Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra

Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra

It all began with Bach in 1960 – a quartet from overseas was performing the Art of Fugue at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Hall in Vilnius. The problem was that they played it very boringly. A young violinist and conductor Saulius Sondeckis, disappointed, slipped out of the concert quietly hoping to be unnoticed. And who should he meet if not the Director of the Philharmonic, Balys Fedaravičius. “You don’t like the way they play? Create your own orchestra then, and we will support!” On 23 April 1960 around twenty young enthusiastic musicians got together for a rehearsal at the Lithuanian State Conservatory (now LMTA) in Vilnius. The rehearsal was conducted by Saulius Sondeckis, and this date is now an official birthday of the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra. Just six months later, on 30 October 1960, the LCO gave their first public performance which included pieces by Handel and J.S.Bach. 

1960, Isaac Stern

Isaac Stern 1960

In May 1960 Isaac Stern was giving recitals in Vilnius. Balys Fedaravičius, decided to show off to Isaac Stern a brand new, exciting, just formed Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra. A mere couple of weeks after the first rehearsal, the orchestra was working on some Bach in a Small Hall of the Philharmonie. Then suddenly the door opened and Isaac Stern walked in. He listened to the young orchestra with great interest, warmth and encouragement, gave them some valuable advice about the interpretation. According to the musicians, this friendly visit of a great violinist felt like a real endorsement, a glimpse of the future collaborations with great musicians.

1960, Isaac Stern, Viktor Radovič (first concertmeister), Saulius Sondeckis, Jurgis Dvarionas

Balys Dvarionas

Balys Dvarionas, 1960

The Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra quickly gained the devoted following and reputation. The gave the first concert in Moscow in 1962 performing the Second Piano Concerto by Balys Dvarionas. This completely sold out performance was followed by extensive touring throughout the USSR , countries of the Soviet block and later the West. The Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra performs regularly at t music festivals in Salzburg, Lucerne, Schleswig-Holstein, Stradivari Festival in Cremona, Sion, Gstaad, Rheingau, and Musikfest Berlin to name just a few.

Tallinn 1962

1962, Tallinn

Prague 1969

1969, Prague

Budapest 1971

1971, Budapest

Tatjana Grindenko and Gidon Kremer, Moscow 1973

1973, Moscow

Tatjana Grindenko & Gidon Kremer

Gidon Kremer, Tatjana Grindenko, Saulius Sondeckis, Alfred Schnittke
Echternach Festival su Jean Pierre Rampal1977

1977, Echternach Festival

with Jean Pierre Rampal

Arvo Pärt

Arvo Pärt

The Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra inspired and premiered numerous pieces by many composers of the XX century. They are passionate ambassadors of the music by Baltic composers

lco history

1977, Prague

Paris, 1984

1984, Paris

Oleg Kagan, Vienna, 1986

1986, Oleg Kagan, Vienna

Pompei, Italy 1987

1987, Pompei, Italy

Echternach Festival Medal

Echternach Festival Medal

London, 1989

1989, London

Japan 1989

1989, Japan

In 1991 the world was paying tribute to 220 years from Mozart’s death. The Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra took part in both Summer Salzburg Festival and the Autumn concert series. They performed Alfred Schnittke’s “Sutartinės”, written during the dark days of tragic events in Vilnius in January 1991

Hiroshima, 1999

1999, Hiroshima

Zell am See, Austria, 19

1991, Zell am See, Austria

Ivo Pogorelich Festival 1991

1991, Ivo Pogorelich Festival

During Ivo Pogorelich’s Festival in 1991 the tri-colour flag of Independent Lithuania was officially displayed outside Lithuania for the first time.

