Contemporary music from Ukraine
Curator: Roman Yusipey
18 September 2015, Friday, 6 PM
Concert Boris Lyatoshinski’s School
Museum of Applied Art, Arsenalo g. 3A, LT-01100, Vilnius
BORIS LYATOSHINSKY (1895–1968)
Sonata for violin and piano, Op. 19
1. Allegro impetuoso. Meno mosso. Allegro impetuoso.
2. Tempo precedente. Sostenuto e tranquillo. Lento
3. Allegro molto risoluto
BORIS LYATOSHINSKY (1895–1968) was a leading member of the new generation of twentieth-century Ukrainian composers, conductor, and teacher. He was born in Zhytomyr – a town, where several well-known people originated, including the pianist Svyatoslav Richter, philosopher Nikolai Berdiaev and composer Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Lyatoshinsky attended Kiev University and later the newly established Kiev Conservatory where he studied composition with Reinhold Glière. In 1922, Lyatoshinsky, by then professor and lecturer of composition in the Kiev Music Conservatoire, pioneered the development of Associazia Suchasnoi Musiki (The Society of Contemporary Music). From 1935 to 1938 and from 1941 to 1944 Lyatoshinsky taught concurrently at the Moscow Conservatory. Lyatoshinsky, despite receiving a conservative musical education, was determined to raise the standards of contemporary composition; he was not only making innovative changes regarding his own music and carrying on experimenting with various music materials but also leading other young contemporary composers, helping them to establish new methods of writing.
Lyatoshinsky’s earliest compositions (Symphony No. 1) were greatly influenced by the expressionism of Scriabin and Rachmaninov. During the early period of the composer’s development, he drew some inspiration from musical works by Tchaikovsky and Glazunov too. His musical style later developed in a direction favored by Shostakovich, which caused significant problems with Soviet critics of the time, and as a result Lyatoshynsky was accused (together with Prokofiev and Shostakovich) of formalism and creation of degenerative art. Many of his compositions were rarely or never performed during his lifetime.
Sonata for violin and piano, Op. 19 (1926). The idea is based on the conflict between the individual and the surrounding environment. The main theme is melodious, however has a hidden power and energy. It is characterized by the syncopated rhythm, chromatic tension of the melody and constant process of variations. The free improvisation determines the non-periodicity of musical structure. Sonata was published by Muzgiz (State Publishing House) in 1926 and Universal Edition in 1928.
VITALY HODZIATSKY (*1936)
Gaps of the Planes (Разрывы плоскостей) piano
A representative of the so called Kiev composers' school in 1960–70 (together with Leonid Grabovski, Valentin Silvestrov, Vladimir Zagorcev, Vladimir Guba, Sviatoslav Krutikov, Petr Savolkin and others) VITALY HODZIATSKY (*1936) studied composition under Boris Lyatoshinski at the Kiev National P. Tchaikovsky Academy of Music in 1956–1961. In 1970 he was removed from the Soviet Composers' Union for his creative principles that contravened the Soviet position, his works were prohibited and rarely performed. In 1975–1982 Hodziatsky lead the Kiev cinema theatre music ensemble.
Chamber music, movie music and compositions for the theatre take the dominant position in Hodziatsky's creative activity. Among the most prominent oeuvre: Poem for orchestra (1961), symphonies Periods (1968) and Stabilis (1990), suite Cinderella for orchestra (1987), wind quintet Morning Bird Song (Утренний крик птицы, 1994), Dreams of Childhood for nine instruments (Сны о детстве, 1997), various compositions for piano – Characteristic Scenes (1963), Sonata No. 2 (1973) etc.
Gaps of the Planes (Разрывы плоскостей) for piano (1963). According to the composer, the title of the composition refers to the science of physics and phenomenon of cosmos and micro-particles. However, there are links with the human experiences and reactions to the atomic explosion and its effects. The musical texture consists of short elements with specific figures of rhythm. First the texture is getting dense and achieves its climax, which is replaced by the calming of tension. There are no traditional harmonies and scales. The sound of composition is based on the aspects of timbre, contrasts of registers and variety of articulation (various accents, staccato etc.).
