Lithuania in the News - In Brief
17th June, 2007
Arūnas Bižokas and Edita Daniūtė winning
at Blackpool.Photo courtesy Lietuvos Rytas
Ultimate Dancesport Triumph for Bižokas and Daniūtė
Lithuanian dancesport champions Arūnas Bižokas and Edita Daniūtė, from the Kaunas "Sūkurys" club, have achieved what many regard as the ultimate achievement in the dancesport world, by winning gold in the Blackpool Dance Festival in England, May 31, 2007. They came first in the Blackpool Amateur Ballroom Standard competition, in which well over 200 couples from near 40 countries competed. Another Lithuanian couple, Donatas Vėželis and Lina Chatkevičiūtė, took 16th place. Australian couple Matthew Rooke and Anna Longmore took 21st place.

Fashion designer Juozas
Statkevičius. Photo courtesy
IEVA magazine
Further information:, 01/06/07

Lithuanian Designer Juozas Statkevičius to Dress Princess Mary of Denmark
The noted Lithuanian fashion designer Juozas Statkevičius has been engaged to design clothes for Princess Mary of Denmark. One of Statkevičius’ creations will be worn during the christening in July 2007 of Princess Mary’s newly born daughter. This will be of particular interest to Australian Lithuanians, as Princess Mary was born in Tasmania.

Further information: 02/06/07

Composer Vykintas Baltakas.
Photo courtesy Lietuvos Žinios.
Young Composer Vykintas Baltakas Wins Prestigious Siemens Prize
The Siemens Prize is often called the Nobel Prize for music. Last May 2007 the Lithuanian composer Vykintas Baltakas won one of the two Siemens prizes for younger composers. The other younger composers’ prize went to the German composer Markus Hechtle. The main prize went to the British composer Brian Ferneyhough. The Siemens prize has been previously awarded to such famous musicians as Benjamin Britten, Herbert von Karajan, Karlheinz Stockhausen and others. Vykintas Baltakas first achieved notice in the international music world for his first opera "Cantio", premiered at the Munich Biennale 2004.

Further information: 11/05/07

Lithuanian contingent at the Turin Book Fair.
Photo courtesy Lietuvos Žinios
Lithuania - This Year’s Guest of Honour at the Turin Book Fair
Lithuania was the guest of honour at the Turin Book Fair in Italy this year. The book fair, one of the most significant cultural events in Italy and one of the largest books fairs in Europe, attracted over 300,000 visitors over four days May 11-14, 2007. In his welcoming speech the Italian Minister for Culture, Francesco Rutelli, declared that "Lithuania’s presence shows us that just because country is small, it in no way implies a small culture". The book fair and associated activities ensured that Lithuania took centre stage. There were meetings with Lithuanian authors and other personalities, concerts and retrospectives by Lithuanian film makers.

Further information: 12/06/07, 16/05/07

Lithuania’s President Valdas Adamkus and foreign minister Petras
Vaitiekūnas (fourth and third from right at the table) at the
meeting in Cracow to discuss alternative energy supplies.
Photo courtesy President of Lithuania website
Important Meeting Discusses Regional Energy Policy
A meeting in Cracow, Poland, on May 11, 2007, to discuss alternative energy supplies to Europe brought together the Presidents of Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan. They signed a declaration making a firm decision to start the process for a new pipeline to be constructed through Georgia and Ukraine to pipe oil from Azerbaijan to Gdansk in Poland. This should reduce the dependence of Europe on Russian energy supplies, especially in the Baltic region. The President of Kazakhstan was also due to attend, however a quickly arranged visit by Russia’s President Putin to Kazakhstan altered his plans, but Kazakhstan still sent a special presidential representative to the Cracow meeting. The next meeting of the group will be in Vilnius, Lithuania, in August, to which other European countries are also expected to contribute.

Further information: 12/06/07, 17/05/07