Modestas Pitrėnas

Sound recordings
Sound recordings

Modestas Pitrėnas is one of the most accomplished and well-known young Lithuanian conductors. He (b. 1974) graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music twice: choir conducting in 1997 with Prof. L. Abarius, and in 2003, symphony and opera conducting with Prof. J. Domarkas. In 2002 – 2004 he continued his postgraduate studies at the Lithuanian Academy of Music for a licenciate in music. In 1995 - 1996 the conductor studied at the famous Salzburg school of music and visual arts Mozarteum (Universität Mozarteum Salzburg) with professors W. Hagen-Groll and K. Kamper; there he was awarded a BA diploma with distinction. Later he participated in seminars and master classes held by such famous conductors as E. P. Salonen, J. Panula (Finland), H. Rilling (Germany), O. Geczy (Austria) and F. Bernüs (Germany). M. Pitrėnas has participated and won awards at competitions for conductors: he was awarded the first prize at the National Competition for Young Conductors (1991); a special conductor's prize at the International Choir Competition in Debrecen (Hungary, 1992); 2nd prize for the best interpretation of contemporary music at the International J. Naujalis Competition for Conductors (1994); 2nd prize and special prizes for the best interpretations of opuses by Latvian composers at the International Competition for Conductors Riga'97 (Latvia). The most remarkable achievement of Modestas Pitrėnas is the 1st Prize and Golden Medal at the VII Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in Katowice (Poland). This is the first golden medal awarded to a Lithuanian conductor in such a prestigious competition. This award has granted the conductor an opportunity to collaborate in Poland with the Sląnska, Sudetska, Pomorska and Krakow Philharmonics.

In 1990, when he was only 16, M. Pitrėnas founded the choir Psalmos and led it until 2000. With this choir the conductor performed European choir music of almost all periods, from Renaissance to contemporary compositions, prepared many concert programmes in Lithuania and abroad. The choir toured Western Europe, Scandinavia and USA, became the laureate of many international competitions, among them, in Italy, France, Hungary, USA, etc. The choir participated in many international festivals, among them, in Atlanta (USA) and Orlando di Lasso in Rome (Italy). With Psalmos the conductor performed European choral music from almost all epochs: from Renaissance to contemporary; he prepared several large concert programmes in Lithuania and abroad, Requiem by J. Rutter, Easter Dyptichon by G. Svilainis, Matthäus-Passion by J. S. Bach among them.

As a symphonic conductor Modestas Pitrėnas has prepared many concerts together with the Lithuanian State, Lithuania Minor, Lithuanian Academy of Music Symphony Orchestras as well as Lithuanian and Šiauliai Chamber Orchestras. Major projects, such as the oratory Don't Touch the Blue Globe by E. Balsys and Requiem by G. Verdi, were realised by the joined efforts of Klaipėda and Vilnius musicians, conducted by M. Pitrėnas. In 2005 he prepared the premiere of A. Žigaitytė’s mystery Revelation

During the recent years M. Pitrėnas has been particularly focusing on co-operation with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra. Together with this ensemble the conductor has prepared concert programmes including large compositions by W. Lutoslawski, L. van Beethoven, R. Schumann, N. Rimsky – Korsakov, G. Mahler, C. Debussy and other composers as well as many Sunday Family Concerts at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic. The conductor has also been collaborating with famous Lithuanian and foreign soloists: violinists Tatiana Grindenko, Vilhelmas Čepinskis and B. Skride, celloists David Gering, Rimantas Armonas and J. Moser, pianists Peter Donohoe, Petras Geniušas and Ph. Giusiano, vocalists Sigutė Stonytė, Virgilijus Noreika, Liora Grodnikaitė, Vladimiras Prudnikovas and others.

Since 2000 M. Pitrėnas has been conducting productions of operas, such as Carmen by C. Bizet, Three-Penny-Opera by K. Weill and performances at the Klaipėda Musical Theatre. The conductor has been invited to work together with the North Rhihn-Westfalian Youth Symphony and Chamber Orchestras for many years now. In 2004 he conducted the Filharmonia Sląska, Filharmonia Sudecka and Filharmonia Pomorska Orchestras. In 2000 – 2004 M. Pitrėnas taught at the Vilnius St. Joseph Clerical Seminary and led its students’ choir; he published the liturgical Hymnal of this community. Since 2001 he has also been the art director and conductor of the Vilnius B. Dvarionas Music School Student's Symphony Orchestra; since 2003 he has been teaching at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Conducting Department.

