GAIDA 2019


Festival GAIDA – Laureate of the European Festivals – is announcing its full programme for 2019

Last June, having evaluated 715 festivals of the Old Continent, the association “Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe” (EFFE) announced 24 best festivals – Laureates of the EFFE. Among the latter is a single festival stemming from Lithuania and Baltic countries – the International Contemporary Music Festival GAIDA held in Vilnius. This year’s GAIDA Festival, which will be taking place from 4 to 19 October, is already presenting its full programme for 2019. Almost all events of the festival, with the exception of the final concert at the Vilnius Congress Concert Hall, shall be presented at the National Gallery of Art, in a specially constructed concert space in the Great Hall of the Gallery.      

The experts of EFFE describe GAIDA as a festival that strengthened the international reputation of the Baltic countries in the sphere of contemporary music and set the bar high for quality. GAIDA has made it to the list of laureates along with such leaders of European cultural life as “BBC Proms” (United Kingdom), “Prague Spring” (Czech Republic), “Maggio Musicale Fiorentino“ (Italy), “Ars Electronica“ (Austria), “Dark Music Days“ (Iceland), Bergen International Festival, etc.   

Artistic director of the GAIDA Festival Remigijus Merkelys remembers: “When we received the news of the festival’s high estimation in Europe, part of this year’s programme has already been decided – thus, the title of the EFFE laureate provided us with additional courage to take risks while finalizing the remaining set of events. On the other hand, becoming EFFE laurate also means even more responsibility when it comes to organizing this festival in the future. In GAIDA we are striving to nurture that which has valuable background, what is relevant and interesting in today’s perspective, what could be a true discovery in the future. We cannot always bring our plans to life as we desire, but all this encouragement allows us to develop and to improve/perfect the festival and generate new ideas, which are leading us towards the festival of our dreams”. 

Compared to last years’ programmes, in 2019 the audiences of the GAIDA Festival shall experience even more performances by prominent, internationally acclaimed artists: the list includes piano and electronic music celebrity of the new generation Francesco Tristano, Canadian music sensation Tanya Tagaq, GRAMMY laureates, famous American percussionists “Third Coast Percussion” who will be presenting new work by Philip Glass, British band “Icrebreaker” with the Lithuanian premiere of Brian Eno’s legendary work “Apollo”, outstanding electronic music artists Andy Stott and Max Cooper, the most famous contemporary British composer and conductor Thomas Adès, prominent Russian-born American pianist Kirill Gerstein. The festival shall be concluded with the Lithuanian premiere of “Music For Ensemble And Orchestra“ by the legendary American composer Steve Reich, which was first presented at the end of 2018 in Los Angeles and London.    

Concerts featuring the aforementioned artists have already been widely announced to the public. In 2019, alongside regular concerts, GAIDA will also offer some exceptional events. Perhaps the greatest novelty of the programme comes in the shape of three impressive audiovisual projects, which shall be shown throughout the festival for almost two weeks: international stars of contemporary art Žilvinas Kempinas and Justė Janulytė have supplied the festival with two new mutual works “Skycity” and “Waves”, while video artist Vaclovas Nevčesauskas and composer Vytautas V. Jurgutis have created a unique audiovisual mechatronic project “Quantonom”. Together with the National Gallery of Art, GAIDA is presenting world premieres of all these 3 works, which will be shown in separate performances (one ticket is valid for all three projects).

On 16 October a special project-concert of the festival will be dedicated to the memory of the internationally famous Lithuanian artist, poet, curator, godfather of American avant-garde cinema Jonas Mekas (1922-2019), who departed from our world in the beginning of this year. The concert “Jonas Mekas. In Memoriam” shall feature works by Philip Glass and Tristan Perich, two famous composers who work in New York, the city of Mekas. Additional pieces include musical works based on Mekas’ poems, written by prominent Lithuanian composers Bronius Kutavičius and Jonas Juzeliūnas. The performers of the concert include the Vilnius Quartet and soprano Gunta Gelgotė. After exceptionally peculiar recent circumstances that brought the name of Jonas Mekas back into Lithuanian media, GAIDA decided to perceive this concert as a gift to the audience and allow the public to purchase zero-rate tickets.

Alongside the aforementioned composer Thomas Adès, GAIDA will broadly feature three other prominent creators a of music: Brigitta Muntendorf with “Ensemble Garage“ (Germany), Tristan Perich with “Meehan / Perkins Duo“ (USA) and Peter Adriaansz (the Netherlands). An extended acquaintance with the New York based artist Tristan Perich, famous in the whole world for his “1-bit music concept”, will take place on 9 October. The laureate of the prestigious international electronic and computer art award “Prix Ars Electronica” will perform in a concert of his own music, which will also feature the famous American percussion ensemble “Meehan / Perkins Duo”.

With the support of Goethe’s Institute in Lithuania, this year GAIDA is also welcoming the prominent German creator of music and interdisciplinary art, laureate of the “Ernst von Siemens Prize” Brigitta Muntendorf. On 15 October she will be performing with her own “Ensemble Garage”, famous for its unique multimedia projects. The concert, titled “Clip & Club, Plug & Play”, will also present the appearance of a well-known electronic music artist Cio D’Or.

The festival shall also showcase Lithuanian talent – the audiences will enjoy not only performances by the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra and two best symphony orchestras of the country, but also by ensemble “Synaesthesis”, which by now has acquired strong positions in Lithuanian and international contemporary music scene. The ensemble will perform two different concerts: on 11 October these passionate appreciators of contemporary music shall present an extended composition “Waves” by American born Dutch composer Peter Adriaansz – the 90 minutes composition has been described by critics as “astonishing”, “spellbinding” and “masterful”; then, on 13 October “Synaesthesis” will play a programme titled “Shivers”, consisting of works written exclusively by female composers and featuring works by Brigitta Muntendorf.

Festival GAIDA 2019 shall be taking place from 4 to 19 October. Tickets to the concerts may be purchased through the BILIETAI.LT box offices and online. The festival is sponsored by the Lithuanian Council for Culture, the Vilnius City Municipality, separate concerts are supported by the Goethe’s Institute in Lithuania and the Embassy of Canada. The partners of “Vilnius Festivals” which are organizing GAIDA include the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society, the National Gallery of Art, Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra and others. The entire programme of the festival may be accessed through