Monday, April 14, 2008

Upcoming in Vilnius

It's a sad day when a woman has to blog about concerts that she may not be able to go to, just to keep her adoring readership engaged.

I hope the flutenet's Vieri Bottazzini concert with Musica Humana went well yesterday. He teaches in Istanbul, but in the summer he will be coming to Juodkrante, in the Baltic Sea, to run a course on fluting - may all Vilnius flautists attend it, and get a sound!

On 26 April Ula Ulijona and Vilhelmas Cepinskas will be playing Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante. While Ms Ulijona is a fine violist, and Mr Cepinskas is a fine violinist when he puts his mind to it, I'm glad I'm missing this one - maybe I'll get through a year without this piece? Guys, the Stamitz family have written some nice Sinfconcs - one was performed, after recent recreation, at the Bratschistentag in Germany last year, and the other by Nobuko Imai and Philippe Graffin in Vilnius in about 2003. Go on, change the record! (I do love the Mozart Sinfconc, and when it pops up on my Ipod, it makes me feel all at home and warm inside, but really, I get to hear it every year - 3 times last year, I think).

On 29 April I will be home for a very interesting concert by Stein Skjervold, a Norwegian singer resident in Vilnius, with the delectable Rokas Zubovas on the piano and the ever reliable Mindaugas Backus on the cello. The concert, at 18.00 in the Tolerance Centre of the State Jewish Museum (at Naugarduko 10/2) will feature a range of very interesting music, including that of the (Jewish?) American composer Lori Laitman, Brahms, and Victor Ullmann's 'Der Mensch und sein Tag'. Ullmann was gassed in Auschwitz.

Not sure who has to practice more tolerance these days in Vilnius; going by the anti-semitic comments in the Lietuvos Rytas paper recently in relation with the Zaha Hadid award for the Ermitage/Guggenheim museum (presumably directed against Mr Guggenheim), and the events around the Uzgavenes 'carnival' where people dress up as Jews, amongst other 'nationalities' - which even, it would appear, the most educated Lithuanians (including those in the 'ethics' business) consider 'normal' and 'traditional', it is good that the Jewish population of Vilnius is tolerant.

But as Daniel Barenboim says, 'tolerance is not enough, you need respect'.