Artistic director and conductor Vaclovas Augstinas
Choir Jauna Muzika (Young Music *1989) is one of the most outstanding choirs not only in Lithuania, but also in Europe. Jauna Muzika was founded by the conductor and composer Remigijus Merkelys and the director Algimantas Gurevičius, who has been managing the choir ever since. Since 1992, Jauna Muzika has been led by the conductor and composer Vaclovas Augustinas. From 1990 to 1996, it won 15 first prizes in various categories and six Grand Prix in 16 international choral competitions around the world. 1993 in Varna, Bulgaria, the choir was awarded the highest prize, the Grand Prix Europeo, in a competition organised by the International Federation of Choral Music. In 1994, Jauna Muzika became the choir of the Municipality of Vilnius.
The members of the choir are professional musicians - graduates and students of the Lithuanian Academy of Music. Depending on the repertoire being performed, the number of the singers ranges from 24 to 50. The choir considers its mission to present an extremely diverse and valuable a capella choral repertoire. Requiring very high professional standards, this mission led the choir to achieve international recognition.
Alongside a capella works, the choir appears with Lithuanian chamber and symphony orchestras and, during numerous concert tours, with foreign ones, including the Tel Aviv Symphony Orchestra, the Israeli Camerata, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Ludwigsburger Schloßfestspiele Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Berlin Soloists, the Moscow Virtuosi, the St Petersburg Camerata, the Novosibirsk Camerata and Novosibirsk Chamber Orchestra.
The choir has been conducted by many masters of the baton, including Pinchas Steinberg, Wolfgang Gönenwein, Noam Sheriff, Frieder Bernius, Chifuru Matsubara, Peter Hanke, David Shallon, Nicholas McGegan, Anders Eby, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Vladimir Spivakov, Werner Pfaff, Simon Halsey, Hermann Max, Albert Hartinger, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Manfred Honeck, William Boughton, Murry Sidlin, Avner Biron, Johannes Prinz, Reinhard Goebel, and the Lithuanian conductors Saulius Sondeckis, Gintaras Rinkevičius, Robertas Šervenikas and Donatas Katkus.
The choir has given concerts with many celebrities of the music world: the cellist Mark Drobinsky, the singers Robin Blaze, Eva Ben-Zvi, Benno Schollum, Adam Zdunikovski, Anatoli Safiulin, the cantor Joseph Malovany, and famous Lithuanian singers, such as Virgilijus Noreika, Vladimiras Prudnikovas, Sigutė Stonytė, Judita Leitaitė, and Algirdas Janutas.
Prizes at choir competitions
1990 Cork (Ireland, I prize), Spittal (Austria, I prize),Takarazuka (Japan, Grand Prix)
1991 Gorizia (Italy, I prize), Cantonigros (Spain, I prize)
1992 Montreux (Switzerland, I prize), Debrecen (Hungary, Grand Prix), Zwickau (Germany, I prize)
1993 Takarazuka (Japan, Grand Prix), Neuchatel (Switzerland, I prize), Varna (Bulgaria) Grand Prix Europeo
1994 World Lithuanian Song Festival in Vilnius (Grand Prix)
2000 Award of the Lithuanian Culture Center The Best Choir '1999
2002 Award of the Lithuanian Musicians Associate The Best Choir '2002
Vaclovas AUGUSTINAS (*1959) - The conductor, composer and teachergraduated from the Department of Choir Conducting (1981) and the Department of Composition (1992) of the Lithuanian Academy of Music. From 1980 to 1992, he worked at the Ąžuoliukas Music School, and since 1992 has been artistic director of the Jauna Muzika choir.
Augustinas is a member of the Lithuanian Composers Union, the Lithuanian Choral Union, and the American Association of Choir Conductors. Since 1995, Augustinas has collaborated regularly with Europe‘s leading authorities on choral art, including Frieder Bernius, Werner Pfaff, Anders Eby, Simon Halsey, Hermann Max, organising workshops in Vilnius with Jauna Muzika. Choral music by Augustinas is very popular and is performed often in Lithuania and abroad.
His compositions have been published by Alliance Music Publication, Houston, Texas, and Laurendale Associates, Van Nuys, California, USA. He is a winner of several national and international competitions of choral composition, including the Florilege Vocal de Tours, France (1996) and the Song Competition of the Lithuanian National Song Festival (1997 and 1998). Vaclovas Augustinas teaches at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and the Vilnius Pedagogical University, and is also a lecturer at the Arts Faculty of Klaipėda University and the Vilnius Centre for Music Education.
