Petrauskas, Mikas

Petrauskas, Mikas

 

Born July 13, 1873, in Palūsė settlement, in what is now Ignalina Raion; died Mar. 23, 1937, in Kaunas. Lithuanian composer, conductor, and music figure.

The son of an organist, Petrauskas was the brother of K. Petrauskas. He received his musical training at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, from which he graduated in 1906 after completing a curriculum in singing under S. I. Gabel’. In St. Petersburg he organized a chorus of Lithuanian students and workers for which he adapted Lithuanian folk songs. In 1903, also in St. Petersburg, he staged his operettas The Chimney Sweep and the Miller and Adam and Eve. In 1906 he staged his opera Birutė in Vilnius, the first musical production ever to be presented in Lithuania.

In 1905, Petrauskas had become friendly with members of the revolutionary movement in Vilnius, but in 1906 he was forced to go abroad. In Switzerland he set a number of revolutionary poems to music and adapted and translated revolutionary songs into Lithuanian. While he was living in the USA, he saw the production there of his opera Egle, Queen of the Snakes (1918) and a number of operettas. In 1920 he returned home, but his work received no encouragement in bourgeois Lithuania. Petrauskas composed two operas, many operettas, and more than 150 songs, including adaptations of folk songs.

REFERENCE

Gaudrimas, lu. “M. Petrauskas.” In Iz istorii litovskoi muzyki, vol. 1. Moscow, 1964. Pages 139-75.
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