The Lithuanian Ensemble Network (LEN) is a professional Contemporary Music organization connecting professional ensembles, soloists and conductors. Vykintas Baltakas directs LEN as an open platform where creative ideas can be professionally realized and as a united ensemble – L’ENsemble.
L’ENsemble consists of the Chordos String Quartet, Kristupas Wind Quintet, Kaskados Piano Trio, Vilnius Brass Quintet, Raimondas Sviackevičius, pianist Rima Chačaturian, composer and singer Rita Mačiliūnaitė and others.
LEN works with established institutions of contemporary music in Lithuania and abroad, such as the Lithuanian Composers’ Union, Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Centre, Lithuanian Academy of Music and theatre, Goethe-Institut Vilnius and Karsten Witt Musikmanagement Berlin. LEN is a positive presence in the international contemporary music scene.
LEN is proud of its performances at the WDR (2009), at the Ruhr European Capital of Culture (2010), Ultraschall Festival Berlin (2013), its recordings for Kairos, Megadisc Classics, WDR, Deutschland Radio Kultur, WDR, and Lithuanian Radio and Television.
In 2011 LEN started the concert series Composers of Our Time, featuring the influential international and Lithuanian composers including Gerhard Stäbler (2011), Bronius Kutavičius (2012), Luciano Berio (2013), Wolfgang Rihm, Matthias Pintscher and John Woolrich (2014). The Portraits of György Ligeti, Helmut Lachenmann and Beat Furrer are in preparation. The Composers of our time are supported by the Lithuanian cultural support foundation, Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, Goethe Institut Vilnius and the Lithuanian Composers’ Union.
The prizewinner of the David Oistrach and Louis Spohr international violin competitions Rusnė Mataitytė as soloist and chamber musician has performed in Lithuania, various European countries, Japan and USA. Significant performances include concerts at the Aldeburgh festivals in Great Britain, Sao Paulo festival, Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall) New York and St. John’s Smith Square London. As a soloist she has performed with symphony and chamber orchestras in Lithuania, Russia, Germany and Austria. Lithuanian composers Algirdas Martinaitis, Osvaldas Balakauskas and British composer Sadie Harrison have written violin concertos dedicated to Rusnė. Since 1997, she has taken part in Kaskados Piano Trio, and since 2002 she has been a member of the Gaida Ensemble. She has performed with the Tate Ensemble in the UK. Her CD recordings with music by East European composers and Lithuanian authors Osvaldas Balakauskas, Feliksas Bajoras and Raminta Šerkšnytė as well as British composer Sadie Harrisson have been released by Proud Sound, ASV and NMC (UK), BIS (Sweden), Naxos (Germany), LMS and LMIPC (Lithuania).
Edmundas Kulikauskas (cello) studied at the Moscow P. Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. He was a principal cello with the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Lithuanian State String Quartet. Since 1996, he has been the principal cello of the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra.
In chamber performances Kulikauskas has shared the stage with a number of prominent musicians as well Ysaye and the Vilnius string quartets. He also performs regularly with the Gaida Ensemble and the Kaskados Piano Trio, with which he has toured the most of Europe, Israel, Japan, Canada and South Korea. Over the years Kulikauskas has been active in performing the Lithuanian contemporary academic music, appearing regularly at international contemporary music festivals, such as the Gaida, the Vilnius Festival and the St. Christopher Summer Festival in Vilnius. Together with other musicians, he has committed to disc works by Osvaldas Balakauskas, Vladas Jakubėnas and Faustas Latėnas.
The prizewinner at the international piano competitions in the Czech Republic (1977) and France (1990) Albina Šikšniūtė (piano) studied at the Moscow P. Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. She has given recitals and performed with the Vilnius, Prague, Moscow and Alma Ata chamber ensembles and orchestras, and also with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra. She has been appeared in concert halls in Europe and Japan, took part in various festivals. In 1995 she recorded the Bach’s Clavier Concertos CD with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra. Since 1997, shehas been a member of the Kaskados Piano Trio. The pianist is a notable Lithuanian piano teacher; her students have taken part and won prizes at the numerous international piano competitions. She is often invited as a jury member at various national and international piano competitions. Since 1991, she has given summer masterclasses in Austria.
Prizewinner and laureate of numerous national and international accordionist competitions Raimondas Sviackevičius has studied at the studijavo Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Academy of Music in Łódź (Poland), Sibelius Academy of Music in Helsinki (Finland) and The Royal Conservatory in The Hague (The Netherlands). The musician has performed in the recitals and unique projects at the various Lithuanian music festivals; he has appeared with the Lithuanian National and Lithuanian State symphony orchestras as well as St Christopher and Klaipėda chamber orchestras. Sviackevičius regularly collaborates with Lithuanian composers to prepare Lithuanian music premieres. Nomeda Valančiūtė, Žibuoklė Martinaitytė and Jurgis Juozapaitis have written music for the accordionist. Since 2004 he has been a member of the contemporary music enzemble Gaida, and since 2009 has taken part in the concert activities of LEN. The accordionist has performed in Germany, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Denmark, Austria, Poland, the Netherlands, the USA and Russia.
Sviackevičius is frequdently invited to master classes, seminars and jury work. Since 2008 he has been an artistic director of international accordion music festivals in Vilnius and Palanga. In 2004 his solo album A Farewell to Arms was released.
Project curator Vykintas Baltakas