Currently M. Pitrėnas is the chief conductor of Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra and conductor at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic, and from 2006 he has been invited to conduct and produce independently Salome by R. Strauss, The Little Prince by R. Portman, ballets Red Giselle and Zorba The Greek at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. Together with Kaunas Symphony Orchestra he performed the oratory by Algirdas Martinaintis, Songs for St. Francis, on the 6th of October, 2007. M. Pitrėnas has published eight CDs, among them: three CDs of sacral music, two of them being recorded together with the choir Psalmos.

Lithuanian Composers

Vytautas Barkauskas

Konzertstück Nr. 2

Balys Dvarionas

Concerto for violin and ochestra

Variations for bassoon and orchestra

Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis

"In the Forest"

Julius Gaidelis

Overture (1966)

Arvydas Malcys

Festus meae terrae (1989)

Only Heaven Above Us (2003)

MozART Games (2005)

Symphony No.3 Grunwald


Essentric bolero

Jonas Tamulionis

"Polifonical games"


"Toccata diavolesca"

Opera and Ballet

On the Music Tchaikovsky P., Bizet G., Adam A., Schnittke A Red Giselle

Voice and Symphony Orchestra

Gustav Mahler

Rückert Lieder (5) for voice and orchestra

Works for piano and orchestra

Bela Bartok

Concerto for piano and orchestra No. 3, Sz 119, BB 127

Ludwig van Beethoven

Concerto for piano and orchestra No. 5 in E flat major, op. 73

Concerto for piano and orchestra No.3 in C minor, op.37

Edvard Grieg

Concerto for piano and orchestra in A minor

Franz Liszt

Concerto for piano and orchestra No.1, in E flat major

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, KV 488

Sergei Rachmaninov

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Camille Saint-Saens

Concerto for piano and orchestra No.5 ("Egyptian") in F major, op.103

Alfred Schnittke

Concerto for piano and strings

Robert Schumann

Concerto for piano and orchestra in A minor, op.54

Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, op. 23

Works for Cello and Orchestra

Edward Elgar

Concerto for cello and orchestra in E minor, Op. 85

Joseph Haydn

Concerto for cello and orchestra in C major

Witold Lutosławski

Concerto for cello and orchestra

Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Variations on a Rococo Theme, for cello and orchestra in A major, op. 33

Works for Violin and Orchestra

Johann Sebastian Bach

Double Concerto for two violins and orchcestra in D minor, BWV 1043

Ludwig van Beethoven

Concerto for violin and orchestra in D major, op.61

Alban Berg

Concerto for violin and orchestra “Dem Andenken eines Engels” (“In Memory of an Angel”)

Johannes Brahms

Concerto for violin and orchestra in D major, op.77

Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra in A minor, Op. 102

Max Bruch

Concerto for violin and orchestra in G minor

Joseph Haydn

Concerto for violin and orchestra in G major No. 4, H 7a

Felix Mendelssohn

Concerto for violin and orchestra in E minor

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Concerto for violin and orchestra No. 3, KV 216

Sergei Prokofiev

Violin Concerto No.1 in D major, Op. 19

Antonio Rosetti

Symphonie concertante for two violins and orchestra in D major

Pablo de Sarasate

Zigeunerweisen, for violin and orchestra /"Gypsy Airs", op. 20

Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Violin Concerto in D major, op. 35


Georges Bizet

"Carmen", opera

Gaetano Donizetti

L'Elisir D'Amore

Richard Strauss


Richard Wagner

Die Walkure


Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

Concerto for flute and strings

Franz Danzi

Sinfonia Concertante for flute, clarinet and orchestra in B-flat major, Op. 41

Alexander Glazunov

Saxophone Concerto in E flat major, op.109

Jacques Ibert

Concerto for flute and orchestra

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Clarinet Concerto in A major, K.622

