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Gaila Kirdienė

Gaila Kirdienė (c) Saulius Venckus

Associate Professor at the LMTA Department of Ethnomusicology, Senior Researcher at the LMTA Division of Ethnomusicology under the LMTA Science Centre, PhD. Subjects: Research Trends in Instrumental Music Performance, Music Anthropology, Traditional Fiddling. Languages: English (C1), German (C1), Russian (C1). 


Gaila Kirdienė (b. 1966) is a distinguished Lithuanian ethnomusicologist and ethnoinstrumentologist, a violinist, a traditional music performer, director of Griežikai (Fiddlers) folk ensemble, an expert and a teacher.

In 1990, Gaila Kirdienė graduated from the Lithuanian State Conservatory (now – the LMTA) with a master degree in violin, and later, in 1992 – in ethnomusicology. In 1995, Gaila Kirdienė followed an internship programme at the University of Göttingen (Germany) under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Rudolf M. Brandl, Austrian ethnomusicologist and composer.  In 1998, Gaila Kirdienė earned PhD in Ethnology from Vytautas Magnus University. Her research focuses on the fiddle and fiddling in the Lithuanian ethnoculture.

Since 1987, Gaila Kirdienė has been an enthusiastic field researcher, lecturer, and workshop leader, and has delivered over a hundred of presentations at national and international conferences. Her research ranges from traditional music performance and fiddling to culture, ethnocultural and ethnomusical education of the Lithuanian emigrants to the USA and Soviet deportees in Siberia. Her research has yielded in more than a hundred of publications, the most noticeable of which include a monography Fiddle and Fiddling in Lithuanian Ethnic Culture (2000) based on Gaila Kirdienė’s PhD thesis, Traditional Wedding Music of Eastern Aukštaičiai (2009), Lithuanian and Latvian Musical-Cultural Communication during Soviet-Era Imprisonment and Forced Exile: Brotherhood and Unity (2020), and Anthology of Lithuanian Folk Fiddle Music (DVD, 2015). In 2013, Gaila Kirdienė, together with musicologist Jūratė Vyliūtė, published Lithuanians and Music in Siberia: the book was recognised as one of the most significant publications of the year in the field of Lithuanian musicology.

Besides, Gaila Kirdienė has authored about 80 articles on research and research disseminations published in Lithuanian and international scientific journals (in the English, Estonian, Latvian, German, and Russian languages), seven compilations of scientific references and about twenty methodological works, e.g., The Bandoneon of the Taurage District (authored DVD, 2019), three e-books on ethnoculture (2002-2007). She is also a co-author to three educational programmes (1996-2011).

Since 1992, Gaila Kirdienė has produced over 20 (performed solo or together with the ensemble) albums of the Lithuanian traditional music or academic music based on the Lithuanian traditional music. Gaila Kirdienė is one of the organisers of the Lithuanian traditional fiddling competition and since 2005, has run fiddling courses both in Lithuania and abroad.