All Lithuanian music, including the folk and professional, has had a strong influence on local composers and came close to the contexts of other countries in different and sometimes unexpected ways. It is hard to explain the peripetea in the history of the national music in isolation, within the Lithuanian context only. This is related not only to the internal features of musical expression, which have always been rather ”cosmopolitan”, but also our composers’ attempts to create in accordance with musical tendencies in other countries. This process has been continuously undergoing since the appearance of the Lithuanian national symbolist music on the scene off the late 19th century.

Professional music culture in Lithuania is rich with a lot of cultural phenomena related to music, including professional musical composers, performers, music institutions, music education and the media in music performance.

Continuous public support provided to this area of non-commercial musical culture and the system of music education, developed and cherished over the years, have originated the birth of professional music institutions in Lithuania, including musical theatres and different music performance groups.

Lithuania has three public musical theatres, such as Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre with a professional classical ballet troupe, highly appreciated by national and foreign audiences; Kaunas State Music Theatre, famous for its historical State Theatre traditions, enriched by the operetta and musical genres; and Klaipėda State Music Theatre, experimenting with different genres and forms and their blends, seen in its new performances, alongside with the traditional classical music theatre repertoire.

The function of distribution of professional musical culture in the country and abroad has been performed by seven state concert performers and agencies, such as: Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society, putting together musical performance groups well-known on the international scale: the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, directed by Gintaras Rinkevičius, Lithuanian chamber orchestra, directed by Sergej Krylov; Vilnius String Quartet, Čiurlionis quartet, The Ensemble Musica Humana, directed by Algirdas Vizgirda, the State Philharmonic Society in Kaunas, including internationally renowned Kaunas State Choir, The State Wind Orchestra "Trimitas", directed by Ugnius Vaiginis; State Song and Dance Ensemble "Lietuva", directed by Giedrius Svilainis, theState Choir "Vilnius", led by Vladas Bagdonas and the Šiauliai State Chamber Choir "Polifonija", directed by Nijolė Saimininkienė, in Šiauliai. Besides their direct activities, these institutions, as well as the other non-governmental organizations are engaged in organization of international professional art festivals and different contests in Lithuania.

When solving arising issues of professional music, as well as classical and modern dance on the state-level, special expert commissions provide consultancy and assistance, serving as experts and consultants within different fields of art.

High professionalism of music and dance culture in our country has given birth to a tradition of organization different international festivals and contests, which have become significant music and dance culture events, and this is not only in Lithuania, but also in the entire Baltic Sea region or Europe. Vilnius Festivals offer a great variety of events; jazz festivals are organised in the cities of Vilnius, Kaunas, Birštonas and Klaipėda; these are: Pažaislis Music Festival; Musical August on the Seaside; Contemporary Dance Festival "New Baltic Dance"; The Banchetto Musicale early music festival; Thomas Mann Festival in Nida and many others. Taking into consideration the impact of these events on cultural processes, their major budgetary part comes from the State.

The State provides support not only to the projects of professional artists and performers, but is also dedicated to young talented musicians, going to prestigious international contests, master classes, seminars, and starting their international studies in higher art schools.

Last updated: 18-11-2023