Francis Poulenc

Concerto for organ, strings and timpani in G minor, FP 93

Richard Strauss

Concerto for oboe  in D major, op. 144

Grigoriy Zaicev

Musica Trista for mandolin and orchestra

Other Works

Ludwig van Beethoven

"Egmont", overture, op. 84

"Coriolan", overture, op. 62

Symphony No.3 in E flat major, op.55, Sinfonia eroica

Symphony No.5 in C minor, op. 67

Symphony No.7 in A major, op. 92

Symphony No.9 in D minor, op. 125

Hector Berlioz

La damnation de Faust

Johannes Brahms

Symphony No.1 in C minor, op. 68

Symphony No.2 in D major, op. 73

Benjamin Britten

Ballade for two pianos and orchestra

Frederic Chopin

Variations La ci darem la mano in B flat major, op. 2

Claude Debussy

Prelude a l'Apres-midi d'un Faune


Ibéria for orchestra, L. 122/2

Paul Dukas

L' apprenti sorcier (Scherzo)

Antonin Dvorak

Symphony No.8

Symphony No.9 in E minor, Z Noveho Sveta

"Karneval", overture

Slavonic Dances / Slovanské tance

Edward Elgar

Serenade for strings

Mikhail Glinka

Souvenirs of a Summer Night in Madrid (Spanish Overture No. 2), for orchestra

Edvard Grieg

"Peer Gynt", suites op. 46 and op. 55

Holberg suite

Joseph Haydn

Symphony No. 103 in E flat major, "Drumroll"

Symphony No.85 in B flat major, "La Reine"

Symphony No. 57 in D major, Hob. I/57

Paul Hindemith


Arthur Honegger

Le roi David, dramatic psalm

Paul Huber

Elegie for chamber orchestra

Aram Khachaturian

Suites from the ballets Spartacus and Gayane

Franz Liszt

Les preludes

Symphonic poem ”Mazeppa”

Witold Lutosławski

Little suite / Mała suita

Concerto for orchestra

Gustav Mahler

Symphony No.5 in C sharp minor

Felix Mendelssohn

"The Lovely Melusine", overture

Symphony for strings No. 10 in B minor

Stanisław Moniuszko

Overture from opera Halka

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Symphony No.40 in G minor

Overture from opera Don Giovanni

Sergei Prokofiev

Symphony No.5 in B flat major

"Romeo and Juliet", suites No.1, 2, op.64, No.3, op. 101

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Scheherazade, symphonic suite for orchestra, op.35

Antonio Rosetti

Sinfonia Concertante for two violins and orchestra in D major

Gioachino Rossini

Overture from opera La gazza ladra / "The Thieving Magpie"

John Rutter


Camille Saint-Saens

Le carnaval des animaux / "Carnival of the Animals"

Pablo de Sarasate

Concert Fantasy on themes from Bizet's Carmen, for violin and orchestra, op.25

Franz Schubert

Der Tod und das Mädchen, D810 (Gustav Mahler’s transcription for string orchestra)

Robert Schumann

Symphony No.4. in D minor, op.120

Dmitri Shostakovich

Symphony No. 10, in E minor, Op. 93

Symphony No.5 in D minor, op. 47

Jean Sibelius

Symphony No.4 in D major, op.43

Bedřich Smetana

Vltava / The Moldau, symphonic poem (Ma Vlast No. 2)

Richard Strauss

Ein Heldenleben, poem for orchestra, op.40

Waltz suite from opera ”Der Rosenkavalier”

Igor Stravinsky

Petrushka, ballet

Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Symphony No.4 in F minor, op.36

"Nutcracker", suite from the ballet, op. 71a

Francesca da Rimini, symphonic fantasy in E minor, op. 32

Symphony No. 5, in E minor, Op. 64

Souvenir de Florence in D minor, Op. 70 (version for string orchestra)

Giuseppe Verdi


Overture from opera I Vespri siciliani

Quattro pezzi sacri / Four Sacred Pieces for chorus and orchestra

Heitor Villa-Lobos

Choros No. 10, for chorus and orchestra

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Symphony No. 2 ”A London Symphony”

MAX BRUCH - Concerto for violin and orchestra No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26



