Sunday, August 27, 2006

Wow, it's hard to set up a blog! Here goes - this blog will be much about the viola, music in general, but also about Lithuania and many other countries I go to often.

Summer in Vilnius is horrible if you are into music...There are almost no concerts, except for the St Christopher Festival, http://www.kristupofestivaliai.lt/2006/?ln=en. This is fine - Donatas Katkus is the most wonderful, funniest conductor in Vilnius, full of new and often crazy ideas. But many concerts focus on guitars, or pianos, or church organs, and frankly are not my cup of tea. The orchestral concerts are not to be missed, but they are too rare! This year's festival, which covers a wide range of music, also saw an evening of Jewish wedding music, another grand celebration of St Christopher's Day on 25 July (last year there was the 'biker's orchestra' - exactly what it says). A good and funky festival, and the concerts are always packed, but it's just not for me.

All other musicians are out of town, earning real money abroad, or performing where their customers are, at the seaside or in the countryside. The town is totally deserted apart from the tourists who are coming in greater and greater droves.

Next week September starts and the Filharmonija, Lithuanian State Orchestra and Opera and Ballet Theatres will all get back into production. Not a minute too soon!