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On February 7, LMTA Celebrates Its Anniversary

On February 7, the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre celebrates its 90th anniversary. 90 years ago, the Minister of Education signed an order for the establishment of the music education institution in Kaunas, the then temporary capital of Lithuania. The LMTA, the largest in Lithuania higher education institution in the field of music, theater, dance and film, will celebrate its anniversary through the year by inviting the public to events, exhibitions, conferences that are to take place both at the Academy and in other venues.

LMTA Central Building (c) D. Matvejev

Today, the LMTA combines different types of performing and screen arts and the Academy’s faculties operate in Vilnius and Klaipėda, while everything started in Kaunas (the then temporary capital of Lithuania) with the launch of music studies and the establishment of the Conservatory. 

LMTA Rector, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Judita Žukienė tells that the Lithuanian musicians, for quite a while, had cherished a dream to found a conservatory in the country. This dream was associated with the need for bringing up professional musicians in Lithuania and the development of the Lithuanian art. An example of such aspirations is reflected in a letter by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis: “[Česlovas Sasnauskas] has confused my mind with his ideas about the conservatory in Vilnius, that I must become its director. […]  It is necessary to launch courses for organists and obtain permission to establish the “National Conservatory”. He could obtain permission but can’t handle the rest. 1000 roubles for the capital is requred. ” One thousand is too little,” I explain. But he was so passionate that promised an apartment as a gift and that we don’t need a lot of pianos, one would be enough – a couple of professors and one physharmonica, and when everything goes well, it’ll be possible to rent another piano! In short, the Čiurlionis National Conservatory is almost ready.” (25 November 1909).

LMTA Rector – Assoc. Prof. Dr. Judita Žukienė (c) D. Matvejeva

“After the restoration of Lithuania’s Independence in 1918, as soon as in June of the same year, Juozas Naujalis, Juozas Tallat-Kelpša and Teodoras Brazys applied to the Council of Lithuania with a request to establish the Lithuanian State Conservatory in Vilnius. However, the decision took quite a long time. It was only in 1933 that Kaunas State Music School was reorganised into a higher education institution – the Conservatory. 7 February – the day when the Minister of Education signed the order for its establishment – became the birthday of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre,” continues the LMTA Rector.

The opening ceremony of the Conservatory in 1933 at the State Theatre (c) Photo archive of the Kaunas City Museum, Mikas and Kipras Petrauskas House

The celebration will last for a year and feature a wide range of events.  On 29 March, the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Hall will host a solemn event to honour the Academy’s anniversary, as 90 years ago, on 1 April 1933, the opening ceremony of the Conservatory took place at the State Theatre.

The Academy’s anniversary celebration for a wider audience is scheduled for 3 June and is to take place on the Lukiškės square in Vilnius, just in front of the LMTA Central Building.

On the eve of 2023, Conversations in the Great Hall, a cycle of interviews dedicated to the LMTA anniversary year, started. The first conversation was with Professor, LMTA Doctor of Honour, Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania Vytautas Landsbergis interviewed by the LMTA Rector Judita Žukienė. In January, there was a conversation with pianists, LMTA professors Petras Geniušas and Lukas Geniušas.

Conversation with Petras Geniušas and Lukas Geniušas (c) G. Matkutė

Later, the LMTA Great Hall is going to host more interviews: on 21 February, there will be a conversation with film directors Prof. Algimantas Puipa and Assoc. Prof. Laurynas Bareiša; the March meeting will feature theatre directors, Prof. Gintaras Varnas and LMTA graduate Antanas Obcarskas. And there will be more conversations with actors, singers, composers, modern dance art creators. The lobby of the second floor of the LMTA Central Building invites to an exhibition titled 90 Pauses. Catch Your Luck!  Apart from these, Vilnius and Klaipėda are bound to enjoy many other events dedicated to the Academy’s anniversary. 

LMTA information 
7 February 2023