The GAIDA Festival that takes place in Vilnius since 1991 is the main, the largest and the most prominent festival of modern music in Lithuania and in all Baltic countries. This is one of the most important music forums in Central and Eastern Europe. Events of the GAIDA Festival are always associated with new ideas of modern times, highest quality and artistic innovations.
The GAIDA Festival is open to music and innovative art of all different traditions and all geographical sources. The Festival reflects and presents a broad sweep of the latest creative processes and newest musical tendencies in Europe and the world. GAIDA introduces Vilnius audiences to the finest achievements of today’s contemporary music – symphonic, instrumental, electronic & digital art; the most famous musicians are invited to the festival; the most impressive works of nowadays are performed. GAIDA presents creations from many different genres, from orchestras’ and ensembles’ concerts to electronic music, innovative multimedia projects, music theatre, sound installations and club events.
During last two decades the GAIDA Festival has become very prestigious event not only for Lithuanian music lovers but also for international audiences that numerously attend concerts of the festival. In last 10 years the Festival achieved strong increase of all audiences, more than 7000 people attend the Festival every year. Almost all venues of the Festival are full of listeners, especially at the exceptional concerts of the Festival which is so proud of them – to name just some:
world-famous composers such as Philip Glass & The Philip Glass Ensemble, Steve Reich and Musicians, Terry Riley, Thomas Adès, Gavin Bryars Ensemble, Michael Nyman Band, Heiner Goebbels with theatre productions „Eraritjaritjaka“ and „Max Black“, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Magnus Lindberg, Luca Francesconi, Kaija Saariaho, Georg Friedrich Haas, Francesco Filidei, Rebecca Saunders, Liza Lim, top-class international ensembles such as Kronos Quartet, London Sinfonietta, Bang On A Can All-Stars, Theatre of Voices & Paul Hillier, The Hilliard Ensemble, Ensemble Modern, musikFabrik, Quatuor Diotima, Les Percussion de Strasbourg, Slagwerk den Haag, Third Coast Percussion, Mantra Percussion, SŌ Percussion, most recognized soloists such as Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Kirill Gerstein, Laurie Anderson, Meredith Monk, Tanya Tagaq, Fatima Miranda, Francesco Tristano, Colin Currie, Markus Stockhausen, Kari Kriikku, Francesco Dillon, Domenico Nordio, Gavriel Lipkind, Manuel Blanco, well-known electronic music artists such as Autechre, Squarepusher, Alva Noto, Ryoji Ikeda, Robert Henke, Max Cooper, Andy Stott, Mouse on Mars, Byetone, Kangding Ray, Franck Vigroux and many more.
For high achievements in the international new music scene the GAIDA Festival in 2005 was invited to join prestigious European network of contemporary music Réseau Varèse which consolidated biggest festivals and important music institutions of Paris, Berlin, London, Rome, Warsaw, Oslo, Helsinki, Porto, Vienna, Amsterdam, Strasbourg and other cities. In 2008-2014 head of the GAIDA Festival was the Board member & Vice-president of this network. In 2008 the GAIDA Festival received the title of ISCM World Music Days, meaning an especial appreciation of the international music community all over the world and providing the right to organize a festival on exceptional scale.
In June of 2019 the GAIDA Festival became EFFE Laureate 2019-2020. EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe – is initiated by the European Festivals Association and supported by the European Commission. International Jury chaired by Sir Jonathan Mills (former director of the Edinburgh International Festival) from a list of almost 800 festivals has selected 24 best festivals, EFFE Laureates 2019-2020, among them GAIDA Festival is the only festival from Baltic countries.
The events of GAIDA Festival take place in the main concert halls of Vilnius: National Philharmonic, Congress Concert Hall, National Drama Theatre, National Gallery of Art, Contemporary Art Centre, Arts Printing House, St Catherine Church a. o.
Head of the GAIDA Festival – Remigijus Merkelys. Coordinator of the festival’s projects – Vytautas V. Jurgutis.
For more information, please visit https://www.vilniusfestivals.lt/en/about/about-gaida-festival/