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Juozas Domarkas (Conductor)

It has been over 40 years since Juozas Domarkas has become the artistic director and principal conductor of the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra. He has also been working in education: he is Professor and the Head of the Conducting Department of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.
Juozas Domarkas was born on July 28, 1936, in Varkaliai (Plunge district). In 1955–60 he studied clarinet at the Lithuanian Conservatoire (present LAMT) under J. Jasenka. In 1965 he graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatoire (conducting under I. Musin). In 1963 the young conductor attended training courses run by the French conductor I. Markevitch in Moscow. In 1957 he became the conductor of the Vilnius Brass Orchestra (later Trimitas). Since 1964 he has been the artistic director and chief conductor of the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra. Since 1968 Domarkas has been teaching at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. In 1972–91 he led the students’ symphony orchestra, and since 1995 he has been the head of the Conducting Department.
In 1988–91 and 1995 Domarkas conducted the Baltic Academy (Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn and St. Petersburg) Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Since 1975 he has been organising concerts of young Lithuanian performers together with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, which has grown into the festival Atzalynas. He is the founder and artistic director of this festival.
Juozas Domarkas has raised the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra that demonstrates an excellent sound quality and unique style of interpretation and is able to interpret the most complex symphony music of all styles. The orchestra is marked with its own character of performance, culture and maturity of musical thinking, a tendency towards monumentality and the sense of style. The repertoire consists of classical, romantic and contemporary opuses. With this orchestra, the conductor has participated in Stars of Moscow, Russian Winter, Warsaw Autumn, Prague Spring, St. Petersburg Contemporary Music and Schleswig-Holstein festivals. He has toured Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, France, Japan, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and other countries. He has performed in Der Musikverein, Vienna, Barbican Centre, London, and the Great Hall of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire.
Domarkas has conducted orchestras in Russia, Poland, Latvia, Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Venezuela, Turkey, Finland and others. In 1991 and 1995 he was a member of juries of the IV and V Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in Katowice (Poland), in 1993 and 1996, of the I and II International Prokofiev Competitions in St. Petersburg (Russia). In 1999 he was a member of the International M. K. Ciurlionis Piano and Organ Competition Board.
For the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, Juozas Domarkas has produced and conducted G. Bizet’s opera Carmen (1985) and two one-act ballets: M. Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe and G. Bizet – R. Shchedrin’s Carmen Suite (1997). For Klaipeda Musical Theatre he produced and conducted I. Stravinsky’s opera Oedipus Rex (1997) and G. Bizet’s opera Carmen (1998).
The conductor has performed with famous Lithuanian and international soloists: singers J. Obrazcova, S. Larin, V. Urmana, G. Apanaviciute, I. Milkeviciute, V.Noreika, V. Prudnikovas; pianists E. Gilels, D. Bashkirov, J. Ogdon, J. Frantz, P.Geniusas; violinists L. Kogan, V. Spivakov, G. Kremer, J. Rachlin, R. Katilius, V.Cepinskis; celloists M. Rostropovich, D. Gering, N. Gutman, I. Monigeti, A.Rudinu; violist Y. Bashmet and others.
Domarkas has prepared and conducted over 100 premieres of opuses by Lithuanian composers (he has recorded many as well).
For his contribution to the country’s musical culture Prof. Juozas Domarkas has been awarded various national prizes: Lithuanian State Prize (1974), Government Arts Award of the Republic of Lithuania (1998), IV (1994) and I (1998) Class Orders of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas and Lithuanian National Culture and Art Prize (2000).




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