Stasys Baras-Baranauskas (1920–2006)
Stasys Baras-Baranauskas was awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa in 2000.
A Lithuanian singer, tenor, and an activist of the Lithuanian American community, Stasys Baras-Baranauskas was born in 1920 in Mierčiai (Žalioji rural district, Vilkaviškis district). Studied vocal performance at Kaunas Conservatory and Jonas Būtėnas classes and made his debut in 1943 in Kaunas. Left Lithuania in 1944 to study vocal performance and later performed in Germany, Vienna, Chicago and Rome. In 1948-1949 performed in the UK. In 1949, moved to the USA and while continuing to give concerts in Europe and Australia, mostly performed in the USA: in Chicago, he created 13 roles for Lithuanian operas and made vinyl recordings.
From 1958, worked in Standard Federal Bank of Chicago; from 1983 to 1998 was a member of Board of Directors of the bank. In 1991, upon invitation from the Lithuanian American and Lithuanian Canadian communities, organised a two-week Lithuanian music festival in Chicago, becoming the chairperson of thе executive committee of this festival. The event hosted the 7th Lithuanian American and Lithuanian Canadian Song Celebration.
From 1977, was a member of the Lithuanian Foundation and then a member of the Lithuanian Foundation Board; six times (1982–1985 and 1988–1991) was offered tenure as the Lithuanian Foundation Board Chairman; in 1993-1995 and 2002, he was elected the Lithuanian Foundation President. He supported Valdas Adamkus during the 1998 Lithuanian President election.
In 1997, established Stasys Baras Foundation Award for Young Lithuanian Singers. Competitions for tenors to win the award continue to be held at LMTA.
Stasys Baras-Baranauskas died in 2006 in Oak Brook near Chicago. Source: Wikipedia.