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Music in Lithuania - A Song For Everyone?

2015 May 27
How much did you enjoy the last Eurovision Song Contest? We were delighted that ‘This Time’ was so well received at Eurovision 2015. If you missed out you can watch Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila sing This Time (Lithuania) - LIVE at Eurovision 2015 Grand Final.
Lithuania first entered Eurovision in 1994, unfortunately not getting any points with singer Ovidijus Vyšniauskas. However, since returning in 1999 Lithuania has appeared in 11 out of 16 finals, a pretty good record, coming highest in 2006 – 6th!
More traditional music in Lithuania is based around Folk music; including vocal songs, wedding songs, war-historical songs, calendar cycle and ritual songs, work songs and instrumentals. Sutartinės – literally in agreement/concordance, but more like descant - are a localised phenomenon, found in the northwestern part of Lithuania. They were sung by women, but men performed instrumental versions on the kankles (psaltery), on horns, and on the skudučiai (pan-pipes).
You can hear ‘local music’ at the UNSESCO-recognised state-funded festivals Dainu svente (Song Festival), "Ant rubeziaus" (Siauliai), "Skamba skamba kankliai" (Vilnius).
Dating further back, Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis was a Lithuanian painter and composer who created roughly 200 pieces of music between the 19th and 20th centuries. Vytautas Miskinis is a composer and choir director who is very popular in Lithuania and abroad. He has written over 400 secular and about 150 religious works.
More modern tastes include rock and pop legends Stasys Povilaitis, Edmudas Kučinskas and Marijus Mikutavičius together with their current stars Aiste Smilgeviciute and Andrius Mamontovas. More international bands include SKAMP, Happyendless, Jurga Sedvikyte, G&G Sindikatas, Biplan and Jazzu.
Opera singers Edgonas Montrydas and Violeta Urmana have earned international acclaim. However, the real treat to enjoy in Lithuania are the many jazz festivals in Vilnius, Birštonas, Kaunas and Klaipėda where you might catch a glimpse of music sensation, Martynas Levickis, who won Lithuania’s Got Talent in 2013. Martynas quickly rose to the top of the UK Classical Charts with his debut album and is now touring the world introducing both Lithuania character and talent to his audiences as well as his accordion!
For more information please see the Music and Festivals section.