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Lithuanian Composer Wins International Rostrum of Composers in the Young Composers Category [Classical / Contemporary]

Justė Janulytė. Photo: Dmitry Matveyev

The composition by young Lithuanian composer Justė Janulytė, Aquarelle for mixed choir, became a winner in the young composers category at the 56th International Rostrum of Composers which took place in Paris, on 8-12 of June. The composition was written in 2007 on commission from the Gaida Festival, where it was first performed by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir under the direction of Paul Hillier.


The Rostrum of Composers is organized by the International Music Council in close collaboration with Radio France and UNESCO. Its 56th edition gathered representatives from 29 national radio networks from four continents and presented 56 works composed within five years preceding the Rostrum. In the general category, Concerto for Harmonium and Orchestra by Dutch composer Martijn Padding was selected by the delegates as most outstanding.


It is the first time when the work by Lithuanian composer received 1st place in its respective category. However, Lithuania is successful in this radio broadcasters’ competition for several years already. In 2004, Onutė Narbutaitė’s Melody in the Garden of Olives for symphony orchestra became one of the favorites of the forum, and Marius Baranauskas’ symphonic opus Talking was successful in the young composers category. In 2005, Raminta Šerkšnytė’s Vortex for violin solo and ensemble was among the recommended works in both the general and the young composers categories. In 2006, Vytautas V. JurgutisTerra tecta for cello and electronics was second in the young composers category, and in 2007, Ugnė Giedraitytė’s Panneau for clarinet solo and string orchestra scored the same position. By the way, Jurgutis, Šerkšnytė, Giedraitytė, Janulytė, and the Latvian Martiŋš Viļums, who was the winner at the Rostrum several years ago, were all taught by composer Osvaldas Balakauskas. So it seems that the Lithuanian school of composition is gaining an undeniable recognition.


Janulytė’ s Aquarelle is also included in the program of the World New Music Days 2009 in Sweden. The young composer first came into public view in 2004 when her graduation work White Music for 15 strings was awarded as the best chamber piece at the competition organized by the Lithuanian Composers' Union. In 2008, her Textile for symphony orchestra (first performed by Teatro la Fenice orchestra at the opening of the 52nd Venice Biennale) has won the prize for the best orchestral work at the same competition.


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