Meet Igne Pikalaviciute

Igne Pikalaviciute auditioned for the Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic six years ago and she’s never looked back: “The audition was one of the best ones I’ve ever done, and I’ve kept returning to BYP ever since.” She’s participated in nearly every BYP LAB and concert tour, making her one of the most dedicated and longstanding members, and a passionate advocate for the orchestra.

Indeed, Igne describes BYP as a major influence on her music career: “It is one of the most important things in my life right now. It has been ever since I joined, because I’ve learnt so much and I use that knowledge in my life. It’s given me a new attitude, new energy, new feelings about music.” She is also inspired by the sense of international community the orchestra offers: “I love to socialise with other musicians, meeting people with different ideas, feelings and motivations.” As for the musical input, she says, “It is a totally different experience. I get inspired, and feel such energy.”

Igne started her musical career at music school in Kaunas, Lithuania, in 1995. Twenty years on, she has an impressive curriculum vitae. She studied with Rimantas Armonas at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in Vilnius and graduated in 2013 with a Masters Degree. She has participated in various solo and chamber music masterclasses and festivals, including Harmos (Portugal, 2011) and the International Student Chamber Music Festival (Estonia, 2012), and she is a member of the St Christopher Chamber Orchestra in Vilnius.

As well as orchestral playing, Igne is committed to chamber music and in 2012 formed a quartet with colleagues: two former BYP musicans, Simas Tankevicius and Aiste Birvydaite, and Jurgis Juozapaitis. Their quartet, Adora, is based in Vilnius, and they have already scooped up prizes: the 2014 Young Music Performer Award from the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, and first prize at the 2015 International Chamber Music Competition in Illzach, France. As with playing in BYP, it’s the sense of community that she enjoys about chamber music, the shared experience: “It’s a special joy, playing with these people and feeling the musical satisfaction together, living through pieces as we perform them.”

One of her favourite musical experiences was performing Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. She says, “The piece is so wild – it had a huge effect on me.” She has also enjoyed working on Brahms’s symphonies: “His compositions have such complex developments and beautiful culminations.” And she is a big fan of Beethoven’s late string quartets, about which she says, “Beethoven was the prophet of the greatest changes in music, especially with his late string quartets.”

It’s not all classical music, though. Her musical tastes are diverse and include hip-hop, electronic music and Indie Rock – her favourite band is The Strokes. She also has a creative streak, and makes collages out of fashion and interior design magazines. She says, “I’ve always been attracted to the visual arts.”

However, Ignė’s focus is very much on her blossoming musical career, and BYP is still a very important part of that, however tight her schedule is becoming. She remains passionate about the orchestra, and about the musical and social experience, it offers her and her friends: “Every time I get on stage and feel the whole orchestra playing together, feeling the beat together, it’s an amazing feeling. You cannot get it anywhere else.” No wonder she keeps coming back.

Meet Igne Pikalaviciute also in a BYP feature video