AIDIJA Chamber Choir was founded in 1989 in Vilnius at the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Art at the initiative of Romualdas Gražinis. Known for their distinctive sound and performance style, this youthful collective regularly presents new programs featuring works by Lithuanian and foreign composers. AIDIJA gives over 30 concerts annually, performing a repertoire that spans from Gregorian chant to 21st century compositions, including choral miniatures of various styles, large-scale vocal works, vocal-instrumental compositions, and a cappella pieces. AIDIJA places a special emphasis on Lithuanian musical culture and has premiered numerous works by Lithuanian composers.
The choir was the first to perform complex works of Lithuanian composers, including B. Kutavičius' Stabat Mater (1995) and Pronounce Word – Lips Turn Into Ice (1996), O. Balakauskas' Requiem in Memoriam Stasys Lozoraitis (1996), A. Martinaitis' A Song to the Sister Sun (1996), O. Narbutaitė's Centones meae urbi (1997), F. Bajoras' Under this roof (2005).
AIDIJA has also premiered works by other Lithuanian composers, including R. Mažulis' Stigma (2009), M. Baranauskas' Templum Dei estis (2010), D. Zakaras' Viburnum in the Night (2011), N. Sinkevičiūtė's Whistle and Lithuanian Suite (2011), T. Brazys' The Nine Motets (2011), folk songs arranged by J. Karnavičius (2011), A. Remesa, K. Vasiliauskaitė, and V. Bartulis' sacral works for the concert Advent Pages (2012), V. Bartulis' My Mann’s Dune (2013) and Credo (2013), G. Samsonas' Mass for Choir and Orchestra to mark the 600th anniversary of Kaunas Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul (2013, performed in Kaunas and Vilnius), A. Martinaitis' Oration on the 600th Anniversary of the Baptism of the Samogitian People (2013), R. Kabelis' The Rain of Roses (2014), G. Samsonas' Mass for the Motherland (2016), O. Balakauskas' Break of Day (2016), and D. Čemerytė's Letters: Venice – Nida (2017).
From the choir’s substantial repertoire of classical masterpieces, one can pick out specialities such as the Requiems of W. A. Mozart, F. Biber and M. Durufle, A. Vivaldi’s Gloria, H. Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, J. Haydn’s Missa brevis St. Joannis de Deo, G. F. Handel’s Trauerhymne, J. S. Bach cantatas and other vocal works.
AIDIJA has performed in numerous major festivals in Lithuania, including the Vilnius Festival, the Thomas Mann Festival, the Pažaislis Festival, the Banchetto Musicale early music festival, and the Gaida and Jauna Muzika contemporary music festivals. The choir has also traveled extensively, with performances in most European countries, as well as China, Sakartvelo, and Israel. Additionally, AIDIJA has appeared at many prominent music festivals and cultural events worldwide, such as the Pax et bonum per musicam festival in Wroclaw (2011, 2016), the Contemporary Music Festival Music Forum Hradec Králové in the Czech Republic (2012), the International Music Gardens Festival in Warsaw (2013), the 6th Tbilisi International Choral Music Festival (2016), the Moravian Autumn festival in Brno (2017), the Lithuanian Story Culture Festival in Tel Aviv (2019), the Stiftsmusikfest International Festival in Stuttgart (2019), Without Distance: Lithuanian Culture in Bavaria (2021), and a presentation of Lithuanian choral music at the Brønshøj Water Tower in Copenhagen (2021).
AIDIJA has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades throughout its history. In 1992, the choir was awarded the laureate award in the International Choir Competition in Great Britain, followed by the best youth choir award in a similar competition in Wales (Llangollen) in 1994. In 1992, AIDIJA also received the Prize for old music promotion from the magazine "Krantai," and a second S. Šimkus Prize for the promotion of contemporary Lithuanian choral music in 1993. The choir won the Lithuanian International Choir Competition in 2006, as well as the Grand Prize at the Cantate Domino Sacred Music Competition in Kaunas. In 2007, AIDIJA was honored with the "Golden Bird" and the nomination "The Brightest Star of Lithuania" by the Lithuanian Folk Culture Center. In 2017, AIDIJA participated in the 15th International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf (Germany) and received a "very good performance at international level" evaluation. The choir also had great success in the 3rd International Baltic Sea Choir Competition in Jurmala (Latvia) in 2018.
AIDIJA has had the honor of performing alongside Ennio Morricone, an Academy Award recipient in 2008, and to have sung for Pope Francis during his visit to Lithuania in 2018, at the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights.
AIDIJA has collaborated with outstanding Lithuanian and foreign performers, ensembles and orchestras, such as the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio, Brno Philharmonic Choir, the Frankfurt Singakademie Choir, the Frankfurt Symphony, the Wiesbaden Symphony, the Belarus Symphony, the Israel Chamber, the Lithuanian National Symphony, the Lithuanian State Symphony, the Lithuanian Chamber and the St. Christopher Chamber orchestras, Lithuanian National Opera choir and orchestra, the Musica Humana and the Ex Tempore ensembles, the Vilnius String Quartet, the Čiurlionis String Quartet, the Art Brass Quartet and others.
AIDIJA maintains a close partnership with the Church Heritage Museum, where they have held approximately 30 concerts from 2011 to 2022. Most of these performances are music-educational programs that include lectures on the nobility of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, as well as concerts that showcase a range of church music. Since 2014, AIDIJA has successfully presented the Musica Sacra: 14th–21st Century Church Music Masterpieces lecture-concert series, which introduces audiences to Gregorian chant, early polyphony, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic composers, as well as contemporary sacred music composed by Lithuanian and foreign artists
AIDIJA has been a regular participant in the International Thomas Mann Festival held in Nida for many years. Since the festival's inauguration in 1996, the choir has had the privilege of premiering numerous works by talented Lithuanian composers and hosting workshops for young conductors from both Lithuania and other countries.
AIDIJA has an extensive discography, having recorded numerous works for Lithuanian Radio and Television, soundtracks for documentaries and feature films, and theatre productions. The choir has released around 20 music albums, including the highly acclaimed recording of B. Kutavičius’ The Last Pagan Rites on the Finnish Ondine label in 2001. In 2019, AIDIJA collaborated with the Music Information Centre Lithuania to record B. Kutavičius’ works From the Jatvingian Stone and The Last Pagan Rites for a new vinyl release. Additionally, the choir recorded Lithuanian folk songs, harmonized by M. K. Čiurlionis, in the autumn of the same year.