Jauna Muzika - is a very disciplined and cohesive choir. Everything was performed intellectually with particularly clear intonation, strong dynamic contrasts and tremendous dash. Smalandposte, September 1993 (Sweden)
Expressive, clear and sometimes even spontaneous Jauna Muzika is equal to the most prominent, internationally - renowned chamber choirs. Lietuvos Rytas, July 1994 (Lithuania)
Unimpeachable masterly rendering and the greatest, most demanding choir literature…their, simple unpretentious manner of performing, through which Jauna Muzika immediately touches the hearts of their audience, strikes one even more powerfully than their magnificent technical precision. Allgauer Zeitung, September1994 (Germany)
The closing concert convinced us that this is a collective of very high standards. Subtle sense of style, brilliant vocal technique, and irreproachable harmony has ensured a leader's position (and not only in the field of early music) for the Jauna Muzika among Lithuanian choirs. Lietuvos Rytas, March 1999 (Lithuania)
Jauna Muzika is an excellent choir and its name on the posters is usually a guarantee of real quality. They have taste in everything from the selection of the programme to the nuances of interpretation. The singers' enthusiasm and love for the music being performed always cause an especial admiration." Muzikos Barai, December 2000 (Lithuania)
Listening to Antonio Bononcini's Stabat Mater and obviously noticing the results achieved by our musicians under the leadership of Rinaldo Alessandrini, the commonest but at the same time the most important features of interpretation attracted attention. The truth is that mutual and well-matched artistic concept, a clear basic and musical idea being polished by everybody involved, and keenness, knowledge and understanding are of great importance. This was characteristic of Jauna Muzika, the soloists and St Christopher Orchestra as well. It seems that Maestro Alessandrini, too, was happy about the attractive, valuable and artistic form, which was the result of the work contributed. Dienovidis, April 2000 (Lithuania)
The event was a real revolution in the interpretation of early music in our country and the audience could only admire the newly discovered elegant and entertaining sound of baroque music. Lietuvos Rytas, April 2000 (Lithuania)
After the concert, many admitted that such a subtle interpretation [of Bach's Mass in B minor] has not been heard in Lithuania for a long time. Muzikos Barai, June 2000 (Lithuania)
Der Chorsatz wirkt, zumal in der an sich vorbildlichen Durchsichtigkeit des Kammerchors Vilnius, unspezifisch: als hätte sich Pärt bei Francis Poulenc bedient. Berliner Zeitung, 2.10.2000
Ein Lob gebührt dem Litauischen Kammerorchester unter Saulius Sondeckis sowie dem Kammerchor Vilnius, die das Festwochenpublikum all die harte Arbeit der vorangegangenen Kammermusikabende vergessen ließen und es mit einem Gefühl andächtiger Begeisterung in den lauen Abend schickten. Tagesspiegel, 4.10.2000
Höhepunkt des Pärt-Konzerts, das insgesamt fünf Werke brachte, war die Aufführung des eindrucksstarrken Te Deum von 1992 unter Mitwirkung des hervorragenden Vilniusser Kammerchores “Jauna Muzika” in der Einstudierung von Vaclovas Augustinas. …beim Te Deum hat Pärt gregorianischen Choral angeklebt. Mit dem inbrünstig anbetenden Kammerchor Vilnius gefiel es trotzdem. Welt, 6.10.2000
This is an amazing choir notable for its flexibility, precision, and power. Besides two oratorios, they performed four songs by Lithuanian composers thus proving to possess many more remarkable features. Ha'aretz, June 2001 (Izrael)
As the choir began to sing, it seemed as though an unusual light lit up the concert hall. Twenty-four young singers from Lithuania stood in front of us. (...) Imagine a choir with a crystal-clear, polished, brilliant sound. They beam a stream of musicality, and this is a result of an inner discipline and considerable culture Yediot Aharonot, June 2001 (Izrael)
The Lithuanian Jauna Muzika Choir, with its full sound and admirable consolidation, gave a glorious performance. The orchestra displayed engaging vitality and enchanting instrumental soli. Ury Eppstein, The Jerusalem Post, June 26, 2002
Photo gallery: 1989-2002 please look there