ZOLTAN ALMASHI (*1975)
Prelude for violoncello
An active participant of Ukrainian modern music festivals, ZOLTAN ALMASHI (*1975), after graduating the Lviv State M. Lysenko Academy of Music as cellist and composer in 1998, continued his postgraduate studies of composition under Yevhen Stankovych at the Kiev National P. Tchaikovsky Academy of Music. He was twice awarded at the International S. Prokofiev Competition as cellist and composer. Since 2000 he is a constant member of national soloists ensemble Kiev Camerata, ensemble of new music Ricochet, and Runchak's project New Music in Ukraine. Almashi is a winner of L. Revutsky State prize and B. Lyatoshinsky prize. In 2008 he took part in Gaude Polonia scholarship program in Poland. Almashi has written over 70 opuses, performed in Ukraine and abroad (Poland, Netherlands, Lithuania, France, and Switzerland).
Prelude for violoncello (2010–2013). The meditative composition connects easily identified western and eastern music idioms. The title Prelude refers no to the form of composition, but to the expectation of something beautiful. (Zoltan Almashi)
YEVHEN STANKOVYCH (*1942)
Sonata No. 3 for violoncello and piano
YEVHEN STANKOVYCH (*1942) is one of the central figures of contemporary Ukrainian music. He studied music composition under Boris Lyatoshinsky and Myroslav Skoryk at the Kiev National P. Tchaikovsky Academy of Music. His works were performed in Canada, the USA, Germany, France, Switzerland, Finland, Spain, China, the Filipines and Yugoslavia, in addition to performances in former USSR and in countries of Eastern Europe. In 1996, he was composer-in-residence in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland.
Since 1966, a prolific composer has authored 6 symphonies, 2 operas, 6 ballets, a large number of works in the oratorical, vocal chamber and instrumental chamber genres, as well as incidental music to 6 music theatre plays and over 100 films. His works have been recorded on Melodiya, Analekta, ASV and Naxos labels.
Beginning with his first compositions, Stankovych declared himself as a composer of dramatic temperament. The elaborate polyphonic textures and meditative lyricism are reminiscent of the strict instrumental style of Baroque music, while the full-bodied affects with the obvious post-romantic coloring give the music warmth and expressiveness.
Stankovych is an academician of the National Academy of Art, chair of the Composition Department at the Kiev academy of music, and a member of T. Shevchenko National award committee. He is a former Chairman of the Composer’s Union of Ukraine.
Sonata No. 3 for cello and piano (1971). Sonata represents the early style of the composer. Here is obvious the freedom of atonal sound and scattered variety of timbres and registers, the melodious pointillism of themes with the reference to Webern's music. However, it is full of unpredictable metamorphosis that will be the characteristics of later Stankovych's works. Furthermore, the this Sonata lacks the hardness and sharpness of Second Sonata's avant-garde.
OSVALDAS BALAKAUSKAS (*1937)
Nine Springs for violin, cello and piano
OSVALDAS BALAKAUSKAS (*1937) has held a strong position in the contemporary Lithuanian music scene since the mid-1960s and has influenced several generations of musicians as a composer and a professor. Balakauskas is one of the most prolific Lithuanian composers: his oeuvre includes five symphonies, more than ten concertos, a chamber opera, a ballet and numerous chamber music compositions. He distinguishes himself as an insightful and accurate music critic and theorist.
Nine Springs for violin, cello and piano (1974). There are several versions for different instrument combinations and all of them were arranged in the same year of composition, 1974: for oboe and harpsichord; for flute, cello and harpsichord or piano; for violin, cello and piano; for piano quartet (violin, viola, cello and piano). The violinist Rusnė Mataitytė and cellist Edmundas Kulikauskas have included the Nine Springs in their concert repertoire more than fifteen years ago. In 1999, the composition was recorded in their as if floating within the blue space CD with the retrospective of Balakauskas music.
VALENTIN SILVESTROV (*1937)
Sonata Post scriptum smuikui ir fortepijonui:
1. Largo – Allegro
3. Allegro vivace, con moto
VALENTIN SILVESTROV (*1937) came to music relatively late, at the age of fifteen, and was initially selftaught. In 1958–1964, he studied composition and counterpoint, respectively, with Boris Lyatoshinsky and Lev Revutsky at Kiev Conservatory. Since 1970, he has been a freelance composer.
