Symphony ‘Elixir’ and the Songs of Love and Solitude


Invites you to a launch event and talk by composer Keith Burstein on the recording of

Symphony ‘Elixir’ and the Songs of Love and Solitude

Performed and recorded in Kaunas in 2012 by

 Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra

and Rita Novikaite? – mezzo soprano

and now released for general distribution by Naxos

Wednesday 29th January 2014

6.30 for 7.00 pm

Lithuanian Embassy, London SW1

It was the great Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy who encouraged Keith Burstein in the composition of his Symphony ‘Elixir’ and who then helped him to record the work in Kaunas. The distinguished pianist/ conductor had previously introduced Burstein’s Symphony to the record company Naxos and the recording of the Symphony, together with an orchestral song cycle, the Songs of Love and Solitude, sung by the wonderful Lithuanian Mezzo Soprano, Rita Novikait?, was released in December 2013.


The journey to Lithuania and the realization of this project represented more than the completion of two major new works in the composer’s canon – it was a return for the first time for anyone in his family to the place of his family origins, and as such was a kind of homecoming – after more than a century.

No stranger to controversy, the composer, whose music, radically tonal and deeply expressive has always engendered strong responses, found himself embraced and supported by his Lithuanian cultural heritage.

On this launch occasion for the recording, the composer recounts the journey, musical, spiritual and physical to his ancestral homeland, illustrated by extracts from the Symphony and Songs.

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For B-LS members and guests.

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