Bel Canto Choir Vilnius’ Christmas and 10th anniversary concert

Together with singer-songwriter Marius Beck (Norway), the Mettis String Quartet, soprano Ieva Gaidamavičiūtė, pianist Motiejus Bazaras, and others.

A few days before Christmas, Bel Canto Choir Vilnius (led by artistic director and conductor Dr. Egidijus Kaveckas) invites listeners to a pair of exceptionally festive evenings at St Catherine’s Church in Vilnius. On two consecutive nights – 7PM December 20 and 21 – the choir and its special guests will present an intimate and heartfelt festive program.

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During these Christmas and 10th anniversary concerts, Bel Canto Choir Vilnius will harmoniously blend pop, classical, and contemporary choral music. The program mostly consists of pieces by American contemporary composers Eric Whitacre, Shawn Kirchner, and Craig Hella Johnson, arrangements of pop songs, and Christmas songs.

Inspiring friendship. Marius and Bel Canto Choir Vilnius meet again

The evenings’ main cornerstone will be the joint performances by the choir and singer-songwriter Marius Beck from Norway. The choir and Marius first collaborated last year, when this talented artist visited Vilnius together with Eric Whitacre and took part in the choir’s Open to the World project. This time, Marius and the choir will present a new program composed of covers of well-known songs and original pieces by Marius himself. These were specially arranged for the choir by another friend of theirs – up-and-coming Swedish composer Henrik Dahlgren.

Making new friends. The Choir and talented guys from the Mettis

Another centerpiece of the concerts will be the performance by the Mettis String Quartet. This group, perhaps the best-known chamber music ensemble in Lithuania, will perform two solo and joint pieces with the choir. The quartet, founded in 2012, actively performs at the world’s best-known concerts halls and enjoys top rankings at prestigious string quartet competitions.

Egidijus Kaveckas, the choir’s artistic director, says that choir’s Christmas and birthday concerts will delight listeners with an intimate, warm, and somewhat melancholy festive atmosphere, harmoniously combining a range of musical styles and showcasing the talents of not only the choir’s friends, but members of the choir too.

“Our choir is not just a team of ambitious and talented singers. Many of the choristers are also talented in a number of different ways and we try to foster and encourage that. Choir singers Agnė Aleksejevaitė, Jūratė Bilkšytė, Andrius Gailiūnas, Romanas Matulis, Evaldas Stulgaitis, and Simonas Girdzijauskas will sing solo pieces, play guitar and piano, and perform improvised electronic music. We’ve also invited some of our choir singers’ musician children. Valerija Vitkauskaitė, the daughter of baritone Linas and alto Simona, is studying at the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Arts and will play the oboe. Our choirmaster Raminta’s son Augustas Gocentas, a student at the prestigious Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, will play the cello. I think the fact that a number of our team members will play a more distinct role in these concerts will make them even more intimate, real, and emotional,” says Egidijus Kaveckas.

Concert Program

String Quartet No. 2, Company
Philip Glass. Performed by the Mettis String Quartet

Excerpt from Prologue from Considering Matthew Shepard
Craig Hella Johnson

Patrick Hawes

Light of Clear Blue Morning
Dolly Parton, arr. Craig Hella Johnson

Deer Song iš Considering Matthew Shepard
Craig Hella Johnson

I’ll Be On My Way
Shawn Kirchner

Lean on Me
Bill Withers

Last Forever
Marius Beck, arr. Henrik Dahlgren

Say Something
A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera, arr. Henrik Dahlgren

Helplessly Hoping
Crosby, Stills Nash, arr. Henrik Dahlgren

Amazing Grace
Lyrics: John Newton, music: Sufjan Stevens

Arr. Quatuor Ébène. Performed by the Mettis String Quarte

Leonardo Dreams of this Flying Machine
Eric Whitacre

Eric Whitacre

One Sweet Little Baby
Shawn Kirchner

Astor Piazzolla. Performed by Augustas Gocentas (cello) and Valerija Vitkauskaitė (oboe)

Tyli Naktis
Franc Gruber

O Come, All Ye Faithful
Frederick Oakeley

Eternal Source of Light Divine
George Frideric Handel

Karl Jenkins

Artists & Performers

During Bel Canto Choir Vilnius’ Christmas and 10th anniversary concerts, concertgoers will hear the choir’s good friend, Norwegian singer-songwriter Marius Beck, the Mettis String Quartet (musicians: Kostas Tumosa, Bernardas Petrauskas, Karolis Rudokas and Rokas Vaitkevičius), soprano Ieva Gaidamavičiūtė, pianist Motiejus Bazaras, Augustas Gocentas (cello) and Valerija Vitkauskaitė (oboe).

The choir has also invited Artūras Dambrauskas, its previous artistic director of many years, who will prepare a piece together with the choir and its alumni.

The choir’s members with featured solo roles: Agnė Aleksejevaitė (vocal), Jūratė Bilkštytė (vocal), Romanas Matulis (vocal), Andrius Gailiūnas (vocal and guitar), Simonas Girdzijauskas (piano) and Evaldas Stulgaitis (electronics).

Bel Canto Choir Vilnius is led by artistic director and conductor Egidijus Kaveckas, choirmasters Milda Zapolskaitė and Raminta Gocentienė, and vocal coach Liudas Norvaišas. The choir is produced by Audrius Valatkevičius.

Sponsors and Project Partners

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