Silvestrov is considered one of the leading representatives of the Kiev avant-garde, which came to public attention around 1960 and was violently criticized by the proponents of the conservative Soviet musical aesthetic. In the 1960s and 1970s his music was hardly played in his native city; premieres, if given at all, were heard only in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), or in the West. The works of the young composer were awarded the Koussevitzky Prize in 1967. The international acclaim was raising gradually: in 1985, Postludium for piano and orchestra was performed in Las Vegas; in 1988, the premiere of his symphony Exegi monumentum and a Silvestrov 50th Birthday Concert was held in New York; he became a visiting composer at the Almeida Music Festival in London (1989), Kremer’s Lockenhaus Festival in Austria (1990), and various festivals in Denmark, Finland, and Holland. Silvestrov’s music was heard in various European countries, Japan, USA. After a while Silvestrov got recognition in his home country: his 60th Birthday Festival and a scholarly conference were held in Kiev, 1998.
Silvestrov’s music has affinities with the Western postmodernism and the age of the "classical" fin-de-siecle, especially Gustav Mahler, with whom Silvestrov is often compared.
Sonata Post scriptum for violin and piano (1991). According to the composer, sonata is referred as a “postscript to Mozart and, in a broader sense, to the classical period”. It is, after all, also a postscript to neoclassicism following its demise. Its “classical” features include a three-movement design with a central slow movement, simple and memorable themes, four- and eight-bar periods, and tonal harmony, all of which more closely resemble Diabelli, Clementi and Mozart formulae than Mozart himself.
RUSNĖ MATAITYTĖ, violin
EDMUNDAS KULIKAUSKAS, violoncello
RYTIS PAULIUS JUŠKAITIS, piano
19 September 2015, Saturday, 6 PM
Concert Experimental New Music
Museum of Applied Art, Arsenalo g. 3A, LT-01100, Vilnius
BOHDAN SEHIN (*1976)
And the Sailors Enjoying the View of the Earth... for accordion
BOHDAN SEHIN (*1976), a composer, project coordinator, studied composition with Myroslav Skorik at the Lviv M. Lysenko National Music Academy. In 2003 and 2006, he participated in the Gaude Polonia scholarship program and studied composition with Zbigniew Bujarski in Cracow and Zygmunt Krauze in Warsaw. Sehin is a recipient of the Warsaw Autumn Friends Foundation scholarship (2003), a Gulliver Connect (2008) and Ukrainian Presidential (2008–2010) grants. Multiple awards for both composition and theatrical work in Ukraine and Poland.
Sehin is a member of the Ukrainian National Composers Union and has worked on a number of projects in collaboration with the Polish Institute and the Austrian Cultural Forum in Kiev, the Goethe-Institut in Ukraine. In 2009 he began coordinating projects for the Ensemble Nostri Temporis, becoming its director the following year. Founder and artistic director of the COURSE (International master-classes for new music) and Ukrainian Biennale for New Music. From 2012 he is the commercial director for the new music development of Lviv Philharmonic Society and executive director of the Contrasts International Contemporary Music Festival.
Featuring symphonic, choral, and chamber works, as well as music for theatrical productions, Sehin’s work has been performed for audiences in Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia, France, Switzerland, Germany, China and certainly in Ukraine.
And the Sailors Enjoying the View of the Earth... for accordion (2011). The original title in Polish A jak żeglarze ziemi cieszą się widokiem... is a quotation from Homer's Odyssey, Book 23. The initial version was composed for organ solo was designed for the project Organ Odyssey under the request by Polish composer and organist Dariusz Przybylski. The premiere was held in Warsaw Autumn festival, 2011. In 2012, accordionist Roman Yusipey arranged the second edition for accordion solo.
According to composer, the main idea was not a musical expression of literary images, but a desire to show the emotional status of Homer's heroes. The music is focused on details and their transformations in the way of slow motion. The tension changes into the joy, which subsequently transforms into the serenity and peacefulness.
ANNA ARKUSHYNA (*1989)
Körnung (Graininess) for ensemble
ANNA ARKUSHYNA (*1989) in 2014 completed her composition studies with Eugene Stankovych at Kiev National P. Tchaikovsky Academy of Music and currently is a student of composition and theory of music under prof. Beat Furrer at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz.
Arkushyna has participated in composition workshops, took lessons for improvisation and composition in Russia and Ukraine. She was a participant at the Klangwerkstatt Festival in Berlin, 2011, and a finalist of the composer's competition Step to the Left-4 in St. Petersburg, 2011; in 2014 she got a special award in the Pre-Art Composers Competition in Switzerland.
