Bel Canto Choir Vilnius appoints new artistic director and conductor – Milda Švelnienė

Bel Canto Choir Vilnius is proud to announce the appointment of Milda Švelnienė as its new Artistic Director and Conductor. Milda, an accomplished choir conductor and alumna of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, will assume her role as Artistic Director and Conductor of the choir, effective January 23, 2023. She will take over for Egidijus Kaveckas, who has served as the Artistic Director and Conductor of the choir for the past six years.

Milda Švelnienė’s appointment will be accompanied by a few key personnel changes within the choir. Pianist Raminta Gocentienė will continue to serve as the choir’s Choirmaster, while Stasė Žaltauskaitė-Malūnavičienė has been invited to take on the role of Second Choirmaster. Eimantas Bešėnas and Eglė Stundžiaitė will continue to serve as vocal coaches for the choir.

Artistic Director and Conductor Milda Švelnienė (photo: Mantas Gudzinevičius)

In her role as Artistic Director, Milda intends to continue fostering a strong and inquisitive team within the choir. “Together, we will continue to foster our community of friendly, talented, and ambitious individuals who enjoy making music, growing, and being together,” she said.

“We will strive to become not only the best, but also the most desirable choir in Lithuania, both for our members and our audiences. We will continue our collaborations with other talented artists, we’ll experiment, and we’ll also do some crazy things from time to time. I believe that the participation of every member is incredibly important and I will strive for the team to be actively involved in the decision-making process, both in terms of the artistic programs, the choice of pieces, and their interpretation. I believe that the way we care for our community, our proactiveness, our love of music, and our courage will allow us to continue to stand out not only in the Lithuanian choral world.”

Choirmaster Stasė Žaltauskaitė-Malūnavičienė (photo: Mantas Gudzinevičius)
Choirmaster Raminta Gocentienė (photo: Mantas Gudzinevičius)
Vocal Coach Eimantas Bešėnas (photo: Deimantė Rudžinskaitė)
Vocal Coach Eglė Stundžiaitė (photo: Deimantė Rudžinskaitė)

On behalf of the choir, President Agnė Juodvalkė expressed her gratitude to Egidijus Kaveckas for his contributions to the choir and wished Milda continued success in her new role: “We wish Egidijus the best of luck in his future endeavors, and we hope that we will be able to collaborate in the future. As for Milda, we wish her strong leadership and ambition to continue to nurture and strengthen our community.”

The choir’s new Artistic Director has been singing with the choir since it was founded in 2009 and has served as its Choirmaster and Second Conductor since 2015. Milda Švelnienė graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre with the highest honours in 2016 with a master’s degree in choir conducting. She is also the Choirmaster of
the Vilnius State Choir, sang for 13 years in the Vilnius Municipality Choir Jauna Muzika, and has been involved in a wide variety of musical projects.

About Bel Canto Choir Vilnius

Bel Canto Choir Vilnius is a mixed independent choir that has established itself as one of the best and most popular choirs in Lithuania, uniting over 40 singers. The choir has performed with stars of the choral world such as Eric Whitacre, Voces8, Ola Gjeilo, The Sixteen, and Zero8. In 2022, the choir held three sold-out concerts with a total attendance of almost 1,500 people. It also performed at the Midsummer Vilnius and Dubingiai music festivals, and other events.

In 2022, the choir’s communications reached more than 480,000 social media users, the total views on its YouTube channel topped 16.5 million, and the choir’s music was streamed more than 87,000 times on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. Last year, Bel Canto Choir Vilnius’ sales totaled EUR 44,000 (from ticket sales and fees).

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