If you are visiting Lithuania this weekend, don’t miss the Klezmer Music Festival 2011, a festival that aims to introduce music that can be played and enjoyed irrespective of religion. The first festival of this kind in Lithuania took place in 2009, and due to its past success, it followed up in 2010, and this year. If you missed the first two concerts, which took place July 20, and 25 in Kaišiadorys, respectively Joniškis, you can still attend concerts in Plungė, July 27; Kaunas, July 28; and Vilnius, July 30.
This is the reason why the Klezmer Music Festival 2011 in Lithuania is considered an event of historical proportions for the local culture. According to the festival’s producer Arkady Gotesman, this year the festival will turn a new page in its history. The music will connect the audience with real stories from wartime and the postwar period.
The festival opened July 20 in Kaišiadorys with an opening concert telling the story of the Kaišiadorys railway station, the place once used by Jews to leave Lithuania. There were 7 Klezmer songs played, featuring violin virtuoso Boris Livschitz, from Switzerland; and the St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra.
July 25th followed with a concert in Joniškis, at the Red Synagogue. The story told, “The Road Between the Red and White Synagogues” was performed by violin virtuoso Julia Egger, from the USA; and drummer Arkady Gotesman from Lithuania.
Tomorrow, the festival continues its journey to Plungė, were “The Story of a Plungė Girl” will be performed in the Old Town Square, starting 6PM local hours.
Kaunas will host the forth story of the festival, which is a musical story about two people, Danielius Dolskis and Benjaminas Gorbulskis Dal. The concert begins 7PM local hours, at the amphitheater by the Nemunas Quay.
Last, but not least, the closing concert of the festival will be held July 30, 2011 at 6PM at the Lithuanian Jewish community courtyard, in Vilnius.
Featured below, a video of a clarinet virtuoso performing a klezmer song, to give you an idea what this music is all about.