The various ensembles, including Ensemble Nostri Temporis, Ensemble JungeMusik Berlin, Amsterdam Collage Ensemble, Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, ensemble MusikFabrik, performed music by Anna Arkushyna.
Körnung (Graininess) for ensemble (2012–2013). I have been for a long time attracted by topic of grain and noise on old photos or photos with low quality, which consists of very small details and particles, which sometimes you can see even with the naked eye. Something similar I tried to reproduce in this piece. The composition was based on the idea of relationships of granulated sound and white noise. Every element I mind as a small atom. I choose special kinds of sounds like white noise, or very quiet and fragile sounds (airsounds, frullatos, tremolos, and very soaring noises).
The structure consists of several periods connected by the sounding of just eight pitches. The periods pass smoothly without any stops and contrasts. Each period has its own climax and a kind of texture. (Anna Arkushyna)
ALEXANDER SCHETYNSKY (*1960)
Two... In Parallel... Disjoint? for clarinet and accordion
Works by ALEXANDER SCHETYNSKY (*1960) have been presented in most European countries and in North America, performed by such internationally acclaimed ensembles as the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble and Helikon-Opera, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Maîtrise de Radio France, Arditti String Quartet, ensembles Wiener Collage, Klangforum, Continuum (New York), New Juilliard, musikFabrik, and the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, and by artists such as pianist Yvar Mikhashoff, soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson, and cellist Alexander Rudin, among others. Two CDs of his music have been released in the USA and France. Shchetynsky received awards at international composer's competitions in Austria, France, Luxembourg, Poland, and Switzerland. In 2000, his chamber opera Annunciation was awarded the Russian National Theatrical Prize Gold Mask for innovation.
Inspired by the Soviet musical avant-garde (especially Denisov, Schnittke, and Pärt) and the Second Viennese School, as well as by Messiaen and Ligeti, Shchetynsky developed his personal post-serial style based on a combination of quasi-serial procedures and special attention to the attractiveness of sound material and to melody as a source of expression. Another fundamental feature of his music is its rhythmic, structural, and formal flexibility that suggests a “self-development” of the initial micro-thematic patterns.
Two... In Parallel... Disjoint? for clarinet and accordion (1996/98). The main idea of the piece is a confrontation of the phrases articulated aloud (in extroversive style, clearly, “for others”) and “in whisper”, “aside” (quietly, unclearly, “for himself”) – similar to the drama theatre tradition. Brief episodes and sections are mostly fragmentary, they appear and disappear unexpectedly, and the whole piece structure looks like a mosaic of contrasting sound flashes. Clarinet and accordion are sometimes heard as if being independent from each other. They are like two characters that simultaneously talk of two different stories. (Alexander Shchetynsky)
VICTORIA POLEVA (*1962)
Null for accordion
VICTORIA POLEVA (*1962) in 1989 graduated from Kiev National P. Tchaikovsky Academy of Music (composition with Prof. Ivan Karabyts) and in 1995 completed her post-graduate studies under Prof. Levko Kolodub. Since 2005 she is a freelance composer. In 2010, Poleva took part in Kremer’s international project Art of Instrumentation, devoted to Johann Sebastian Bach and Glenn Gould. In 2011 she was invited as composer-in-residence at the Lockenhaus Festival (Austria).
Poleva’s music was performed at Beethovenfest Bonn, Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival, Yuri Bashmet’s Festival in Minsk, Valery Gergiev’s Easter Festival in Moscow, Chamber Music Connects the World in Kronberg, Dresdner Musikfestspiele, Philharmonie Berlin, Köln Philharmonie, Theatre de Chatelet Paris, Rudolfinum-Dvorak Hall in Prague, Concert Auditorio Nacional de Espana in Madrid, George Weston Recital Hall in Toronto, Yerba Buena Theater in San Francisco, Oriental Art Center Shanghai, Seoul Art Center, Esplanade Concert Hall Singapore, festivals of the new music in Ukraine, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, UAE, Peru and Chile.
Her early works were related to the aesthetics of the avant-garde and poly-stylistics (Gagaku ballet, Transform for symphony orchestra, Anthem for chamber orchestra, Еpiphany for chamber ensemble, Horace’s ode). From the late 1990s, her music became identified stylistically with “sacred minimalism” (Pärt, Vasks, Tavener, Gorecki). An important period in Poleva’s creative work is related to intensive studies and embodiment of texts from divine services in the music.
