Lithuanian Composers' Union

New Vox Juventutis releases focus on rich textures and spatial solutions



Vox Juventutis, a series of choral sheet music, has recently added three new titles by Evaldas Alekna, Lukas Butkus, and Deividas Edas Kukta, the winners of the 2023 edition of the homonymous annual competition for young composers held in Vilnius. The music reflects the composers’ creative insights in relation to last year’s theme, Spatial Solutions and Polychoral Textures.
The new pieces are already available via the e-shop of the Music Information Centre Lithuania. Those interested in more detailed information are kindly welcome to visit the Centre’s stand (5.A13, Hall No. 5) at the Vilnius Book Fair from 22–25 February at the LITEXPO Exhibition and Congress Centre in Vilnius.

Deividas Edas Kukta took the first prize at Vox Juventutis last year with his Štai čia šviesa (The light is right here) for mixed choir, the composer also being the author of the lyrics.

“Through human voice, an exceptionally fine instrument in itself, I am shaping the atmosphere filled with radiance, happiness and beauty while relinquishing compositional solutions based on rational calculation,” the annotation by Kukta says. “I’ve dedicated the piece to the dearest person in this world.”

Evaldas Alekna, the runner-up, also dedicated his Stebuklas (The miracle) to a beloved. The composer, the author of the text, a performer, and the winner of the special prize awarded by the performing choir to the most likeable participant, wrote it, in his own words, as a “letter to a person I love”. The piece is to be performed by a female choir and four male voices.

4x4 for mixed choir by the third-prize winner Lukas Butkus is his third piece published as part of the Vox Juventutis series. The young composer, known for his daring experiments, drew inspiration for his 4x4 from Watt, a novel by Samuel Beckett. The music, Butkus says, is a story of “a mind cornered by traumatizing experience and repeatedly revisiting the source of the trauma”.

Vox Juventutis, a competition of choral music for young composers, marks its 18th edition this year. Hosted in collaboration with the Jauna Muzika Choir of Vilnius Municipality, the contest attracts dozens of participants every year eager to test their skills in choral music. Professor Vaclovas Augustinas, a renowned Lithuanian composer and conductor, acts as a consultant for all participants through tête-à-tête discussions and open rehearsals aimed at fine-tuning the pieces eventually to be performed by Jauna Muzika led by Augustinas. The three-tier evaluation of the participating pieces has been bestowed on the professional jury, the members of the choir, and the audience. The best pieces would then be published as sheet music in the Vox Juventutis series now boasting twenty-five titles.

Written for Vox Juventutis, the music often transcends its and indeed Lithuanian borders by drawing the attention of domestic and international choral professionals alike. In addition to their traditional premieres at the St Catherine Church, the best pieces of 2023 became part of the major show in Vilnius during the General Assembly of the European Choral Association, performed on both occasions by Jauna Muzika and conducted by Vaclovas Augustinas. Moreover, some of them have been selected as obligatory pieces for the Fourth International Juozas Naujalis Competition for young conductors that took place in early November 2023 in Vilnius.

The 2024 edition of the Vox Juventutis competition is already under way, 18 February being the deadline for all applicants. The closing performance has been scheduled for 27 April at the St Catherine Church.

The Lithuanian Council for Culture provides financial support both for the routine operations of the Lithuanian Composers’ Union and the release of the Vox Juventutis series of sheet music.

LCU inf.

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