Lithuanians in the News
19th April 2009
Lithuania’s Musical Instrument “Birbynë” on the International Classical Music Stage

Darius Kliðys playing the “birbynë”.
Photo courtesy Lietuvos Rytas
Lithuanian “birbynë” player Darius Kliðys was selected to play with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, which performed at the famed Carnegie Hall in New York last Wednesday, April 15 2009. The orchestra was conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, musical director of the San Francisco Symphony and guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. It played composer Tan Dun’s “Internet Symphony No. 1, Eroica”, specially arranged for the occasion, and selections from other classical composers. Tan Dun is the Oscar-winning composer for the music of the film “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”.
For selection to the YouTube Symphony Orchestra more than 3,000 videos were received from around the world. These were pared down to 200 finalists by professional musicians from leading symphony orchestras and the final selection of some 90 players from about 30 countries was made by Michael Thomas and YouTube visitors. Among the YouTube Symphony Orchestra
Michael Thomas, the conductor of the YouTube Symphony
Orchestra. Photo courtesy
players were also two Australians - Lauren Brigden, a viola player from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and Lin Jiang, a French horn player currently working in Malaysia. Since its launch last December, the YouTube Symphony Orchestra channel has received more than 15 million hits.
The “birbynë” is a Lithuanian folk wind instrument with a beautiful tone quality, sounding somewhat like a saxophone on the lower notes and a clarinet on the high notes. When played by a master of the instrument it provides a superb musical experience. The “birbynë” is beginning to be recognised on the international classical music stage and its video presentation on YouTube by Darius Kliðys impressed many critics. 26 different instruments in all were selected for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra.

Further information: 16/04/09 15/04/09 23/03/09