M. and K. Petrauskai Lithuanian Music Museum
M. and K. Petrauskai Lithuanian Music Museum
of the Kaunas City Museum)
Address: K. Petrausko g. 31, LT-44162, Kaunas.
Tel./fax (+370 ~ 37) 73 33 71 (director).
Tel. (+370 ~ 37) 73 01 63.
Director – Asta Didirikienė.
Tuesday - Friday 9–17, Saturday 9–16.
adults – 6 Lt (1,74 €),
pupils, students, seniors – 4 Lt (1,16 €).
Free entrance for: children under school age, children from foster home,
children under social support, the disabled of Group I and Group II,
museologists of Lithuanian republican museums, members of International
Council of Museums.
Museum can be reached by buses Nr. 3, 6, 10, 21, 27, 29, 34, 37, 38, 43 and
mini-buses Nr. 3, 11, 14, 22, 24, 43.
A memorial flat of Kipras Petrauskas is a separate, autonomous museum
exposition. The flat is made up of 8 rooms and a passage. At the moment
visitors are welcome in 3 memorial rooms: a work room of soloist K.
Petrauskas, a living room and a room of E. Žalinkevičaitė-Petrauskienė and
two rooms for expositions.
Memorial rooms are upholstered with genuine furniture; walls are decorated
with pictures gifted to soloist K. Petrauksas on various occasions by
Lithuanian painters. The museum is very proud of this collection. It
includes several painting of P. Kalpokas, A. Žmuidzinavičius, L. Kazokas, K.
Šimonis, V. Didžiokas, A. Gudaitis, Š. Zelmanavičius, V. Eidukevičius and
other authors. In the living room visitor’s attention is captured by
beautiful items gifted for K. Petrauskas with inscriptions on them. There is
a particularly interesting one with engraved signatures of theatre people on
it gifted the soloist on the 20th anniversary of his creational work in
1926. A part of furniture set for the living room has been restored
according to the museum’s project partially funded by the Ministry of
Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.
In a cosy workroom of K. Petrauskas an attention is grabbed by an original
wooden bookshelf bought in 1928 and an antique style sculpture “Gloria” as
present for a participation in a car race around Lithuania in 1930 and other
authentic memorial items of the opera soloist.
are two new spaces in the flat: two rooms intended for expositions. Those
rooms previously were closed. At the moment one of them is devoted to the
history of Petrauskai house building and renovation. Nearby one can see a
genealogical tree of Petrauskai family. A small exposition located in
another room introduces a creational activity of the opera soloist K.
Petrauskas. One is able to see some charming characters from performances of
St. Petersburg’s Maria Theatre, historical moments of the birth of the
Lithuanian theatre, moments of tours in theatres around the world,
programmes of spectacles and an impressive portmanteau of K. Petrauskas’
tours. And that is only a tiny part of the entire collection telling us
about the unfading personality of the famous Lithuanian opera soloist K.
Petrauskas. One can also listen to the recordings of K. Petrauskas.
A house in which the museum was founded, had been built by Mikas and Kipras
Petrauskai according to the project of A. Golovinski. There were 6 flats
inside. Kipras Petrauskas settled down on the first floor and the family of
Mikas Petrauskas used to live on the ground floor from the yard side. Later
Adakris Petrauskas (son of Mikas) settled in an attic. Other flats were
In 1948 Kipras Petrauskas and his family moved to Vilnius along with the
transference of opera theatre. His flat in this house remained his property
till the end his life. One year after his death, in 1969, a decision of the
Council of Ministers regarding his house was announced. It was decided to
establish a museum of soloist Kipras Petraukas. Very first visitors were
able to attend museum’s exposition on 31 of January, 1977.
In 1994 the museum was renamed to Mikas and Kipras Petrauskai Lithuanian
Music Museum. In 2001 museum’s building was inscribed to the list of
Imovable cultural heritage of the Republic of Lithuania.
Museum’s exhibitions has been changed and renewed for several times. In 2006
reconstruction-renovation project has been started and still is going on.
New exhibitions are being prepared. At the moment visitors are welcome in
memorial exposition of Kipras Petrauskas’ flat.
M. Petrauskas (1873–1937), composer, singer, chorus master, born in Palūšė,
county of Švenčionys.
He learned to play the organ from his father and began working as an
organist in his teens. From 1901–1906 he studied singing and music theory at
the Conservatory of St. Petersburg. His active role in the 1905 revolution
compelled him to flee to Switzerland in 1906. From 1907 on, the date of his
first American concert tour, he spent most of his time in the United States,
with frequent visits to Lithuania and other European countries. Returning to
Lithuania in 1930, he was granted a government pension. He died in March 23,
Petrauskas showed a special interest in folk songs and frequently arranged
them in a contrapuntal manner. Although his musical compositions are
uncomplicated, sometimes to the point of crudity (as in the case of the
operettas), their simple romantic expressiveness and melodiousness have
gained them great popularity. His numerous operettas, the scores of many of
which have been lost, include Šienapjūtė (Hay-making, ca 1910); Vestuvės
(Wedding, 1915); Girių karalius (King of the Forest, published 1919); and
consilium facultatis (published 1919).
He arranged or composed some 150 songs, including a number of Russian and
Ukrainian revolutionary tunes. An extensive collection of his songs was
published in Brooklyn, New York, in 1946.
He also wrote musical interludes and several short pieces for symphony
orchestra. Over 2000 pages of his compositions remain in manuscript form.
Petrauskas earned the name of Father of Lithuanian Opera with his two most
ambitious works, Eglė žalčių karalienė (Eglė, Queen of the Serpents) and
He made an equally important contribution to Lithuanian musical life with
his work as chorus master and teacher. Both in Lithuania and in the United
States while pursuing his singing career, he devoted considerable time and
energy to organizing chorus and orchestras, with which he gave concerts and
staged a great many operettas especially in the United States. In 1910 in
Chicago he founded a conservatory which subsequently he transferred to
Boston; he also opened similar schools in Brooklyn, Newark, and Elizabeth.
He wrote extensively on musical topics for the periodical press. His most
spectacular undertaking was the production of Eglė at Boston’s Grand Opera
House, for which he coached 32 singers.
K. Petrauskas (November 23, 1885 in Ceikiniai – January 17, 1968 in
The first Lithuanian world-famous singer (tenor). Together with J. Naujalis
and J. Tallat-Kelpša, he established the Lithuanian Opera Theater in 1920;
staged the first performance of La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi, and played
Alfred’s role in it. He graduated from St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1911
and debuted at the Moscow Grand Theater. He sang at the Lithuanian Opera
Theater until 1958, creating and performing many lyric tenor parts. Together
with F. Shalapin, the Russian legendary opera singer, performed on tour in
Germany, Spain, and later in France. (From: Acquaintance with Lithuania.
Book of the Millennium.-Volume One.-K.-1999)
Kaunas City Municipality is museum‘s founder.
Photographs by Edvardas Urbonavičius