Merūnas Vitulskis and Kaunas State Symphony Orchestra. G. Puccini Nessun Dorma

Richard Strauss - Don Juan, Op. 20 Excerpt

Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra

ANTONIO PASCULLI – Concerto on themes from Donizetti’s La Favorita (part 2)


Soloist VIKTOR PALEJ (oboe)

Giedrius Kuprevičius: LUX AETERNA / I Love

"I love" - from oratorium" Eternal Light". Liudas Mikalauskas (bass). Giedrius Kuprevičius (piano), choir and symphony orchestra from Kaunas (Lithuania)

Concert at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Hall, 2014 November 15





Nights of Spain

JOAQUÍN RODRIGO – Concierto madrigal for two guitars and orchestra

ALFONSO MONTES – Surama for two guitars and orchestra

MANUEL DE FALLA – Excerpts from the ballet El sombrero de tres picos

ARVYDAS MALCYS – Eccentric Bolero

ZOLTAN KODÁLY – Dances of Galanta

"Sibelius’s Second Symphony in D-major, prepared by the young conductor, was performed during the second part of the concert and allowed the orchestra’s free expression: revealing all its resources of timbre and dynamics. The Finnish composer’s music is a favourable material for a conductor to show himself. This music is like a monumental canvas, where images from the past are painted in rich colours with abundant musical narratives. Since music renders epics not through specific means (like fine arts), but through its appeal to emotions; then expression becomes especially important when interpreting opuses of this genre. The director has really successfully coped with this task. The opus, when interpreted by him, acquired very clear emotional outlines and a direction of musical narrative leading to the elevated and sublime final."

Živilė Ramoškaitė. "Muzikos barai", November, 2002

Well known opuses by W. A. Mozart and F. Schubert were performed on 12 April at the National Philharmonic, but considering the way they were performed, we can safely say these were exceptional interpretations. The pensive and temperamental conductor M. Pitrėnas who has found a close contact with the orchestra has, I think, markedly added to this impression. He not only conveyed his own interpretation of music, but literally instilled it in the orchestra and thus achieved an artistic shake-up that happens so rarely, such as his interpretation of F. Schubert’s quartet Death and the Maiden.

Živilė Ramoškaitė, “Exceptional Interpretations of Mozart and Schubert” (“Išskirtinės Mozarto ir Schuberto interpretacijos”), 7 meno dienos, 20 04 2007

The second part of the concert presented an elevated and remarkable performance of Modest Musorgski’s suite for orchestra Pictures at an Exhibition. (...) The fresh, natural, creative perception of music demonstrated by the conductor M. Pitrėnas, his suggestion and clear swings inspired orchestra musicians to play lively and imaginatively. Colourful musical pictures, joined in a compact way, formed a harmonious whole, which did not bore the audience.

Aldona Eleonora Radvilaitė, “Saint-Saëns in French” (“Saint-Saënsas prancūziškai”), 7 meno dienos, 18 02 2005

The young master of the baton was the centre of attraction and the inspiration of the evening. G. Mahler’s scores were placed on his music-stand: Five Songs according to poems by F. Rückert and the monumental Symphony No. 5 cis-moll, music promising a discovery. (...) M. Pitrėnas was the axis of all events in the symphony. Even if absolutely blended with the orchestra, he, like an experienced director, constantly holds tightly and controls every sound-dramatic line. His perfect manual technique guarantees the precision of gestures. Although boiling with emotion, he does not lose his cold reason and the pulse of music even for a moment. He thinks in large brushes. It is obvious that M. Pitrėnas has taken his disposition for monumentality from his professor in conducting, art director of LNSO, J. Domarkas. Finally, M. Pitrėnas is very artistic. His artistry is natural, not staged; it emanates from inside and always creates a consonance with music. This rare characteristic admired by the audience overwhelms them immediately. The culmination of the symphony completely enthrals the audience. The last chord coincides with the first enthusiastic ‘Bravo!’ The cries merge with ovations, even stamping feet.

Vladas Zalatoris, “The Conductor’s Challenge was Justified” (“Dirigento iššūkis pasiteisino”), 7 meno dienos, 27 02 2004