Null for accordion (2005, dedicated to Roman Yusipey). This work is an attempt to create an original kind of anti-music. Absolute, non-personal, supra temporal. Which would encompass all possible space of the roaring emptiness. Nothing-music. (Victoria Poleva)
ANNA KORSUN (*1986)
Plexus for ensemble
ANNA KORSUN (*1986) graduated from Kiev National P. Tchaikovsky Academy of Music and Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich (under Prof. Moritz Eggert). She took part in the workshops of Gaudeamus Music Week, ensembles Richerche, Aventa and Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart and various composers. Anna was artist-in-resident of Schloss Solitude (2014–2015) and Paris Cite Internationale des Arts (2014). She is a winner of Gaudeamus Music Prize (2014), and a laureate of the international composition competitions such as Neue Toene, MUSLAB Mexico 2014, 8. pre-art and Harald Genzmer. In 2014 Anna got Director's Choice Award in Boston Metro Opera, in 2012 she won Leonhard und Ida Wolf-Gedächtnispreise in Munich, in 2011 she received a commission for new chamber piece from Kulturkreis Gasteig.
As composer and performer she took part in various concert series and festivals such as International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, ISCM 2014, Warsaw Autumn, Musikfest der MGNM, Lange Nacht der Musik, Junge Solisten, Sound Walk / Sound Garden 2012, Days of Ukrainian Music in Poland, Premiers of Seasons, Kievmusikfest, Youth Forum, Gogolfest, Tax Free, Exposition XXI. Among performers of her music are Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, ensemble mosaik, Looptail, Camerata Silesia, eNsemble ProArte, VocalLab, Ensemble Oktopus, Moritz Eggert, Natalia Pschenitschnikova, Marij van Gorkom, Ensemble Nostri Temporis. Her music is broadcasted on Dutch National Radio and Radio Monalisa, Polish Radio Two, French Musique, Antena 2, Relevant Tones, Hildegard to Hildegard, Concertzender. Anna is co-organizer and participant of concert series 6+1, organ music project Ereignishorizont and concert cycle Evening of Low Music.
Plexus (2014) for ensemble
The idea of the piece can be compared with one chain. All instruments are building one line, every note played is one little segment of one lacework, being weaved together. That is why in most cases it is very important to feel the beginning and the end of the sound as continuation of previous or future material.
The instrumental ensemble of this composition consists of flute, clarinet and bass clarinet, piano and toy piano, percussion, violin, violoncello and sound objects. (Anna Korsun)
MAXIM KOLOMIIETS (*1981)
Re-pulse for oboe and accordion
MAXIM KOLOMIIETS (*1981) graduated from the Kiev National P. Tchaikovsky Academy of Music in 2005 as oboist and in 2009 as composer. Since 2014 he has been studying composition at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne under Johannes Schöllhorn. He is a co-founder of Ensemble Nostri Temporis and founder of Luna Ensemble for ancient music. He is the winner of the national competitions Gradus ad Parnassum (Kiev, 2000), Step to the Left (Saint Petersburg, 2012) and 3rd prize laureate at the Vareler Komponistenpreis (Oldenburg, 2015). As the performer Kolomiiets took part in many Ukrainian and foreign festivals and master courses. His music has been performed at the international festivals: Other space, Gogolfest, Contrasts, Summer New Music Courses in Darmstadt, Randfestspiele in Zepernick, World Music Days in Leuven etc. Among the performers of his music are the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Kiev Chamber Orchestra, Syrinx Flute Quartet, Ensemble Nostri Temporis, GAM-Ensemble, Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, musikFabrik, Vladislav Pesin, Ian Pace, Roman Yusipey.
Re-pulse for oboe and accordion (2012)
Pulse is the possible metaphorical entrance into the existence and filling the space with self. The heartbeat, day and night and the trajectories of planets are the different forms of emptiness. The emptiness slowly fills in the space and transforms into the familiar shapes of color, desire, fading glance. Thus we recognize ourselves in the emptiness and achieve our nothigness.
re-surrection, re-building, re-order, re-flection, re-jection
Reflection of time slowly dissapears in the pulsatory emptiness. (Maxim Kolomiets)
ANNA KORSUN (*1986)
UnderSurFace for ensemble
UnderSurFace (2012) for ensemble
The composition is a collaboration work of composer Anna Korsun and artist Jenia Tchaikovskaya. The synthetic project consists of video-art and musical composition, both of them were developed and created simultaneously in joint process as one piece. Dramaturgy of the piece is based on two contrast polyphonic layers. Seeming independent and polar they, however, are always leading to impact.
