Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra (LNSO) has been active for more than seven decades. Leadership of Vilnius City Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1940, was entrusted to a famous composer and conductor Balys Dvarionas. In 1964, a new stage started with a young conductor Juozas Domarkas, who took his place at the orchestra’s podium. After the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, in 1990 the Orchestra was given the name and status of the National Symphony Orchestra.
The Orchestra prepares and performs symphonic music programs not only in the National Philharmonic, but also in various Lithuanian cities. For many years it has carried on with Palanga Summer Concert Series, Michał Ogiński International Music Festival in Plungė, as well as represented the Lithuanian culture abroad: concerts were given in prestigious halls in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Minsk, Madrid, Berlin, Bern, Antwerp and Stockholm, in the major cities of Great Britain, France, in particular great number of concerts took the Orchestra to neighbouring Poland. The Orchestra also appeared in Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany, “Prague Spring” in the Czech Republic, “Musica Romantica” in Switzerland and other famous European music festivals and concert halls, such as the Musikverein in Vienna, London’s Barbican Centre, Cologne Philharmonic, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Moscow Conservatory Great Hall and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. In 2013, for the first time the Orchestra toured in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador), performed in the ceremonial opening and closing of the Lithuanian Presidency of the European Council in Klara Festival (Brussels) and Bialystok Philharmonic in Poland.
The LNSO has accumulated an extensive, colourful and significant repertoire, embracing works of oratorio genre and symphonic opuses of the past epochs as well as modern contemporary music with the works by the Lithuanian composers occupying an important place. Since 1991, the Orchestra has been a regular participant of the Contemporary Music Festival “Gaida”, annually presenting premières by the Lithuanian composers. It could be claimed, that almost all of the symphonic works by the Lithuanian composers were premièred by the LNSO, many of them are dedicated to maestro Juozas Domarkas. Thanks to the maestro, a large part of the Lithuanian music today sounds not only in the concerts but also from many recordings released in Lithuania and abroad („Melodiya“, „Marco Polo“, „Col legno“, „Ella Records“, „Naxos“).
Playing around 50 annual concerts, the LNSO nurtures unique traditions significantly contributing to fostering of the high music culture, encouraging the artistic ambitions of young Lithuanian composers and performers, indulging the audience with both large-scale opuses, certifying the Orchestra’s maturity, and the symphonic miniatures, prompting imagination of the listeners.
Conductor Modestas Barkauskas
Modestas Barkauskas is one of the most accomplished and well-known young Lithuanian conductors. In 2006-2013 he studied orchestral conducting with professor Juozas Domarkas.
Modestas Barkauskas is an artistic director and conductor of Vilnius St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra and of Vilnius B. Dvarionas Youth Symphony Orchestra. He lectures at the Conducting and Choir conducting Departments of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.
In recent years, he has presented many critically acclaimed programs with the Lithuanian National Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber, Hamburger Camerata, Tallinn chamber orchestra, Baltic Academies Orchestra and many others.
His repertoire ranges from music of the seventeenth century to contemporary work and encompasses all genres: symphonic, operatic and chamber. M. Barkauskas dedicated his energy and passion to audiences of all ages. Conductor maintained a leading role in the development of the Family and Education Series and conducted regularly on the Lithuanian National Symphony orchestra’s, Lithuanian opera and ballet orchestra’s classics and pop concert series. At the Lithuanian opera and ballet theatre he premiered ballets Carmen based on an opera by G.Bizet, Tristan und Isolde after music by R.Wagner, Bolero + after music by M.Ravel, W.A.Mozart, E.Satie, A.Vivaldi, M.Richter. Der Prozess after music by M.Urbaitis, conducted the ballets The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and others.
In 2016 Modestas Barkauskas was acknowledged as the best young artist and awarded with a Golden Stage Cross.
In 2016 November in St.Petersburg M.Glinka’s Cappella festival-competition Modestas Barkauskas became a laureate in a category of conductors.
In 2017 November in Katowice (Poland) Modestas Barkauskas won the 3rd Prize and bronze baton in a prestigious the X Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors.