M. K. Čiurlionis scholarships award ceremony 2021

Ceremony of awarding the 2nd M. K. Čiurlionis Scholarship to the students of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater (LMTA) and Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts (VDA).

The 2021 scholarships has been awarded to Lukas Butkus, a second-year bachelor student of Composition at LMTA, who has proposed Auto-da-fé, a syncretic concerto for piano and Denisas Kolomyckis, an actor, creator of interdisciplinary art, a fourth-year bachelor student of Sculpture at Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts for the idea of creating of the theatrical performance Lucid Dream.

The online award ceremony took place on the LMTA TV platform on 15 February at 12 p.m., just before the celebration of the Restoration of the State Day of Lithuania.

The virtual ceremony was attended by: Lukas Butkus, a scholarship holder of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater, laureate of the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts Denisas Kolomyckis, LMTA Rector prof. Zbignevas Ibelgauptas, Vice Rector of Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts Dr. Marius Iršėnas, representatives of M. K. Čiurlionis Society Saulius Valius (Chair), Vincas Matonis and Rokas Zubovas.

During the ceremony, the rectors of the Academies, representatives of the M. K. Čiurlionis Society gave congratulatory words, and the winners of the scholarships will present the artistic projects proposed for the competition.

The regulations of the competition provide for two scholarships to be annually awarded: one for the LMTA students and the other for students of the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts. Each scholarship is worth 5,000 Eur. This incentive, established by M. K. Čiurlionis’ Society, has already been awarded for the second year running.

This year jury consisted of:

LMTA: M. K. Čiurlionis’ Society representative Rokas Zubovas; Head of the LMTA Department of Composition Prof. Vaclovas Augustinas; Dr. Jonas Jurkūnas, lecturer at the LMTA Department of Composition; Chairman of the Lithuanian Composers’ Union, lecturer at the LMTA Department of Composition Dr. Mykolas Natalevičius; and Ana Ablamonova, Head of the LMTA Art Centre.

VDA: M. K. Čiurlionis’ Society representative Vincas Matonis; VDA Vice Rector for Arts and Science dr. Marius Iršėnas; VDA chief researcher dr. Algė Andriulytė; VDA lecturer Remigijus Gataveckas; director of the VDA museum dr. Vidas Poškus.

LMTA Rector, Prof. Zbignevas Ibelgauptas reveals: “M. K. Čiurlionis scholarship for young composers plays an extremely significant role for the creative youth at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, both as a real incentive and on a symbolic level too. Not only does it encourage aspiring musicians to develop their ambitious ideas, but it also makes Čiurlionis’ idealistic endeavours relevant for today’s context linking the composer’s creative aspirations with those of the young idealists of our time. It feels as if the visionary spirit of Čiurlionis is reborn in the work of the young.”

Rokas Zubovas, a representative of M. K. Čiurlionis’ Society, feels happy to have received more applications this year than previously: “This year, all the ideas submitted for the Čiurlionis Scholarship were intriguing, and the applications were thoroughly prepared. Since the very establishment of the Čiurlionis scholarship, the Society has expected this competition to encourage talented young composers to take on courageous ideas. Our aspirations seem to have resonated in the hearts of the young and we feel thrilled about it.”

Lukas Butkus

Auto-da-fé, a syncretic concert for piano, instrumental ensemble and four singers composed by Lukas Butkus is unique because it deploys a literary layer to be conveyed by the singers, while the text builds on Butkus’ own cycle of poems Auto-da-fé. Lukas, the author of the composition, has shared that “the word-for-word translation of the title means “the act of faith”. It tells a story of a form of idealistic love that goes beyond the boundaries of time, death and fear; about man’s eternal temporality.

Denisas Kolomyckis. Performance FLUQUS WEDDING. Contemporary Art Centre. Photo by Laura Vancevičienė

The director and actor of the play Lucid Dream will explore the relationship between psychological, emotional and physical aspects, using personal stories of unusual or difficult-to-express experiences. “The work reflects the ways in which we seek intimacy, in which we feel the desire to make contact and transcend the boundaries of our own skin, look at and talk about images, understand the formation of “traumatic experiences” stereotypes, convey the difficulties of being together in spite of everything.” – says Denisas Kolomyckis.


Newly published catalog of graphic works by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis

Photo by M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art

M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art presents the newly published catalog “Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis: drawings, sketches, graphic arts“. This book consists of 440 pages, in which you will find book covers, posters, initials, drawings, postcards, etchings, and sketches created by the great artist and composer. While flipping through the catalog, you will be able to admire and explore 747 illustrations, which will allow you to get to know the diverse talent of M. K. Čiurlionis better.

Photo by M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art

The newly published catalog “Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis: drawings, sketches, graphic arts” is available in M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art e-shop. Here you will also find reproductions of M. K. Čiurlionis’ graphic works. 

