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Vytautas Laurušas

"I've never had such a creative period. I seem to be led by some kind of force which dictates what I should do, and which instruments I should choose", says the composer Vytautas Laurušas, whose ample and diverse output of recent years range from song cycle for early music ensemble to symphonic music (Symphony of Prayers, concertos for cello, clarinet, voice). Laurušas has not lacked creative energy even when various organizational concerns frequently 'restricted' the time set aside for composing. For many years he has been director of the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, chairman of the Lithuanian Composers’ Union, rector of the Lithuanian Academy of Music. Making his debut in the mid-sixties with the works written in the then obligatory style of "soviet romanticism" (such as the vocal cycle for tenor, Waves, which was much admired by Shostakovich at the time), he developed to become one of the first Lithuanian composers who tried keeping pace with the current music tendencies – dodecaphony, aleatory and sonorism. Among the most indicative pieces of Laurušas' early work are the poem for male choir Voices of the Night (1969), Sonata for Violin (1977), String Quartet No. 1 (1979), cantata Burning Night for soprano and string quartet.

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