The choir’s concert life, however, became more intense after Lithuania gained its independence and started collaborating with violinist and conductor Lord Yehudi Menuhin: in 1992 alone the choir performed in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Egypt, Russia, Argentina, and Chile. Other notable collaborations during the early days of the country’s independence include German pianist and conductor Justus Frantz, as well as Russian violoncellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich. Besides this, at the turn of the century the choir began working with Polish composer - Krzysztof Penderecki. A number of the composer’s pieces were performed in Poland, Russia, or Germany, including ”Te Deum“, ”Seven Gates of Jerusalem“, ”Passio Secundum Lucam“, etc.
Over the years the choir has been a performing member of various European music festivals (e.g. Bordeaux Spring, The Mediterranean coast - France; Schleswig-Holstein - Germany; Turku - Finland; etc.), and the world’s most famous concert music venues (e.g. Pleyel, Notre-Dame Cathedral - Paris, France; Saint Cecily National Music Academy - Rome, Italy; Colon Theatre - Buenos Aires, Argentina, etc.). BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Leipzig’s Gewandhausorchester, Moscow and Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestras - are among a few to perform with the choir on repeated occasions. Likewise, conductors such as Dmitri Kitayenko, Myung-Whun Chung, Yan Pascal Tortelier, John Axelrod, Vladimir Spivakov, and Valery Gergiev, as well as world-famous soloists - Irina Archipova, Sergej Larin, Violeta Urmana, Montserrat Caballé, Andrea Bocelli, Lawrence Brownlee, or Dmitri Hvorostovsky held joint performances with the choir.
The Kaunas State Choir performed more than 3000 times both in Lithuania and outside the country’s borders; 75 thousand people listened to Carl Orff’s cantata “Carmina Burana” in the Berlin Stadium, while G. F. Händel’s oratorio ”Messiah“ was performed 80 times, if not more. Various works composed by Gustav Mahler, Carl Orff, Sofia Gubaidulina, Alfred Schnittke, Arnold Schöenberg, Dmitri Shostakovich, Pēteris Vasks, or Jasques Loussier were also premiered in Lithuania for the first time.
The choir always pays tribute to Lithuanian national holidays and ceremonials, as well as festive occasions, and it’s hard to imagine the country’s biggest music festivals without them; notable people such as the pope John Paul II or Beatrix, the Queen of the Netherlands, are among those who the choir honoured with its performances during their visits in Lithuania.