Look for the catalog Here

M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art information

2021 01 29



2020 September 24, Thursday, 19.00 Lithuanian National Philharmonic Hall, Vilnius

Organizer: Concert organised in collaboration with Tytuvėnai Festival and M. K. Čiurlionis House in Vilnius

Performer: HÅVARD GIMSE (piano, Norway)

Programme: Works by Edvard Grieg, Jean Sibelius, Geirr Tveitt, Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis

On the occasion of the 145th birth anniversary of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, the Lithuanian National Philharmonic presents internationally acclaimed Norwegian pianist Håvard Gimse, performing in such concert halls as Wigmore Hall in London, Carnegie Hall in New York, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, Berlin Konzerthaus or Josef Suk Hall in Prague. The recipient of the Steinway, Grieg and Sibelius awards is praised as a recitalist and chamber musician; his wide repertoire includes more than 30 piano concertos. Gimse has earned many awards for his recordings. The pianist has performed with orchestras on several continents, including the Stockholm, Oslo, Danish Radio, the Royal Liverpool, Birmingham, Baltimore, the Belgian National, and the Philharmonic of Japan symphony orchestras. Tonight’s programme features Norwegian, Finnish and Lithuanian music.

Sponsor of the project – Royal Norwegian Embassy

More information:

International Academic Conference “M. K. Čiurlionis Creative Legacy and its Dissemination: Images and Meanings, Text and Contexts”

18–19 September 2020 will be held international academic conference “M. K. Čiurlionis Creative Legacy and its Dissemination: Images and Meanings, Text and Contexts”

Venue: Conference Hall of the National Gallery of Art (Konstitucijos pr. 22, Vilnius)

Languages of the conference are English and Lithuanian (with simultaneous translation)

Programme of the international academic conference:

You are welcome to join the conference by connecting to an account:
Live stream link on Čiurlionis’ House Facebook account will be active from September 14.

NB! Please wear face masks when attending the event!

Main organizers: 
Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore 
M. K. Čiurlionis House in Vilnius

Research Council of Lithuania
Vilnius City Municipality

National Gallery of Arts
Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society
Vilnius Academy of Arts 
Lithuanian Culture Research Institute
Vytautas Magnus University
Kaunas University of Technology

Information sponsor: LRT


MWI review: Ciurlionis symphonic music

Mikalojus ČIURLIONIS (1875-1911)
The Sea, symphonic poem (1903-07, reconstr. original version) [32:24]
In the Forest, symphonic poem (1900-01, reconstr. original version) [1715]
Kęstutis, symphonic overture (1902, orch. Jurgis Juozapaitis, 2000) [9:33]
Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra/Modestas Pitrėnas
rec. 2019, Lithuanian National Culture Centre Recording Studio, Vilnius
ONDINE ODE1344-2 [59:15]

We can never know quite how the composer’s orchestration would sound but the problem with the tone poems is the exact nature of their form. In the Forest was first performed the year after the composer’s death. The opening is redolent of soft Lithuanian pines and there’s plenty of vivid lovely wind writing in this nature depiction. There’s also declamatory Straussian exuberance which is not wholly integrated – I was reminded of Ein Heldenleben, most especially, at points – though the work’s beautiful, calm epilogue comes as welcome balm.

Much the longest work is The Sea, composed between 1903 and 1907 and also heard in a reconstruction of the original version. It generates a full oceanic splendour, full of Nationalist fervour as well as admitting ruminative panels. In the main though this sea is both confident and surging, even exuberant in its extroversion. If it can also seem somewhat bombastic and prolix, overstuffed with Straussian late-Romanticism, then perhaps that is not as concerning as its occasionally structurally episodic nature. It’s not a particularly self-disciplined work but, in compensation, it has lashings of colour, sea spume, incident and orchestral richness.

Its first performance came in 1936 in the performing edition of Vytatas Bacevičius and three decades later Eduardas Balsys changed the orchestration and cut 46 bars from the work’s climax. This subsequently became the published version of the score. Therefore the present recording has restored the composer’s original intentions meaning it’s longer than competing versions by several minutes. The Marco Polo recording of The Sea and In the Forest with the Slovak Philharmonic under Juozas Domarkas (8.223323) dates from 1990 and Svetlanov’s The Sea is also well before reconstruction (Svetlanov Edition SV SEA005). This Ondine disc, excellently recorded and performed – though with a booklet that needs tweaking here and there to make it fully idiomatic in English – is currently the most authentic representation of these works on disc.

Jonathan Woolf

Review originally published here.


M. K. Čiurlionis symphonic music – “Definitely worth a discovery”

“Definitely worth a discovery” – Pizzicato.

In his short life, Lithuanian artist and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis (1875-1911) achieved great things in both painting and music. He saw himself as a synesthete, and his paintings often have musical names such as sonata, symphony or fugue.

In his short career of only ten years, he composed almost four hundred musical works, including two large-format tone poems, an overture (the only orchestral works to survive), piano sonatas, chamber and vocal music. Most of his compositions are lost. He also created about four hundred paintings and etchings as well as several literary works and poems. Due to depression he was admitted to a psychiatric clinic in 1911, where he died of pneumonia.

