International drum and percussion festival in Ukmergė
Since 2005 Day of Restoration of Independence of Lithuania – 11 March – in Ukmerge is mentioned with music of drums and percussion.
A few days various performances take place on the scene of the Ukmerge cultural centre. There performing not only Lithuanian, but also the foreign stars from the Europe, United States, Brazil, Mexico, Japan and many other countries. Since the first Festival in Ukmerge many concerts have been leadeded by the Government’s arts and culture Prize Laureate, musicologist Viktoras Gerulaitis.
When Festival moved from Vilnius to Ukmerge, here started the Contest of Jonas Talocka for the young performers of the Baltic Republics. In this, every second year organized contest, were involved young artists, later appearing on the stage of the Festival in the Ukmerge cultural center. Later were organized Competitions for Lithuanian schools musical instruments percussion ensembles. There were organized master classes, which were leaded by the festival profesional musicians.
Since 2014, Edgars Saksons, the concertmaster of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Professor of the Latvian Academy of Music, has been invited to work as the artistic director of the festival.
Thanks to him, the world famous percussion performers arrive in Ukmerge at the beginning of March. The festival takes place not only in Ukmerge cultural center, but goes in Taujenai manor too. In the closing concert of the festival is performed premiere or specially prepared works for chamber orchestra and soloists.
Since 2014, the concerts of the festival are presented to the public by musicologist Darius Užkuraitis.