Saulius Sondekis is one of
the prominent conductors
of modern times. He conducted
the Leningrad Philharmonic for the
first time at the invitation of Yevgeny
Mravinsky. Since then he has
performed with the worldĺs best
orchestras Ś the Tchaikovsky
Symphony Orchestra, the USSR
State Symphony Orchestra and
the Mariinsky; ORTF, LĺOrchestre
Nationale de Belgique, Toronto
Philharmonic et al.
Mr. Sondeckis was the first Lithuanian conductor to have the
honour of performing at the Salzburg Festival (four times!), and of
conducting the Berlin Philharmonic and the Leipzig Gewandhaus. The
Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra was founded by him in 1960 and became
well known throughout the former Soviet Union. In 1976 it was
recognized as one of the best orchestras in the world after receiving
the Gold Medal at the International Junior Orchestras Competition in
In 1993 he conducted a unified orchestra of Prize Winners in
Davos, Switzerland, then the Junior Orchestra founded by Leonard
Bernstein at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival. Critics of the time wrote
unanimously that Sondeckis had to be the new head of the Chamber
Orchestra of Europe.
Besides establishing the Vilnius Chamber Orchestra, Mr. Sondeckis
has also founded the St. Petersburg Kamerata (now the State
Hermitage Orchestra), and the Orchestra of Patras, Greece.
Among the conductorĺs favourite composers are first of all, Bach
and Mozart, as well as contemporaries: Schnittke, Pńrt, Shchedrin,
Vasks, and Slonimsky.
The wide recognition of Sondeckisĺs creative merits has been
confirmed by many awards and titles such as Peopleĺs Artist of the
USSR (1980), USSR State Prize Winner (1987), Lithuanian Government
Prize Winner (1998), and Prize Winner of the Lithuanian
National Prize (1999). He has also been decorated with honours by
many different countries in the world.