(c) Modestas Ezerskis

Raminta Šerkšnytė

Composer

GENERAL MANAGEMENT

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Mag. Stefan Fragner
Senior Artist Manager
+43 660 300 2897
fragner@rbartists.at

Mag. Katharina Hollerwöger
Assistant Artist Manager
+43 660 300 2899
hollerwoeger@rbartists.at

Biography

Raminta Šerkšnytė, composer and pianist, first appeared on the musical scene in the 1990s and, up until now, maintains her position as one of the best-known Lithuanian composers of recent times. Her De Profundis for string orchestra (1998), which maestro Gidon Kremer named “the calling card of Baltic music”, has become one of the most often performed Lithuanian compositions across the world.

Raminta’s music is distinguished by its poetic nature, its imagination and for its one-of-a-kind beauty, created by Baltic mysticism and melancholy. The search for and coexistence of archetypes from both Western and Eastern cultures are inherent…

Raminta Šerkšnytė, composer and pianist, first appeared on the musical scene in the 1990s and, up until now, maintains her position as one of the best-known Lithuanian composers of recent times. Her De Profundis for string orchestra (1998), which maestro Gidon Kremer named “the calling card of Baltic music”, has become one of the most often performed Lithuanian compositions across the world.

Raminta’s music is distinguished by its poetic nature, its imagination and for its one-of-a-kind beauty, created by Baltic mysticism and melancholy. The search for and coexistence of archetypes from both Western and Eastern cultures are inherent in her music. Raminta’s works contain a broad range of emotions: from meditation with hints of mystery to dramatic outbursts of vital energy, though poignant Sehnsucht is predominant throughout. The compositions are dashing and expressive, with the dense textures, and prominent polyrhythmic and polymodal features. Raminta fuses classical, Lithuanian ancient folk and avant-garde musical languages and articulates her own composing system as the “fusion of major and minor” (which often sounds as non-traditional tonality). This “major-minor” system is based on two opposite elements (like modes of minor/ major thirds and “light” and “dark” sonorities). In the course of composition, these constantly alternate, being transformed and fused.

Raminta’s oeuvrue is rich and versatile: from large-scale opera (Five Miracles of Mary), multimedia projects (Gloria for brass quintet, choir, symphony orchestra, tape and video projection) to intimate chamber pieces (Fantasia for piano) or pieces for a young audience (Fairy-tale of the Little Prince for flute and orchestra). As a composer, she is also distinguished by her fluency within several styles - from pure melodic-ground compositions (cantata-oratorio Songs of Sunset and Dawn) to conceptual complex instrumental pieces (Vortex for violin and ensemble). The best known is her orchestral music (De Profundis, Midsummer Song, Iceberg symphony, Fires) where subtle, synesthetic colourful orchestration comes together with a dramatically mighty and virtuosic sound.

Raminta’s main artistic inspiration is the universal rules of harmony in nature with its metaphorical comparison to the archetypical human state of mind. Her poetic titles are always rooted in figurative sense and semantic aspects always sit alongside the structural considerations of her composition. Of her craft, Raminta states: “I believe that peak experience and spiritual impact is the essence in the art, which can lead to the unforgettable transcendental experience. Composition is an uplifted state of mind materialized by means of sounds, though its impressiveness depends on the composer's technical mastery.”

Raminta’s music has been performed by the Kremerata Baltica Chamber Orchestra (under artistic director Gidon Kremer), maestra Mirga Gražinytė─Tyla and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (under maestro Mariss Jansons), the Juilliard Orchestra, the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra (conductor Modestas Pitrėnas), violinist Irvine Arditti, Strasbourg Percussionists and many other musicians. Her works have been performed in concerts around the globe, at venues such as the Lincoln Centre (New York), Glenn Gould Studio (Toronto), Vienna Musikverein, Berlin Philharmonic. Her music has been featured at the following festivals: ISCM World Music Days (Hong-Kong, Tongyeong, Ghent, Zagreb and Vilnius), Gaudeamus Music Week (Amsterdam), Baltic Sea festival (Sweden), Luzerne festival, to name a few.

In 2008, Raminta was awarded the prestigious Lithuanian National Arts and Culture Prize (the highest artistic distinction in Lithuania). She is also a winner of the composition competition "Coup de Coeur des Jeunes Musiciens" (Prince Pierre Foundation, Monaco, 2011), after being nominated by Arvo Pärt. Raminta’s music is included in releases by Naxos, Nonesuch and Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Centre. In 2019 Deutsche Grammophon released her portrait CD.