The performing ensemble consists of flute, oboe, horn, piano, violin and violoncello. (Anna Korsun)
ARTEM NYZHNYK (*1980)
Miserere for accordion
ARTEM NYZHNYK (*1980), PhD, Ukrainian composer, performer and conductor. He studied composition under Boris Semenko and Sergei Mamonov in Ukraine. Since 2013, he studies at the Prayner Konservatorium für Musik und Dramatische Kunst in Vienna under Prof. Alexandr Karastoyanov-Hermentin. He was a laureate of various international competitions as accordionist and took part in the festivals Musica Sacra (Holland, 2014), Musik in der Karthaus (Austria, 2012) etc. Since 2013, he is a member of Ukrainian Composers' Union. The same year he was composer-in-residence at the Isolation Foundation in Donetsk. In 2014, his piano piece Eiha was awarded at Rosario Marciano Composers Competition in Vienna. Nyzhnyk's works for accordion are world famous and performed in various competitions and festivals. Since 2014, he is an associate professor at the Belgorod State Institute of Arts and Culture in Russia.
Miserere for accordion (2013)
This short piece for accordion was composed in a very brief period of time. The idea is a continuous lamentation and prayer. The prayer is pronounced on the quiet, tearfully and whispering. It is a prayer of ecstasy or despair that caused by the events in Ukraine. The Ukrainian folk laments and Ukrainian Dorian scale (so called гуцульский or думный лад) express the author's horror. Roman Yusipey was the first performer of the composition. (Artem Nyzhnyk)
LITHUANIAN ENSEMBLE NETWORK musicians
ROMAN YUSIPEY, accordion
VYKINTAS BALTAKAS, conductor
The prize-winner at the David Oistrach and Louis Spohr international violin competitions RUSNĖ MATAITYTĖ as a soloist and chamber musician has performed in Lithuania, various European countries, Japan and USA. Among the significant performances – concerts at the Aldeburgh festivals in great Britain, Sao Paulo festival, Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall) New York and St. John’s Smith Square London. As a soloist, she has performed with symphony and chamber orchestras in Lithuania, Russia, Germany and Austria. Lithuanian composers Algirdas Martinaitis, Osvaldas Balakauskas and British composer Sadie Harrison have written violin concertos dedicated to Rusnė. Since 1997, she takes part in Kaskados Piano Trio, since 2002 is a member of the Gaida Ensemble. She has performed with Tate Ensemble in UK. Her CD recordings with the music by East European composers and Lithuanis authors Osvaldas Balakauskas, Feliksas Bajoras and Raminta Šerkšnytė as well as Brittish composer Sadie Harrisson have been released by Proud Sound, ASV and NMC (UK), BIS (Sweden), Naxos (Germany), LMS and LMIPC (Lithuania).
EDMUNDAS KULIKAUSKAS (cello) studied at the Moscow State P. Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. He was a principal cello with the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Lithuanian State String Quartet. Since 1996, he is the principal cello of the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra.
In chamber performances, Kulikauskas has shared the stage with a number of prominent musicians as well Ysaye and the Vilnius string quartets. He also performs regularly with the Gaida Ensemble and the Kaskados Piano Trio, with which he has toured the most of Europe, Israel, Japan, Canada and South Korea. Over the years, Kulikauskas has been active in performing the Lithuanian contemporary academic music, appearing regularly at international contemporary music festivals, such as the Gaida, the Vilnius Festival and the St. Christopher Summer Festival in Vilnius. Together with other musicians, he has committed to disc works by Osvaldas Balakauskas, Vladas Jakubėnas and Faustas Latėnas.
RYTIS PAULIUS JUŠKAITIS has studied at the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Arts in Vilnius and Purcell Music School in London. The young pianist is a winner and laureate at the various international and regional competitions in Lithuania, Latvia, Belgium, Croatia etc. Rytis has performed in the whole Lithuania, London, has appeared on stage with his sister and mother violinists Austėja Juškaitytė and Rusnė Mataitytė. In 2011, Rytis was a fellow at the Mstislav Rostropovich Charity and Support Foundation and has been awarded with the prize of Morta, Queen of Lithuania.