Chile 2000

2000, Chile

Paris 2000

2000, Paris

Julian Rachlin

Julian Rachlin

Japan, 2001

2001, Japan

Jonas Aleksa, Dmitrij Bashkirov, 2004

2004, Jonas Aleksa, Dmitrij Bashkirov

Daniel Hope 2006

2006, Daniel Hope

Mstislav Rostropovitch, 2006

2006, Mstislav Rostropovitch

Vadim Repin 2007

2007, Vadim Repin

Vadim Repin, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 2007

2007, Vadim Repin, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Wiesbaden Kurhaus 2007

2007, Wiesbaden Kurhaus

Leonid Desyatnikov, Roman Mintz, 2016

2016, Leonid Desyatnikov, Roman Mintz

Julian Rachlin, Sir Roger Moore, Sion 2013

2013, Julian Rachlin, Sir Roger Moore, Sion

Midsummer Festival 2019

2019 Vilnius Midsummer Festival

Midsummer Festival, Vilnius 2019

2019 Vilnius Midsummer Festival

Asmik Grigorian

Asmik Grigorian, Modestas Pitrėnas, 2019 Vilnius Midsummer Festival


Young orchestra


Early travels...

Helsinki 1968

1968, Helsinki

Maskva1970 Vladimir Radovič (first consertmeister),A.Palsauskas, P.Juodisius, A.Deksnys

1970, Moscow

V. Radovič (first consertmeister),A.Palšauskas, P.Juodišius, A.Dekšnys

Georgia 1972

1972, Georgia

Echternach 1976 with Jean Guillon

1976, Echternach

with Jean Guillon

Great Hall of Moscow Conservatoire 1977

1977, Great Hall of Moscow Conservatoire

Echternach, sol.J.P.Rampal 1977
Leipzig1977,statue of J.S.Bach

1977, Leipzig

statue of J.S.Bach

Bukharest 1978

1978, Bukharest

Chicago 1979

1979, Chicago

Brussels 1986

1986, Brussels

hisotry lco

Italy 1987

1987, Italy

With Tatjana Nikolajeva, Ansbach,1987

1987, With Tatjana Nikolajeva, Ansbach

Profound understanding and interpretation of music by Bach is one of the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra’s pièce de résistance. Together with legendary Tatiana Petrovna Nikolayeva the LCO  several time has performed all 12 keyboard concertos by Bach throughout the USSR, Germany (Ansbach and Schleswig-Holstein festivals) and recorded the cycle for Melodija, Eterna, Ariola Eurodisc and JVC labels. 

Liana Isakadze, Palanga

Liana Isakadze, Palanga

Royal Festival Hall,London, 1989

1989, Royal Festival Hall, London

Gstaad,Switzerland, 1995

1995, Gstaad, Switzerland

Saltzburg, 1991

1991, Salzburg

Mstislav Rostropovitch, Spain, 1991

1991, Mstislav Rostropovich, Spain

Maestro Mstislav Rostropovich played a very special part in LCO history

With Gidon Kremer, 1996

1996, Gidon Kremer

With Lord Yehudi Menuhin

Lord Yehudi Menuhin

Between 1992 and 1999 Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra have performed around 60 concerts with Lord Menuhin, who used to call them “my Lithuanians”.

Rostropovich, Reingau

Mstislav Rostropovich, Reingau

Justus Frantz 2004

2004, Justus Frantz

Sir Peter Ustinov and the LCO

Sir Peter Ustinov and the LCO

In 2000/01 the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra toured Germany performing Beethoven’sThe Creatures of Prometheus great British actor Sir Peter Ustinov, who narrated his own philosophical essays about the myth of Prometheus, Napoleon and modern day history. This programme became a best selling CD on BMG Records and RCA Victor Red Seal labels

Budapest 2006

2006, Budapest

Vadim Repin, Wiesbaden

Vadim Repin, Wiesbaden

Copenhagen 2009

2009, Copenhagen

Schleswig-Holstein Festival 2006

2006, Schleswig-Holstein Festival

Sergej Krylov

Sergej Krylov

Since 2008 Sergej Krylov is Music Director and Conductor of the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra

Alexander Sitkovetsky, Maxim Rysanov, Melbourne

Alexander Sitkovetsky, Maxim Rysanov, Melbourne

Sergej Krylov, Bruno Canino

Sergej Krylov, Bruno Canino

Stradivari festival 2017

2017, Stradivari festival

NOMUS Festiva, 2019

2019, NOMUS Festival, Croatia


2020, Sergej Krylov, Vilnius Festival during COVID-19 Pandemic


2020, Dalia Kuznecovaitė, Elena Daunytė, Adrija ČepaitėVilnius Festival during COVID-19 Pandemic


September 2020. Giedrė Šlekytė and Džeraldas Bidva. Season opening concert.