Lithuania and Europe to be united by musical and video link-ups

28 Jun 2013, Last updated at, 17:17 EEST
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On 5 July at 16.00, the official opening ceremony of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union will begin in Vilnius. The start of the Presidency of the EU Council will be celebrated in the historical venue of Vilnius University’s, inner courtyard. The courtyard is named after Petras Skarga, the first rector, and is now symbolically decorated with stylized flags of all European Union Member States.

“To mark the opening of the presidency, we want to stress the connections of Lithuania and Europe, as it is our country that shall be responsible for the next six months for many of the most important decisionsfor the entire EU, which shall be taken by agreement of all Member States”, stated Rasa Jakilaitienė, spokesperson for the Lithuanian presidency of the EU Council regarding the idea of using the event to connect both Lithuania and Europe using musical and video instruments. 

A key component of the opening event will be the musical composition ‘Sąšauka’ (‘Link-up’) by composer Kipras Mašanauskas. It will use drum beats symbolising the desire for all EU Member States, including Croatia as of 1 July, to stay together, agree and communicate. Musicians performing sections of Sąšauka come from all EU Member States, while video clips display motifs of 28 capital cities, which will be easily recognised by the audience.

Sąšauka will be performed on a stage designed specifically for the event by stage designer Marius Puskunigis, and will involve the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Modestas Pitrėnas), Kaunas State Choir, Mixed Children Choir of National Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis School of Art, drummers of the Orchestra of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and amateur percussionists. The official part of the event will be opened with a live performance of the National Anthem of the Republic of Lithuania by saxophonist Kęstutis Vaiginis.

According to Dalius Abaris, director of the event, “Lithuanian tradition has preserved a method of playing music together. We have selected a common musical rhythm, accompanied by musicians from across the European Union, thus stressing our connections. We are making a short but persuasive work that I believe will attract attention to Lithuanian culture, and I believe it will be of interest to the guests.”

Guests at the official opening ceremony, hosted by Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of the Republic of Lithuania, are expected to include Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, members of the European Commission, and Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council. Enda Kenny, Prime minister of the closing Irish presidency, will also send a video greeting to Lithuania.

The opening event of the Lithuanian presidency of the EU Council shall be broadcast directly on the official website of the Lithuanian presidency at and by Lithuanian National Television and YouTube, the largest video portal in the world.

In cooperation with Vilnius City Municipality and Vilnius Festivals, on the evening of 5 July, the capital city will celebrate the traditional Night of Culture, inviting Lithuanian and Vilnius residents and guests alike to mark the opening of the EU Council Presidency.


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