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History and Activity

The Department of Folk Instruments was founded in 1945, its founder and long-time leader being Jonas Švedas, a composer, educator, conductor and ensemble leader. Since 2017, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Aistė Bružaitė has been Head of Department.

The Department of Folk Instruments encourages artistic activities among the students and teachers, and since 1952, along with other ensembles, the Student Folk Instruments Orchestra has been active. 

The Department of Folk Instruments organises the following events:

֍ Jonas Švedas International Competition for Folk Instrument Music Performers (since 2000)

֍ Rido International Folk Instrumental Music Festival (since 2004)

֍ Jonas Švedas National Competition (since 1965)

֍ Summer seminar for Lithuanian folk instrumentalists The Most Relevant Issues of Solo and Ensemble Music Performance on Folk Instruments (since 1999)

Our students and teachers are active participants of international events such as the International Competition and Festival for Folk Polychord Instrument Music Performers in Pskov and St Petersburg (Russia), the International Kannel Festival in Pärnu (Estonia), the International Kokle Music Festival Solaris in Riga (Latvia), Vera Gorodovskaya International Polychord No-Neck Musical Instruments Competition in Moscow (Russia), the Renaissance International Competition and Festival in Giumri (Armenia), the International Cymbals Forum Silver Sounds of Cymbals in Molodechno (Belarus), the International Academic Polychord Musical Instruments Competition in Jurmala (Latvia), the Art-Dominanta International Folk Instruments Competition in Kharkov (Ukraine) and others.