September 2 - 6, 1998


Photos   Recordings


Festival program:

 September  2

17.00 – Festival guests perform in the streets, squares and sponsor headquarters in Vilnius;

 September  3

11.00 Folk movie theater in Vilnius cinema center "Skalvija“;

15.00 Opening of souvenir badges of folk events exhibition in Vilnius Teacher`s House;

16.00 Concert „Old tradition in young hands“ in Vilnius Teacher`s House;

20.00 Guests performances in „Irish Pub“, „Ida Basai“ and „Magdė”;

21.00 Folk dancing school in Vilnius Teacher`s House;

 September  4

11.00 Folk movie theater in Vilnius cinema center "Skalvija“;

19.00 Grand concert of “Griežynė 98“in theater “Vaidila”;

 September  5

20.00 Festival guests concert in Kurhaus, Palanga;

 September  6

11.00 Opening of an exhibition of Lithuanian folk music instruments and their musicology material in Palanga Public Library. Exposition of works by Antanas Sutkus, Egidijus Virbašius, Jonas Bugailiškis;


Fiddlers from all countries play

Skirmantė Valiulytė

A wave of festivals during the summer subsides in the autumn but does not vanish completely. One of the colorful festivals will be an already traditional international festival of instrumental folk music “Griežynė” which takes place every two years since 1992. This beautiful chamber event introduces everyone to the folk music and instruments of different countries, shows the Lithuanian music traditions to the locals and the guests. It was conceived and is implemented, together with the Lithuanian Folk Culture Center, by two enthusiasts of instrumental folk music – Algirdas Klova and Arūnas Lunys. The festival gathers folk musicians from many different countries, and there already performed musicians from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Finland, UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Peru. This year we expect guests from Bulgaria, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Latvia, Wales, and USA. Lithuania will be represented by folk band “Griežikai” (Vilnius). There will also be some performances of the ensembles “Taduja” (Kelmė) and “Mėguva” (Palanga). First time ever the festival will take place not only in Vilnius (September 2nd-4th) but also in Palanga (September 5th-6th). Guests will be performing in the streets, squares, sponsors headquarters, and cafes in both cities. Special concerts are scheduled: “Old tradition in young hands” – a concert during which (September 3rd, 19.00) young musicians will play folk music in the Vilnius Teacher`s House; Grand concert of “Griežynė 98“ in theater “Vaidila” (September 4th, 19.00); Concert of festival guests in the Palanga Kurhaus (September 6th, 20.00).

A traditional folk movie theater will be as usually held in Vilnius cinema center "Skalvija“ (September 3th-4th, 11.00-14.00) – you will see the movies about Lithuanian and other countries instrumental folklore. On the occasion of the theater opening you will see the presentation of a movie about the previous festival „Griežynį 96“ by L.Liutikaitė and Lithuanian TV.

An interesting exhibtion of souvenir badges of folk events will be opened in Vilnius Teacher`s House (September 3rd, 15.00). Also, the already traditional exhibition of the Lithuanian folk music instruments this time will be held in Palanga Public Library. You will be able to visit the exposition of the instruments made by folk instrument masters Antanas Sutkus, Egidijus Virbašius, Jonas Bugailiškis, and books and instruments from the museums archives.

The living folk music tradition will not only be seen in the concerts, but there will also be a possibility to learn it together with the festival guests in the folk workshop, in Palanga Public Library (September 6th, 12.00) and folk dances school in Vilnius Teacher`s House (September 3rd, 21.00).

The marathon of colorful festival will start in September 2nd, 17.00. Maybe the autumn, started with the cheerful music and dance, will not be that cold at all.


Tradition in young hands

Loreta Mukaitė, „7 meno dienos“

On the first week of September Vilnius and Palanga hosted the fourth International festival of instrumental folk music festival“Griežynė 98“.

The festival, which was the idea of two instrumental folk music enthusiasts Algirdas Klova and Arūnas Lunys, first took place in 1992, and is a unique event. The main purpose of this festival which takes place every two years is to get to know and to present the instrumental folk music and folk instruments from various countries to the fans of folk music, also to show the guests the authentic tradition of Lithuanian folk music.

This year as a guest we saw an Irish music performer, composer and teacher Peter Phelan from Dublin, Moira Lewis from Wales who performs the old Celtic music, three musicians from Norway – Oddurn, Knut and Ole, bagpiper from USA Dan Speaker, quartet from Sweden “Bronxar- verkvartetten”, Danish band “Ellefolk”, Latvian folk music performers Aida Rancanė and Andrejus Rancanas, also young cymbal players from Latvia, and a Lithuanian instrumental music band “Griežikai”.

