Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre is continuing the tradition of inviting some of the best orchestras in the world to perform inVilnius. On 28 August LNOBT shall welcome the “Gewandhaus” Orchestra fromLeipzig. This ensemble, that is considered to be one of the oldest orchestras in Europe, shall be performing inLithuaniafor the first time in history. Conductor of the concert is Riccardo Chailly, belonging to the contemporary elite of musicians.
All appreciators of symphonic music can expect exclusive impressions, similar to the high points previous seasons, when LNOBT presented concerts of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
The Gewandhaus Orchestra can look back with pride on its more than 250-year history. SixteenLeipzigmerchants founded and financed a concert society which has since made musical history and become one of the world's most renowned orchestras. Felix Mendelssohn, Arthur Nikisch, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Franz Konwitschny and Kurt Masur number among the most distinguished Gewandhaus Music Directors. They have left their imprint on this unique musical tradition, which Herbert Blomstedt carried forward into the new millennium. His successor, the 19th Gewandhaus Kapellmeister Riccardo Chailly, embodies tradition and change simultaneously.
The Gewandhaus Orchestra's schedule includes 70 Grand Concerts inLeipzigduring each season. For over 200 years, it has also served as the house orchestra of the Leipzig Opera, in addition to its weekly performances of cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach atSt. Thomas's Church and 35 guest appearances each season throughout the world as well as numerous recordings.Leipzig's reputation as the city of music can be largely attributed to the varied activities of the Gewandhaus Orchestra and its standing as the world's oldest civic concert orchestra.
Riccardo Chailly devotes himself to both concert and operatic repertoire. The native of Milan has conducted the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared at the most important opera houses throughout the world: Milan's La Scala (where he made his debut in 1978), the Vienna State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, London's Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, and the Zürich Opera. He opened the Salzburg Festival in 1984 and appeared as guest conductor atSalzburg's Easter Festival and at the Lucerne Festival.
Riccardo Chailly was Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra from 1983 to 1986 and Chief Conductor of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1982 to 1989. From 1986 to 1993 he was Music Director of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, where he conducted numerous opera productions with resounding success.
In 1994 he was awarded the title of Grand Officer of theRepublicofItaly, and in 1996 he was made an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music inLondon. In November 1998, on the occasion of his tenth anniversary as Chief Conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, he was awarded the title of Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion by Queen Beatrix of theNetherlands. In 1998 he also became a Knight of the Grand Cross of theRepublicofItaly.