ROMAN YUSIPEY is an Ukrainian accordionist. He graduated from Kiev National P. Tchaikovsky Academy of Music in 2006; in 2009–2012, he was on a traineeship at the University of Music and Drama in Hannover. He has been awarded the first prize in Premio di Montese IX International Competition (Italy) and the second prize in the Golden Accordion I International Competition in New York, was a jury member at the International accordion competition in Lanciano (Italy). In 2009–2010 Roman got a scholarship from Russian Performing Art Public Foundation, since 2010 is a fellow at the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation. He has performed over 60 concerts as a soloist with Ukrainian and Polish conductors. The musician collaborates with many contemporary composers. He has made the premiers of pieces by Giia Kancheli, Jacqueline Fontyn, Dmitry Kourliandski, Vladimir Ranniev, Aleksandr Khubeev, Bohdan Sehin, Viktoria Polevaia, Zoltan Almashi, Oleksandr Grinberg, Anna Havrylets, Alla Zagajkevytch, Serhiy Zazhytko, Maksym Kolomiiets, Serhiy Piljutikov, Liubava Sydorenko, Maksym Shorenkov and Oleksandr Shchetynsky. Roman also established himself as an author of several art projects like Accordion Extreme, De profundis with works of Sofia Gubaidulina, ONLY YOUsipei.
L’ENsemble (LITHUANIAN ENSEMBLE NETWORK) is a professional Contemporary Music organization connecting professional ensembles, soloists and conductors. Vykintas Baltakas directs L’ENsemble as an open platform for creative ideas and their professional realization.
L’ENsemble consists of the Chordos String Quartet, Kristupas Wind Quintet, Kaskados Piano Trio, Vilnius Brass Quintet, accordionist Raimondas Sviackevičius, pianist Rima Chačaturian, composer and singer Rita Mačiliūnaitė and others.
L’ENsemble is working with established institutions of contemporary music in Lithuania and abroad, such as the Lithuanian Composers’ Union, Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Centre, Lithuanian Academy of Music and theatre, Goethe-Institut Vilnius and Karsten Witt Musikmanagement Berlin. L’ENsemble is a positive presence in the international contemporary music scene.
L’ENsemble is proud about its performances at the WDR (2009), at the Ruhr European Capital of Culture (2010), Ultraschall Festival Berlin (2013), its recordings for Kairos, Megadisc Classics, Deutschland Radio Kultur, WDR, Lithuanian Radio and Television.
In 2011, L’ENsemble started the concert series Composers of Our Time, featuring the influential international and Lithuanian composers. L’ENsemble already presented the programs with the music by Gerhard Stäbler (2011), Bronius Kutavičius (2012), Luciano Berio (2013), Wolfgang Rihm, Matthias Pintscher and John Woolrich (2014). The Lithuanian Cultural Support Foundation, Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, Goethe Institut Vilnius and the Lithuanian Composers’ Union support the Composers of Our Time concerts.
L’ENsemble founder and artistic leader, composer and conductor VYKINTAS BALTAKAS studied composition with Vytautas Barkauskas at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater (1990–1993) and with Wolfgang Rihm and conducting with Andreas Weiss in Karlsruhe (1993–1997). A conductor and composer Eötvös was his teacher between 1994 and 1997 too. He subsequently studied in Paris at the Conservatoire National Supérieur and took a one-year course at IRCAM. Baltakas’ works have been awarded with prizes such as the International Claudio Abbado Composition Prize (2003) and the Siemens Advancement Award (2007). His chamber opera Cantio was awarded for the best music work for the stage in 2004 in Lithuania. CD recordings of his compositions have been recently made by the Ensemble musikFabrik Cologne and the Ensemble Modern.
In the meantime, he is a regular guest at festivals and with ensembles throughout Europe. Institutions that have commissioned works by Baltakas include the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Biennale, the Wiener Festwochen / Klangforum Wien, the Ensemble Modern and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra / Musica viva.
In recent years, Baltakas has conducted renowned orchestras such as the RSO and DSO Berlin, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the WDR Symphony Orchestra as well as ensembles including Ensemble Resonanz, the Ensemble Modern and Scharoun Ensemble. He has also collaborated with composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Georg Friedrich Haas and Dieter Schnebel. In 2009, he founded the Lithuanian Ensemble Network (LEN) of which he is the main driving force.