Gintaras Rinkevičius

Gintaras Rinkevičius (*1960) is one of the most prominent internationally recognized Lithuanian artists. He received his education at the conservatories in Moscow and St. Petersburg. In 1983 his success at the 5th Confederate Conductors’ Competition in Moscow enabled him to participate in international competitions. In 1985, his career received an immense impetus after his triumph at the renowned Herbert von Karajan Conductors’ Competition and one year later at the In memoriam János Ferencsik Competition in Budapest.


After these impressive successes, barely 28 years old, he was invited to establish the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra (LVSO) in 1988. Gintaras Rinkevičius has now been the orchestra’s Chief Conductor and Artistic Director for over thirty years.


Furthermore, Gintaras Rinkevičius was Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Latvian National Opera from 1996 to 2003 and its Principal Guest Conductor from 2007 to 2009. From 2002 to 2005, he was the Chief conductor of the Malmö Opera in Sweden. From 2008 to 2017 he served as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Novosibirsk Academic Symphony Orchestra, since 2017 he has been leading the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra. From 1983 to 2018, he taught at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and received the title of professor in 2008.


The LVSO’s activities began during the years of the national revival of the late 1980s and have evolved in parallel with the history of the re-established independence of Lithuania. Gintaras Rinkevičius and his orchestra became one of the symbols of the young state and of the renewal of its agitated society. The concert programmes offered unprecedented in the capital’s musical life and introduced the Lithuanian audience to what were then unprecedented masterpieces: Wagner’s Parsifal, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, Honegger’s oratorio Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher or Walton’s Belshazzar's Feast. Gintaras Rinkevičius also established the Mahler-reception in Lithuania by performing and recording all of his symphonies with the LVSO. In 2019, Rinkevičius and his orchestra undertook another ambitious challenge, presenting all the symphonies by Bruckner and Shostakovich over the next few years.


As a concert conductor, Gintaras Rinkevičius is frequently invited by renowned international orchestras and leads performances with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Weimar, the Tampere and Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestras, Odense Symphony Orchestra as well as the Russian National and Russian State Symphony Orchestras, among others. His concerts have taken him to famous venues such as the Festspielhaus Salzburg, London’s Royal Albert Hall, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, the Palau de la Música and the Moscow Philharmonic. He has performed alongside outstanding soloists such as Yuri Bashmet, Oleg Kagan, Gidon Kremer, David Geringas, Violeta Urmana, Sergei Larin, Matti Salminen, Badri Maisuradze, Katia Ricciarelli, Viktor Tretyakov, Peter Donohoe and Roger Muraro.


Another passion of Gintaras Rinkevičius is opera. He made his debut as an opera conductor in 1987 at the Hungarian National Theatre in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Further engagements have taken him to houses such as Latvian National Opera, Gothenburg Opera, Malmö Opera, Scottish Opera and Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre. In 1995 he conducted the LVSO in Oskaras Koršunovasʼ production of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer on the stage of the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. In 2006, the LVSO and Gintaras Rinkevičius joined forces with director Dalia Ibelhauptaitė to create the independent opera company bohemiečiai (Bohemians), which eventually became the Vilnius City Opera. Since then, they have presented a wide range of music theatre productions and concert opera performances, which are among the outstanding events of national cultural life.

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