Raminta born in Kaunas, Lithuania. She initially studied piano and later composition (under Prof. Osvaldas Balakauskas) at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater and also participated in various composers’ masterclasses. Raminta lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania.

(c) Modestas Ezerskis

My connection with Raminta Šerkšnytė’s music is very personal. Probably what fascinates me most is the poetic quality and the mystery of this composer and her work. The “Ramintacism”, the minor thirds. Her personal voice. This voice is also of the highest value in an international context, and her music deserves to reach the widest possible audience.

12.11.2019

Deutsche Grammophon portraits Raminta Šerkšnytė
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Repertoire

KONZERTSTÜCK
for violin, cello and piano (2018)
6’

SAKURA
for three mixed a cappella choirs (2018)

Text by Issa Kobayashi; language: English
8’

GLORIA
for brass quintet, choir, symphony orchestra, tape and optional video projection (2017)

Language: Latin/ Lithuanian
7’

FIVE MIRACLES OF MARY/ PENKI MERĖS STEBUKLAI
Opera in two acts for the entire family
for 12 soloists, 2 children’s voices, chorus, tape and symphony
orchestra (2016)
Libretto by Ramutė Skučaitė; language: Lithuanian
100’

GLIMPSES/ ŽVILGSNIAI
for solo flute (2013)

8’

VARIATIONS/ VARIACIJOS
for solo piano (2011)
5’

LAST VERSES/ PASKUTINĖS EILĖS
for 4 violas da gamba (2011)

7’

FIRES/ UGNYS
for symphony orchestra (2010)

11’

MIDSUMMER SONG/ VASARVIDŽIO GIESMĖ
for string orchestra and optional percussion (2009)

14’

GLOW/ ŽARA
for symphony orchestra (2008)
11’

SONGS OF SUNSET AND DAWN/ SAULĖLYDŽIO IR AUŠROS GIESMĖS
Cantata-oratorio for
soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, bass, mixed choir and symphony orchestra (2007)
Text by Rabindranath Tagore; language: Lithuanian
30’

FAIRY-TALE OF THE LITTLE PRINCE/ MAŽOJO PRINCO PASAKA
Suite for flute and chamber orchestra (2007)

10’

THREE OSTINATO PRELUDES/ TRYS OSTINATO PRELIUDAI
for solo piano (2007)

7’

ALMOND BLOSSOM/ MIGDOLŲ ŽYDĖJIMAS
for chamber ensemble (2006)

14’

MOUNTAINS IN THE MIST/KALNAI MIGLOJE
for symphony orchestra (2005)

13’

VORTEX/SŪKURYS
for violin and large ensemble (2004)
10’

SAULA’S SONGS/ SAULOS DAINOS
Song cycle for mezzo-soprano and piano (or harpsichord) (2004)
Text by Albina Žiupsnytė; language: Lithuanian
17’

SENSE SIX
for 5 voices and large ensemble (2004)

Text by Dan Albertson; language: English
4’

MIRAGE
for solo guitar (2003)

10’

ORIENTAL ELEGY/ RYTŲ ELEGIJA
for string quartet (2002)

12’

CONCERTO/ KONCERTAS
for alto saxophone and chamber orchestra (2002)

16’

IDÉE FIXE
for 6 percussionists (2002)
7’

ADIEU
for solo oboe (2002)

· version for soprano saxophone solo
6’

PRESENTIMENTS/ NUOJAUTOS
performance for piano and pre-recorded tape (flute, viola, 1-4 prepared pianos) (2002)

18’

ICEBERG SYMPHONY/ AISBERGAS
for symphony orchestra (2000)

15’

CONCERTO FOR SIX / KONCERTAS ŠEŠIEMS
for alto saxophone, trumpet, cello, double bass, piano, and percussion (1999)

15’

DE PROFUNDIS
for string orchestra (1998)
13’

FANTASIA/ FANTAZIJA
for solo piano (1997)

7’

AUREI REGINA CAELI
for mixed a cappella choir (1996)
Text by Mathias Casimirus Sarbievius; language: Latin
13’

PASSACAGLIA/ PASAKALIJA
for solo piano (1995)

4’

MISTERIOSO
for 2 flutes and double bass (1994)
7’