The program begins with Kestutis‘ expressive, opulently orchestrated overture, followed by In the Forest and The Sea, two tone poems, which are accompanied by paintings of the same name by Ciurlionis.

Both works stand out for their richness of colour and can be attributed to Symbolism, i.e. the results of a sensual experience that develops in a mystical way, independently of reality. Both works adopt the atmospheric and coloristic instincts of Ciurlionis and are highly original.

They are played by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra in an atmospheric and expressive way and are definitely worth a discovery.

Swedish publication Kulturdelen gave the recording a 5-star review. The author finds Ciurlionis’ orchestral music similar to Karlowicz, Richard Strauss and Sibelius.

It was also picked up as “Editor’s Choice” from Presto Classical (world’s biggest classical music record store).

”Atmospheric depictions of landscape here rival those of Sibelius and Mahler for imaginative orchestration”.

I have my colleague David (our resident enthusiast for all things Baltic) to thank for alerting me to the genius of this Lithuanian composer, whose atmospheric depictions of landscape here rival those of Sibelius and Mahler for imaginative orchestration; there are whispers of the latter’s First Symphony and Wagner’s Götterdämmerung in his evocation of dawn, and the turbulent sea-scape of the final work seems to look forward to Britten’s –Peter Grimes.


Well-known Flemish journalist Kurt van Eeghem talks about writing new book dedicated to M. K. Čiurlionis

A dear friend of Lithuania, well-known Flemish journalist, culture specialist and author of the book “Lithuania: a travel to unknown” Kurt van Eeghem shares some of the moments of his quarantine life while writing a new book about Lithuanian composer and artist M. K. Čiurlionis!

Take a look:

Originaly posted by Lithuanian Embassy to Belgium and Luxembourgs


NEW APP “Čiurlionis in Vilnius”

We invite you to discover the places of Vilnius where the great Lithuanian genius M. K. Čiurlionis lived, visited and created through the new app called “Čiurlionis in Vilnius”. Lithuanian artist and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875-1911) is a unique figure in the history of European art and has made a profound effect on Lithuanian culture.

The app aims to present the life and work of the artist as closely as possible. It contains a detailed retrospective of Čiurlionis paintings, complemented with sketches, graphic art, photography, literary works and musical manuscripts that are preserved in the M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art and are lesser known to the public. You can also get acquainted to the excerpts of the artists letters, biographical narrative, genealogy, maps of places he visited and exhibited, story of the Čiurlionis museum itself, information about artist’s relatives, friends and teachers.

The app “Čiurlionis in Vilnius” is a fascinating opportunity to personally get acquainted with Vilnius of the beginning of the 20th century throught the eyes of Čiurlionis.

Download now and start your journey with Čiurlionis today.
„Google Play“ / „App Store“.


Kugoni Trio Concert in Vilnius Art Gallery

The members of the Kugoni Trio are Bert Koch (piano), Nicolas Dupont (violin) and Kurt Bertels (saxophone). This unique combination of instruments, combined with the players’ energetic performances and their passionate search for new repertoire, has made the ensemble a particularly welcome guest on Belgian and international concert platforms since the ensemble was founded in 2010.

Concert data: Tuesday 26 November 2019 at 19.00

Concert will be held in Lietuvos dailės muziejus ,Vilnius Art Gallery (Didžioji str. 4)

Entrance is FREE.


Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875-1911)
Two Pieces – I. Andante Sostenuto, II. Agitato

Zita Bružaitė (1966)
Elegija (arr. for the Kugoni Trio, 2019)

Jan Van Damme (1965)
Sonate à la mémoire d’Henri Dutilleux – II. Tangible (2016) (dedicated to the Kugoni Trio)

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas – Otoño Porteño (arr. Kugoni Trio)

Piet Jozef Swerts (1960)
Retro (2019) (dedicated to the Kugoni Trio)

Dimitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
Five pieces for two violins and piano (arr. Kugoni Trio)

Jeroen D’hoe (1968)
Prayer (2018) (dedicated to the Kugoni trio)

Jan Van Landeghem (1954)
Ling Yow Chee Chee Chee (2016) – III. Verbosonia (dedicated to the Kugoni Trio)


Baltic Heartbeat. Music from Lithuania presented in Vermont, USA

Burlington Choral Society presents a musical program dedicated to Lithuania called “Baltic Heatbeat” – traditional, contemporary and sacred works from a country rich in song. On November 23 the chorus presents its third sonic trip to the Baltics and will sing a Lithuanian program, which also includes De Profundis by M. K. Ciurlionis.

The BCS has performed many of the greatest works of the choral repertory, including oratorios, masses and requiems of major classical composers, as well as less familiar works such as Mendelssohn’s St. Paul, Honegger’s King David, Britten’s St. Nicolas Cantata, and Handel’sSolomon. In 2015, we presented a program of Estonian music, and in spring 2018 a program of Latvian music, both concerts with song festival favorites and classical works.

More information about this concert HERE.

Sistema ir dizainas: Jonas Lekevičius