Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875–1911): His Time and Our Time

International Conference


“Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875–1911): His Time and Our Time”


Organised by:

Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Lithuanian Composers’ Union in association with the Vilnius Academy of Arts and Lithuanian Institute for Culture Research


Date: 21–24 September 2011

Place: Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Vilnius


As the 2011 marks one hundred years from the death of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, a century’s span gives a sufficient temporal perspective to ascertain that his work reflected the key processes of the turn in the history of European music, even though it was rarely performed during his lifetime and most of it remained in the manuscripts and unfinished sketches. At the turn of the 20th century his work represented an intersection of the Romantic idiom and the active signs of emerging modernism. The music of Čiurlionis contains many examples of his explorations in the field of cryptology and methods for ‘production’ of musical material, which opened new vistas for further structural and formal development of this material. Hailing from the sphere of romantic inspirations, his work was visionary, blazing a trail for New music of the 20th-century.

The music Čiurlionis composed in Warsaw, Leipzig, Druskininkai, Vilnius and Saint Petersburg absorbed the cultural atmosphere of the beginning of the 20th century. He is now regarded as the first classic of Lithuanian music. But the mysteries, signs, vocabulary and ideas of this “composer of music and paintings” (Olivier Messiaen) remain largely unread to this very day.

In solving the riddle of Čiurlionis the composer, Čiurlionis the painter – his alter ego – often lends a helping hand. Like the musical works of his counterpart, his paintings stem from the world of romantic mysticism and symbolism. As a painter he developed a poetic language and mixed colours from the modern palettes of surrealism and abstractionism with his brush steeped in metaphysics. Čiurlionis used tempera and small sheets of paper to create the vision of a perfect universe – an imaginary Babylon whose limits have exceeded those of the Eurocentric culture.

The four-day conference in Vilnius aims to delineate broad prospects for the future research of Čiurlionis’s work. We suggest the participants to revise the existing approaches and employ latest research as a starting point for achieving deeper understanding of Čiurlionis’s work. By discussing the causes of his prophetic insight and artistic intuition in the centennial perspective and with all recent methodologies at hand, this conference encourages to redefine the place of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis on the map of the 20th-century culture.

The organisers of this conference attempt to bring musicologists, art researchers, philosophers and scholars of cultural discourse together and encourage them to cooperate in developing a more comprehensive interdisciplinary research of Čiurlionis’s work. Papers are welcome in various formats and from various fields, related to the topics listed below. The final programme and group sessions of the conference will be announced upon receiving paper proposals.

For more information about M. K. Čiurlionis see: www.mic.lt/ciurlionis, www.ciurlionis.eu. For further information on Čiurlionis’s scores and recordings please contact Mr. Linas Paulauskis, Director of LMIPC, email: linas@mic.lt

Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Centre (LMIPC)

A. Mickevičiaus 29, LT-08117 Vilnius, Lithuania

Ph: +370 5 2726986, +370 5 2123027, fax: +370 5 2120939, e-mail: info@mic.lt


Suggested topics:


1. Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis’s epoch and its horizons;

2. Čiurlionis’s music and its Romantic paradigm: inspirations, correspondences, disparities;

3. Čiurlionis’s vision of modernistic music: ideas, rudiments of systems and techniques;

4. 100 years of Lithuanian music after Čiurlionis;

5. “Composer of music and paintings”: a traveller on the artistic crossroads;

6. Parallels, intersections and contradictions of Čiurlionis’s musical and artistic languages;

7. The scope of Čiurlionis’s artistic consciousness: the traces of Polish, Lithuanian, German and Russian cultures;

8. Textology of Čiurlionis’s art (problems of origin and notation);

9. The Unknown Čiurlionis: a network of individual creative reflections;

10. Čiurlionis’s creation and its existence in the Great Symphony of the World.


Scholarly Programme Committee:

Professor, Dr. Habil. Vytautas Landsbergis (European Parliament)

Professor, Dr. Habil. Gražina Daunoravičienė (Lithuanian Acacdemy of Music and Theatre, Research Council of Lithuania)

Professor, Dr. Jonas Bruveris (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre)

Professor, Dr. Habil. Antanas Andrijauskas (Lithuanian Institute for Culture Research)

Dr. Tojana Račiūnaitė (Vilnius Academy of Arts)

Professor, Dr. Habil. Mart Humal (Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre)

Professor, Dr. Habil. Stefan Keym (Leipzig University)

Professor, Dr. Eero Tarasti (Helsinki University)

Professor, Dr. Habil. Jacek Szerszenowicz (The Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź)



Participants of the conference are invited to submit abstracts and indicate the final format of their papers:

¬ plenary paper (60 min, including discussions);

¬ paper (20 min for presentation and 10 min for discussion);

¬ poster presentation (to be displayed on 60 cm x 80 cm stands).

The abstracts should clearly state the title, aims and methodological approaches of the paper. The abstracts of the selected papers will be published in the programme brochure and on the Internet. The abstracts of papers and poster presentations should not exceed 500 words; the abstracts of plenary papers should not exceed 1000 words. Papers selected by the scholarly committee will be published in a collection of the conference proceedings. Languages used in presentations and discussions include Lithuanian, English and German. Please also indicate the following personal details:

¬ name (-s) and surname (-s) of the author (-s) ;

¬ a represented institution;

¬ a short CV;

¬ contact details (e-mail, postal address, telephone number).
The abstracts and personal details should be sent by email to the conference secretary, Dr. Rima Povilionienė (mkc2011@lmta.lt), by 11 April 2011. All candidates will be notified about the selection results by email until the end of April 2011.


Further information about the programme, registration, travel and accommodation options will be announced by the end of April 2011. The organizers have got a reduction prices from the hotel rates. All participants are invited to take part in a guided tour to the National M. K. Čiurlionis Museum in Kaunas, where the originals of his art works and manuscripts of his musical works are preserved.


For more information about the conference please check our website at http://mkc2011.lmta.lt




For researchers presenting papers For young researchers and students

EUR60 (from 1 May, 2011) EUR35 (from 1 May, 2011)

EUR75 (from 1 July till 31 August, 2011) EUR45 (from 1 July till 31 August, 2011)


Collected registration fees will be allocated for publication of the conference proceedings and a guided tour to National M. K. Čiurlionis Museum in Kaunas.


Registration fees should be paid by bank transfer to:


Academy address – GEDIMINO PR. 42, LT-01110 VILNIUS, LITHUANIA




IBAN LT14 7300 0100 0245 5553



Prof. Dr. Juozas Antanavičius

Prof., Dr. Habil. Gražina Daunoravičienė

Prof. Dr. Jonas Bruveris

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Rimantas Astrauskas

Prof. Arvydas Šaltenis

Jūratė Katinaitė

Rūta Stanevičiūtė

Rūta Skudienė

Rokas Zubovas

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Rūta Gaidamavičiūtė

Dr. Rima Povilionienė

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Audra Versekėnaitė

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Judita Žukienė

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Audronė Žiūraitytė


For more information please contact:

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Rūta Gaidamavičiūtė

Conference secretary Dr. Rima Povilionienė

LAMT Institute of Musicology, Department of Music Theory

E-mail: mkc2011@lmta.lt

Ph. +370 5 249 74 87; fax: +370 5 212 69 82



Institute of Musicology

42 Gedimino Ave., LT-01110 VILNIUS, LITHUANIA