The first International Kaunas Carillon Festival took place in the garden of Vytautas the Great War Museum on 2-3 September, 2017, presenting carillonists from Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France and Lithuania – Mathieu Daniel Polac (NL), Scott Orr (UK), Bertrand Olle-Guyraud (FR), Julius Vilnonis and Austėja Staniunaitytė (LT) – to the audiences of Kaunas.
For the first time, the audience was able to directly observe the carillonists playing at the top of the Bell Tower of the Museum. During the festival, it was possible to walk along the arcade connecting to the bell-tower and participate in “Sound-Color-Rhythm-Line” creative workshops for families in the courtyard of the National M.K. Čiurlionis Art Museum. Renatas Dūda’s interactive photo exhibition about Lithuanian carillons by was displayed on the screen.
The festival featured a diverse range of bell music. The selection of compositions varied from classic scores by French composers to variations in electronic and pop music or interpretations of the theme of “Harry Potter”. Saturday and Sunday presented these concerts: “A Dedication for Bells” (Julius Vilnonis), “A Landscape of Music” (Scott A. Orras), “Carillon + Electronic Music” (Jan Verhoyen), “The Rhythms of the World” (Mathieu Daniël Polak), “The Works of Lithuanian Composers, Lithuanian Folk Songs and Contractuals” (Austėja Staniunaitytė), “French Impressions” and the worldwide premiere of John Williams’s theme for “Harry Potter” arranged for carillon (Bertrand Ollé-Guiraud).
The International Kaunas Carillon Music Festival is organized by Kaunas Artists’ House.