Thomas Mann Festival: Was the Pandora Box Opened a Century Ago?

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This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 1917 October Coup in Russia. In the middle of July, the Thomas Mann Festival and its guests will analyse what kind of imprint this event, that had radically changed the society, made on culture and arts. The “Pandora’s Box?” has a solid tradition by now – this year festival’s programme is the fourth of a five-year cycle, dedicated to commemorating the centenary of the First World War.

Thomas Mann Festival returns to Nida for the 21st time now. Its music, discourse, history, art and film programme will not lack some pleasant surprises, promises Dr. Lina Motuziene, Thomas Mann Festival’s Coordinator and Director of the Thomas Mann Cultural Centre. The meticulously prepared programme has a few innovations.

Having chosen for Festival’s moto the commemoration of the centenary anniversary of the First World War, we will have quests not only from Lithuania, Germany, and Poland, but also from Russia this year.  When analysing the consequences of the 1917 revolution in the cultural and artistic spheres, we have to include in this discussion intellectuals from the country where this event took place. This year, a famous Russian journalist and political commentator Konstantin von Eggert will come to Nida, speaking on a captivating topic about A Century of Inescapable Past”, said the coordinator of the Festival Dr. L. Motuziene.

In the opening concert of the Thomas Mann Festival, the work of a younger generation composer Diana Čemerytė “Letters: Venice-Nida”, created specially for the Festival, will be performed along other works.  When creating this  piece, the composer sought inspiration from Thomas Man's novel Death in Venice. Compositions for wind instruments, written by composers Franz Danz, Carl Nielsen, György Liget will be performed for the first time during the Festival. One of the concerts of the Thomas Mann Festival will be dedicated to works by Russian composers Alexander Glazunov, Alexander Cherepnin and Alfred Schnittke.

For the first time in the history of the Thomas Mann Festival, an essay contest for young people was announced and its winners were selected.

To our great surprise, it was hugely popular among young people. We received numerous essays, and the competent panel selected three winners who will have the opportunity to present their work to the international audience at this year's Festival”, says Dr. L. Motuziene.

As every year, people will be invited to attend cinema of the Tomas Mann Festival, where works of the prominent  directors from Lithuania, Germany and Poland will be shown. This year is the first time that we will see an animated cartoon film, with a soundtrack performed alive by German musician and media artist Thomas Köner.

Visitors of the Thomas Mann Festival will be invited to see reflections of history in art by attending exhibitions that will open almost every day in new locations. 

The patrons of the Thomas Mann Festival traditionally are the President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus and the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO.