MIXED CHOIR “CANTARE”
The "Cantare" Mixed Choir of the ŽVEJŲ RŪMAI Culture Centre of the Klaipėda City Municipality was founded in 1990. Vidmantas Ruzgys was the founder and the first leader of the choir. The group has been known as Cantare since 1998. The current leader of the singers is Artūras Dambrauskas who has been with the choir since 2000. The choir is composed of over 40 singers.
The group actively participates in musical and cultural events of Klaipėda City, festivals, anniversaries, scientific conferences, and World Lithuanian Song Festivals. The choir is also actively involved in the concert and educational activities at schools, as well as in developing joint projects with Klaipėda City theatres, museums and other groups or organisations.
The choir’s repertoire includes old and modern choral music. The ensemble popularises the works of Lithuanian composers and collaborates with performers of popular music (Egidijus Sipavičius, Linas Adomaitis, Doudy Jazz Band, "Smile", "Bavaria" and "Studija" bands).
The choir often organises concerts of sacred music in Lithuanian churches, and was awarded a gold diploma at the Cantate Domino festival and competition of youth chamber choirs in Kaunas in 2004.
Cantare became the “silver” laureate in the Voices of Lithuania national choir competition organised by the Lithuanian National Radio and Television in 2009 (6 of those TV shows were released in DVD format).
In 2016, the choir won the 3rd place in the category of mixed choirs at the 20th International S. Šimkus Choir Competition, as well as the choir was awarded the prize of Klaipėda City Municipality for the best performance of a contemporary author’s work (Šūvis (Shot) by L. Vilkončius). In 2018, at the 21st competition, the choir managed to win the 2nd place (1st degree diploma) and a prize for the best performance of a contemporary author’s work (Thou Has Ravished My Heart by V. Augustinas).
Within nearly three decades since its first performance abroad (in 2008), the choir has sung in many European countries and participated in prestigious international festivals and competitions, quite often winning awards there. For the achievements and the prizes won in international competitions and festivals, the choir was awarded the prestigious Aukso paukštė (Golden Bird) award (in the Star of International Radiance nomination) by the Lithuanian National Culture Centre and the World Lithuanian Song Festival Foundation.
On 2 November 2018, a group of the members of the Cantare Choir sang in the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, which is one of the world’s most modern arenas, holding 17,000 seats. There, a joint choir of 2,000 performers from 27 countries of the world performed The Armed Man: a Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins, a popular British composer.
The most significant of the latest performances of the choir are as follows: the Pasidainavimai su Veronika Povilioniene (Singing with Veronika Povilionienė) event in the Concert Hall of LMTA Klaipėda Faculty (2018), participation in the event of the Vandenynai (Oceans) concert tour of L. Adomaitis held in Švyturio Arena in Klaipėda (2018), the Senovinė ugnies naktis (Ancient Night of Fire) event on the Baltic Sea coast (2018-2019), the Regina angelis sacred music festival in Šiluva (2019), the March 11th Action and Padovanok Laisvę (Give Freedom) festive concert with Erica Jennings, Jurgis Didžiulis and Vidas Bareikis on the Biržos Bridge in Klaipėda (2020).