Darius Varnas

Darius Varnas

Ukmergė District Municipality Mayor Darius Varnas








ŽŪB Egvila


Ukmergės meno mokykla



The traditional “Percussion Ukmergė 2024” festival became a series of concerts

The Percussion Festival returned to Ukmergė for the 19th time this year. “Percussion Ukmergė 2024” became a series of concerts – on March 11, the first concert of the festival “Spring Psalms” was played.

The festival was solemnly opened by the percussionist ensemble of the Art School of Ukmergė with the concert program “Celebrate Freedom”. The young percussionists performed a piece at the Commemorative Plate where tricolor Lithuanian flag raised for the first time in Ukmergė in 1988. The teacher of the percussion ensemble is Arnas Mikalkėnas.

The first concert of the festival also marked Lithuania’s Independence Day. “For 34 years, Lithuania has been nurturing its freedom, and today we can only be happy that we speak freely and see the clear sky. Therefore, let’s stay united and celebrate freedom!” – the mayor of Ukmergė district municipality Darius Varnas congratulated the guests gathered at the concert. Members of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania Juozas Varžgalys and Algirdas Stončaitis also contributed to the congratulations.

The festival concert “Spring psalms” was played in the Ukmergė’s cultural center. The first part of the concert was opened by pianist, percussionist, composer and improviser Arnas Mikalkėnas with the piece “Monodrum” by the Polish composer and vocalist Agata Zubel. Also, together with Arnas Mikalkėnas, percussionist and composer Arkady Gotesman performed the piece “Hymns”. The piece “Hymns” was played live for the first time – concert participants heard the premiere of this piece. The piece “Hymns” was written by A. Mikalkėnas himself, and this premiere was awaited not only by fans of the percussion festival, but also by A. Mikalkėnas and A. Gotesman themselves. As the musicians had long planned to play a joint piece together, the 19th Percussion Ukmergė 2024 festival became a great opportunity to realize the common goal.

In the second part of the concert, “Spring Psalms” by Osvaldas Balakauskas was performed by the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra with the conductor Karolis Variakojis, together with Arkady Gotesman (percussion), Tomas Botyrius (saxophone), Valerijus Ramoška (trumpet) and Daniele Banišauskaitė (piano).

Osvaldas Balakauskas wrote the work “Spring psalms” in 2013 and dedicated it to Arkady Gotesman himself. O. Balakauskas, inspired by A. Gotesman’s expectations, wrote the work in 6 days. In the same year, this piece was performed for the first time at the “Vilnius Jazz” festival, conducted by Donatas Katkus. This year, the sound of the piece “Spring psalms” crowned the first concert of the “Percussion Ukmergė 2024” festival.

The international festival “Percussion Ukmergė 2024” is sponsored by the municipality of Ukmergė district, the Lithuanian Culture Council and the agricultural company “Egvila”. Patron of the festival is “Baltic American Concord” group of companies, sponsor is “Stansefabrikken” Ukmergė. The partners of the festival are Bardai.lt and Art School of Ukmergė. The patron of the festival is Darius Varnas, mayor of Ukmergė district municipality.


Concert gallery here. Photo credits Dainius Vytas.


The next “Percussion Ukmergė 2024” concerts will take place on May 30-31, June 1 and August 31. We invite you to follow the information on the social media of Ukmergė Culture Center and Ukmergė Municipality.