Friday, May 30, 2008

Almost Prize Winners

The St Christopher Wind Quintet (of Vilnius?) has just returned from the Osaka Chamber Music Competition as one of the 8 finalists out of 230 chamber groups from all over the world. Not bad, eh? They got a medal. Two of the participants share a surname with a flautist Gelgotas - his children? One of these, Giedrius (?) was a member of an international youth orchestra situated somewhere near the Pacific Rim at one stage.

Particularly impressive given the relatively little interest in wind playing in Lithuanian concert halls. You get fiddles, cellos, violas, and pianos - but very rarely wind players. Not that you would necessarily want to put a Lithuanian brass player on the stage all by him- or herself, but there are some nice wind soloists about, Robertas Beinaris for one, and the wind chamber music teaching at the music academy is good. I wonder, though, how many of the St Christopher Quintet actually study/studied at the Academy?

A real prizewinner is Jaroslaw Nadrzycki from Poland, who won fourth prize in the Benjamin Britten International Violin Competition in London earlier this year. Why am I writing about him? He was the first winner of the Jascha Heifetz Competition in Vilnius, at the tender age of 16, way back in 2001. Has entered quite a few competitions in his life - and those are the ones at which he won something. Does not look entirely happy in the photo on this site....

Back to Vilnius - after 11 days without a concert (well, Pink Floyd with the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra might have been educational, but was also missable) tonight the St Christopher String Quartet is playing in St Anne's Church (St. C is the patron saint of Vilnius). I ought to go, but instead have to rush to my friends Sandra and Audrius and admire their newborn daughter. May I be excused!