Established in 1940, the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society (LNPS) remains the largest and oldest state owned concert organisation in Lithuania, whose main activity is to organise and coordinate live concerts, diverse classical/classical contemporary/jazz music events and tours throughout Lithuania and abroad. In July 1998, the LNPS was officially granted the status of national cultural institution. Since 2006 Rūta Prusevičienė has served as its Director General. Over the seven decades of its activity it has been committed to nurturing Lithuania’s musical culture and performing arts; to making the treasures of classical and contemporary music accessible to the local audiences; and to ensuring the highest standard of artistic excellence demonstrated by the soloists, orchestras and ensembles it represents. Among its primary goals is to promote the art of Lithuanian musical performers and composers by organising and presenting new musical programmes in Lithuania and abroad each year. The LNPS has its headquarters in Vilnius (with the Main Auditorium of 678 seats and the Chamber Hall of 200 seats). Its concert season normally extends from September through May in Vilnius and during the summer months in other localities. http://www.filharmonija.lt/en/about-us/
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.