A city of talents

The Lithuanians have always been highly ranked  in terms of education and technological advancement but there is also another side of the coin: Culture! Once one of the largest kingdoms in medieval Europe and later on influenced by other European cultures Lithuania  today has developed a high  level of culture in many areas. One reason is that this is a country of many unique talents. .

What is then a “talent”!? Talent is present in any discipline. Often you get more or less the same amount of answers as persons you ask. Talent is more or less impossible to quantify or find if you just see a person, it is first in the moment they perform or present in one way or the other that you find out. Before that moment it often remains hidden. Suddenly you just know that someone has something special to “say”, you feel her unique personality and her skills. These rare moments come often through music.  
One of these rare moments I had last week in the Swedish Embassy in Vilnius.  Suddenly I heard one of Rachmaninoff´s most technically difficult but also most beautiful pieces played by two Lithuanians, Martynas Svegzda von Bekker on violin and  Indre Baikstyte on the piano. Some people just play music! Only a few perform with an intensity and emotional expression that the music is transformed to the audience in such a way that we all feel the music inside us. We got an experience  “above all” that evening, the intensity and passion of one of Rachmaninoff’s masterpieces was presented in a brilliant way that can’t be explained. 

Swedish Ambassador Malin Kärre (left), von Bekker, violin and Baikstyte on the piano

When von Bekker closed his eyes and stroke his violin I was thinking of what Paul Cezanne once said: The painter must enclose himself within his work; he must respond not with words, but with paintings. If translated to von Bekker and his skill at interpreting Rachmaninoff it will be: The musician must enclose himself within his performance; he must respond not with words, but with playing.

Of course you will find other talented artists in Vilnius but you will be surprised to find many other creative talents in different fields, it just depends on which business you are interested in.

Malmo, Sweden in May 2006
Leif Almo