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A world premiere at the Vilnius Festival. Creative partnership of Justė Janulytė and Mario Brunello

A world premiere at the Vilnius Festival. Creative partnership of Justė Janulytė and Mario Brunello


On June 7th, 2017, The Midnight Sun, a new work for solo cello and strings by Lithuanian composer Justė Janulytė commissioned by the Vilnius Festival, is to world premiere at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Hall, performed by its resident Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra (LNSO) under the baton of the Orchestra’s artistic director and chief conductor, Modestas Pitrėnas. The Orchestra will appear together with Italian cellist Mario Brunello whose victory of the 1986 International Tchaikovsky Competition launched him into a stunning international career. He will play solo in the newly commissioned work by Justė Janulytė. The programme will also feature Adagietto from Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, which is often described as an epitome of symphonic lyricism, and two orchestral works by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy.

Making his first appearance at the National Philharmonic Hall in Vilnius, Mario Brunello has played with some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, London Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, NHK Symphony Tokyo, Kioi Sinfonietta, Filarmonica della Scala, Accademia di Santa Cecilia, and DSO Berlin. He has collaborated with many celebrated conductors. Claudio Abbado has, over the years, invited Brunello several times to play with him and the Orchestra of the Lucerne Festival and the Mozart Orchestra. With both orchestras, Brunello has appeared as a soloist and as a conductor. In 1994, he founded the Orchestra d'Archi Italiana with whom he tours intensively both in Italy and abroad. He is also currently artistic director of “I Suoni delle Dolomiti” festival. Brunello devotes much of his time to chamber music and projects involving diverse art forms such as literature, philosophy, science, and theatre. Through new ways of communication, he tries to attract new audiences, creating interactive performances of music, images and words. Mario Brunello plays a precious Giovanni Paolo Maggini cello from the 1600s.

By accepting the proposal of the Vilnius Festival to perform solo cello part in The Midnight Sun, a new work by Justė Janulytė for cello and orchestra strings with ‘night’ mutes commissioned by the Vilnius Festival, Brunello has doubtless made a great gift to the audience and organisers of the festival. According to the festival’s executive director, Rūta Prusevičienė, who witnessed the whole process of negotiations with the soloist, at first he had certain doubts as to whether he will have enough time to learn the new piece and after all find it fascinating enough. But after meeting with the composer who now lives in Milan, Italy, he became very confident in and convinced of her artistic vision. “We believe that this concerto will have a much longer life than the premiere night,” wished Prusevičienė.

The composer cannot likewise wait to hear the world premiere of her Midnight Sun. Janulytė revealed that her composition explores the musical metaphors of an oxymoron chosen for its title and uses various forms of ‘contradiction in terms’ and opposition to convey the atmosphere of mysticism, intangible tension and poetic lyricism characteristic of almost white nights in Lithuania in mid-June. She quotes Giordano Bruno, saying that “Twilight will no longer be as dark as it was and night will become as bright as day,” and adds Heraclitus’s observation that “The road up and down is one and the same.” “The sounds move in space, leaving the trace in the shape of a spinning wheel that connects and neutralizes magnetism between the poles increasingly torn apart, acting simultaneously with the metamorphoses of an irreversible process. Thus the musical score ‘embodies’ in sound our dualistic perception of time when we observe the cyclic properties of the slow and irreversible transformations taking place within our own bodies and other bodies of nature,” says the composer about her new work written especially for the 2017 Vilnius Festival.

The Midnight Sun, will shine symbolically in the programme of the Vilnius Festival, resonating with its current theme – “The Gardens of Harmony.” The appearance of the LNSO with Modestas Pitrėnas conducting and cellist Mario Brunello starring as a soloist in the world premiere of Justė Janulytė’s new work will take place on Wednesday, June 7th, at 7 pm, at the Main Auditorium of the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Hall. You are most welcome to attend this event!

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Address: Aušros vartų st. 5, LT-01304 Vilnius, Lietuva
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