Vilnius will commemorate a great Polish composer

The capital city of Lithuania decided to name 2019 a Year of Stanisław Moniuszko. It is 200 years since the birth of this great composer, important to Poland, Lithuania and Belarus.

“Without Stanisław Moniuszko Vilnius would lost a part of its identity in the world of culture,” said Vilnius mayor Remigijus Szimaszius at the city council meeting, where the decision to commemorate the composer was made. “It is Vilnius that he chose for his artistic work,” he added.

Stanisław Moniuszko was a Polish nationality composer, conductor, organist and the head of the Grand Theatre in Warsaw. He is considered a father of Polish national opera.

Moniuszko is important not only to Poland, but to Lithuania and Belarus too. He was born 200 years ago near Minsk, which is the capital of today's Belarus. In 1827, his family moved to Vilnius, where he spent 18 years. The house in which he lived still remains and there is his statue on the nearby square.

While living in Vilnius he worked as an organist in the Church of Sts Johns, he was giving a music lessons and was a conductor in Vilnius Theatre. During that time he composed over 300 songs, four Litanies of Ostra Brama and he published the Songbook for Home Use.

His most famous opera “Halka” was first presented in the Vilnius city hall in 1854.

Many cultural events are planned this year to celebrate Moniuszko memory in Lithuania. Polish Institute in Vilnius will get involved in organisation of most of them. Very unique one will take place in April during the Kaunas Jazz festival. Some of the Moniuszko’s compositions will be presented there in a new jazz arrangement, informed the head of the Institute, Marcin Łapczyński.

The Polish Cultural Centre in Lithuania prepares for the celebrations of composer birthday on 5th of May. “We will organise a special concert at Siemens Arena, which has the biggest entertainment hall in Vilnius capable to host 4,5 thousand people audience,” said Apolonia Skakowska, the director of the Centre.

Among many other the main event in the memory of Stanisław Moniuszko in Lithuania will be the international conference in Vilnius in June.