There were several innovations in this festival. Vilnius Teacher`s House held the exhibition of souvenir badges of folk events. The visitors of “Skalvija” cinema center had a chance to see a movie of L.Liutikaitė “Griežynė 96” which was created by Lithuanian television. Vytautas Musteikis presented a movie program by him and his friends from Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Poland, Sweden, Ireland, USA, and Africa. There were not only usual performances of festival guests in the streets and squares of Vilnius, or traditional grand concert of “Griežynė”. A concert “Old tradition in young hands” took place in Vilnius Teacher`s House where young Lithuanian musicians played traditional folklore. According to the organizers and guests this event was one of most successful and interesting ones. We saw the excellence of musicians that have learnt to play the archaic melodies in various folk ensembles, expeditions, or picked up this tradition from their parents and grandparents. The old Lithuanian music was played by Rytis Ambrazevičius with kanklės, fun polkas and sophisticated waltzes were played on fiddles by Gintaras Beržinskas, Gaila Kirdienė, Algirdas Klova, and the bagpipe by Vytautas Linkevičius. Bandoneons and accordions were played by the young Arvydas Kirda, Dalius Jatužis, Dangis Laurinavičius, and Česlovas Krikščiūnas. However, all bandoneon players were outmatched by the festival president Arūnas Lunys. Unofficially recognized festival`s best Lithuanian band was the trio of fiddler Evaldas Vyčinas, and Klaudijus Driskius and Pranas Mikulėnas from Rokiškis district who played accordion and small drum.

The culmination of the festival was the grand concert „Griežynė 98” which took place on the 4th of September in “Vaidila” theater hall. The audience this year was very patient as they listened to Lithuanian musicians and guests for four hours straight. There were many performers and all of them wanted to show as much as they possibly could. Peter Phelan from Ireland played even three instruments – a very complex design bagpipe Uil-lean, flute and whistle. Moira Lewis sang with accompanying herself on Celtic harp. An interesting citra-type instrument Langleika was demonstrated by three young musicians from Norway. Twin brothers Knut and Ole Braten play this instrument only for a few years, but are one of the best musicians in Norway. They performed together with their teacher Oddrun Hegge who plays this instrument for many years now. Dan Speaker from the United States, who played solemn Scottish melodies, has confessed that he is also an actor and director. The most versatile musicians were Aida Rancanė and Andrejus Rancanas from Latvia who showed the most instruments that the Latvian folk music is played with: whistles, kanklės, small drum, bagpipe, fiddle, and accordion. Andrej Zajko from Poland played the melodies on cymbals from Vilnius region and Polish dances. It was not the first time in Lithuania for the band “Ellefolk”, and this year we welcomed four musicians. They played traditional Scandinavian melodies and their own compositions on fiddle, guitar and accordion. Lithuanian audience was surprised by the Swedish quartet as they play instrumental Jewish music, and this tradition is complemented by a variety of other musical influences. Therefore, we did not really get a chance to hear the real Swedish music played by the Swedish.

In the early Saturday morning, without a proper rest all the festival guests set off to Palanga. According to A.Lunys, this year “Griežynė” left Vilnius not only to spice up the program, but also to shuffle. The idea was successful. The weekend in the largest resort in Lithuania was organized perfectly thanks to Palanga city culture center, Palanga city municipality, Palanga ethnographic ensemble “Mėguva” and their leader Zita Baniulaitytė.

On Sunday the festival participants and audience gathered to the Palanga Public Library where the exhibition of Lithuanian folk instruments was opened, with the exposition of the instruments made by folk artists Antanas Butkus, Egidijus Virbašius and Jonas Bugailiškis. According to Z.Baniulaitytė such exposition in Palanga is the first one, and it is special because you can touch, play, and even buy the instruments.

“The festival was successful” easily gasps Algirdas Klova, Arūnas Lunys, and the personnel of Lithuanian folk culture center who have really done a lot to make it happen. The organizers are happy that this year the festival team worked together in unison. The festival has matured, experience was gained by their organizers too.








GRIEŽIKAI - Lithuania
GRIEŽIKAI - Lithuania
Peter PHELAN ir Robert JENNINGS - Ireland
Peter PHELAN ir Robert JENNINGS - Ireland
Oddrun, Knut, Ole - Norway
Oddrun, Knut, Ole - Norway
Moira LEWIS - Wales
Moira LEWIS - Wales
Evaldas VYČINAS, Klaudijus DRISKIUS, Petras MIKULĖNAS - Lithuania
Mieczyslaw LITWINSKI - Poland
Andrzej ZAJKO - Poland
Pawel GRUPKAITIS, Kamil KOREK - Poland
Peter PHELAN, Robert JENNINGS, Dony O'Brien - Ireland
Dan Speaker - USA
Aida RANCANE ir Andris KAPUSTS - Latvia
Aida RANCANE ir Andris KAPUSTS - Latvia