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Saulus Sondeckis (Conductor)

Saulius SONDECKIS was born in Lithuania in 1928. He studied violin under the tutelage of Prof. Alexander Livont, a former student of David Oistrakh, at the Vilnius Conservatory from 1948 to 1952. Later on, in 1953, he studied Conducting in a class taught by Igor Markevitch at the Moscow Conservatory.

In 1955, Sondeckis took over as conductor of the children‘s orchestra at the Ciurlionis Art School. The orchestra won Gold Medal at the Herbert von Karajan international competition of youth orchestras in Berlin in 1976.

In 1960, Sondeckis founded the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra with which the conductor has performed in the best halls of 25 countries world-wide.

A number of compositions were written specially for Maestro Sondeckis and his orchestra, including Concerto Grosso No.1 and Concerto Grosso No.3 by Alfred Schnittke, and Arvo Pjart‘s Tabula Rasa.

In 1989, Sondeckis sounded another orchestra - a students‘ chamber orchestra at the St.Petersburg Conservatory (the St.Petersbutg Camerata) which was awarded the unique status of Resident Orchestra of the State Hermitage Museum in 1994.

Sondeckis has performed with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the St.Petersburg Philharmonic Academic Symphony Orchestra, the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne, the Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra, and many other orchestras in the former USSR and abroad. Sondeckis has been invited to lead several youth orchestras at various music festivals, including the prestigious Schlezwig-Holstein Music Festival Orchestra founded by Leonard Bernstein.

During the Salzburg Festival in 1988, Saulius Sondeckis conducted the ballet Othello staged to music by Schnittke and Pjart, and performed by a ballet company from Hamburg choreographed by John Neumeier. He conducted Mozart‘s The Magic Flute at the Mariinsky Opera and Ballet House, and Gluck‘s Orpheus und Eurydice at the Hermitage Theater in St.Petersburg in 1994.

Saulius Sondeckis is a professor at the Lithuanian Music Academy, People‘s Artist of the USSR, winner of numerous prizes, titles, awards and citations. In 1997, he became one of the masterminds of the Hermitage Music Academy Project, and President of the Hermitage Music Academy Foundation.

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