The Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra (LVSO) made its debut in 1989 and was founded by its Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Gintaras Rinkevičius. Since 1999 the LVSO is based in the Vilnius Congress Hall. The orchestra’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.
It is thus no coincidence that its first name was the Youth Symphony Orchestra: a young state, young musicians, a young conductor, and great hopes for the future. Although three years later the orchestra was conferred its current prestigious title, the musicians and their artistic director have been faithful to their youthful traditions.
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, Walton’s Belshazzar's Feast and the complete symphonies of Gustav Mahler.
An important field in the orchestra’s activities is the production of operas. 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, concert opera performances of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District or Julius Juzeliūnasʼ Žaidimas have been among the most outstanding events of national cultural life.
Every year the orchestra goes on concert tours to European countries. The LVSO has performed with a number of renowned soloists, such as the pianists Lukas Geniušas, Nikolai Petrov, the violinists Gidon Kremer, Liana Isakadze, and Vadim Repin, the cellist David Geringas.
The LVSO pays great attention to its educational mission of acquainting its audience with professional art at the highest level and contributing to the dissemination of musical ideas. Every year, the LVSO builds up a wide-ranging repertoire, introduces exceptional programmes and invites young talents to perform along with outstanding and prestigious soloists.
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