir publiką sveikins pats kompozitorius.
- „Resonance“ devyniems trombonams (pasaulinė pemjera)
- „Tree-oh“ trims smuikams (2011)
- „Industry“ violončelei ir elektronikai (1992)
Meno vadovas ir dirigentas – Vykintas Baltakas
Renginio trukmė: ± 1 val.
• Liepos 1 d. 14:00 val.
Susitikimas ir pokalbis su Beatu Furreriu
Lietuvos nacionalinė Martyno Mažvydo bibilioteka
I’ve always created what I find interesting, or what I’m feeling at the moment, what feels right to me, what the mood is inside. I don’t try to create the same thing or just things that are really for consumption.
Michael Gordon is known for his monumental and immersive works. His music merges subtle rhythmic invention with incredible power embodying, in the words of The New Yorker‘s Alex Ross, “the fury of punk rock, the nervous brilliance of free jazz and the intransigence of classical modernism.”
Over the past 30 years, Gordon has produced a strikingly diverse body of work, ranging from large-scale pieces for high-energy ensembles to major orchestral commissions to works conceived specifically for the recording studio. Transcending categorization, this music represents the collision of mysterious introspection and brutal directness.
Gordon has been commissioned by The New World Symphony, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Stuttgart Ballet, the New World Symphony, the National Centre for the Performing Arts Beijing, the BBC Proms, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Settembre Musica, the Holland Music Festival, the Dresden Festival and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival, among others. His music has been performed at the Kennedy Center, Theatre De La Ville, Barbican Centre, Oper Bonn, Kölner Philharmonie and the Southbank Centre. The recipient of multiple awards and grants, Gordon has been honored by the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Formed in 1983 as The Michael Gordon Philharmonic and renamed The Michael Gordon Band in 2000, Gordon’s own ensemble performed across Europe and the United States at venues as diverse as Alice Tully Hall and the punk mecca CBGB, on the Contemporary Music Network Tour and at the Almeida Festival in London.
Born in Miami Beach in 1956, Gordon holds a Bachelor of Arts from New York University and a Masters of Music from the Yale School of Music. He is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York’s legendary music collective Bang on a Can.
Courtyard of the former
Jewish Council in Vilnius Ghetto
Before II World War, nearly 60,000 people resided in Vilnius. However, only around 2,000 to 3,000 Jews managed to survive the Nazi occupation of Germany.
Today, the enclosed courtyard, situated between Rūdninkai and Arkliai streets, is surrounded by the State Youth Theater, Vilnius Theater “Lėlė,” and the restoration center of the Lithuanian National Art Museum, named after Pranas Gudynas.
This location holds significant ties to the heritage of Vilnius Jews and serves as a reminder of both the positive and tragic moments in the history of the Holocaust.
From the 14th century until the outbreak of the Second World War, Vilnius housed a thriving Jewish community, earning the city the nickname “Jerusalem of the North.”
It is disheartening to comprehend that during the Second World War, after Lithuania was occupied by Germany, a substantial portion of Vilnius’s Old Town was transformed into two closed Jewish ghettos: the Big Ghetto and the Small Ghetto. These ghettos were operational between 1941 and 1943, and, symbolically coinciding, they were divided by Vokiečių Street, which remains to this day.
Before this period, nearly 60,000 people resided in Vilnius. However, only around 2,000 to 3,000 Jews managed to survive the Nazi occupation of Germany.
At 8 Rūdninkai Street, the headquarters of the ghetto council, also known as the Judenrat, was located. The council acted as an intermediary between the Germans and the Jews residing in the ghetto, functioning as a form of self-government.
Even before the war, this building was a hub of activity. It housed the Jewish religious high school, which was one of the city’s esteemed educational institutions and the first to teach Yiddish. Jakovs Gerštein, a renowned music teacher, worked here, and he continued to fulfill his teaching vocation during the Holocaust by leading a choir in the Vilnius ghetto.
Another vital educational establishment in this courtyard was the Jewish Music Institute, established in 1924 and operational until the 1940s. The institute admitted talented children from the age of 7, offering training to pianists, singers, and string players, as well as general music education. The institute had its orchestra and opera studio.
During the existence of the Vilnius ghettos, the entrance to the ghetto theater was located through the Judenrat building. Another courtyard accessible from there was home to the only tree in the ghetto, sometimes referred to as the “ghetto forest.”
The Ghetto Theater operated within the premises of the current Youth Theater. The idea of having a theater in the ghetto was met with varying perspectives within the community. While some were grateful for the opportunity to mentally escape the cruelties of their surroundings, others criticized it as “theater in the cemetery.” Nevertheless, it gained significant popularity and hosted over 100 performances in its first year. Concerts and other cultural events were also held in this space.
Today, the sculpture “Flame of Hope” stands as a poignant reminder of the tragic history of Vilnius Jews. Created in the year 2000 by the renowned Mexican artist Leonardo Nierman, who has Lithuanian roots, the sculpture serves as a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.
Lithuanian Ensemble Network
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.