Gediminas Gelgotas‘ music is captivating a new and younger audience of classical music. Critics point to a unique and highly attractive musical language based on modern, multi–stylistic influences that combines austere, melodic beauty with a stunning rhythmic drive. In his 2009 personal letter to Gelgotas, Terry Riley wrote: “I like that beauty seems to be his guiding principle. It is what people are hungry for – music that has an element of peace. Gelgotas has a very unique and compelling compositional voice.”
Gelgotas’ symphonic music premieres take place at the leading European concert halls. In 2015, his latest work Mountains. Water. Freedom was commission by the Swiss Orpheus Foundation and premiered at the prestigious Zurich Tonhalle concert hall by the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, conducted by Kristjan Järvi. This is by far not the first collaboration in the history of the artistic tandem of the two musicians. Gelgotas’ work Never Ignore the Cosmic Ocean was premiered at the Berlin Konzerthaus with the Baltic Youth Philharmonic conducted by Kristjan Järvi in 2012 and was described as “a sensation“ (Neue Musikzeitung, 2012). It soon started to migrate throughout European festivals and turned out to be a reference point for the international career of Gelgotas. On 1 September 2013, the work was broadcast widely on German radio, since September 2015 it is often aired in Europe and Asia by the Mezzo TV. Never Ignore the Cosmic Ocean” is also released by independent French music label Naive Classique. From February 2017 Mezzo TV also regularly broadcasts a recording of “Mountains. Waters. Freedom”, which has also been broadcasted live on Boiler Room in August 2016 from the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow.
The first symphony by G. Gelgotas titled Extracultural was premiered in January 2015 at the legendary Leipzig Gewandhaus concert hall by the New Ideas Chamber Orchestra NICO and the MDR Symphony Orchestra led by Maestro Järvi. It was a joint commission between the Mid-Germany Radio Symphony Orchestra and Vilnius Festival, later in the same year presented at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic in Vilnius and performed by NICO, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, also conducted by Kristjan Järvi.
To date, Gelgotas‘ music has been presented at many prestigious classical music festivals including the Beethovenfest (Bonn, 2014), Schleswig-Holstein (2013), Young Euro Classics (Berlin, 2012) and Usedom (2012), he was the composer in residence at Verbier Festival (2014). Gelgotas has also created music for several Lithuanian film and theater productions; in 2012 he was nominated for the Golden Stage Cross award (Lithuania) for his work in this area, awarded with Neva Foundation Prize during the residency at Verbier Festival (2014), and in 2015 awarded with St. Christopher Award (Lithuania) by Vilnius Municipality, as well as the Young Artist Grant by the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture.
To implement his unique creative vision, in 2006 Gediminas Gelgotas established his own ensemble – the New Ideas Chamber Orchestra (NICO), a string ensemble that he continues to lead today. NICO has presented Gelgotas’ music at a wide range of European and American concert venues, including the prestigious St Martin-in-the-Fields and Roundhouse in London, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Classic FM and BBC World Service radio stations.
Gediminas Gelgotas’ musical language is based on a refined aesthetic that is flavoured with sometimes sharp, sometimes gentle hints of (post)minimalism involving the frequent appearance of broken melodic segments, short, angular sections, occasional rigid ‘roboticisms’ in rhythm, melody and musical temperament. Though aggressive, unconventional string techniques are often employed, a sensuous nucleus remains intact. Universally important ideas are expressed in the titles of his works (“What’s Unrobotizable”, “Never Ignore the Cosmic Ocean”, “Extracultural”).
Gediminas Gelgotas’ musical events, sometimes described as ‘contemporary rock wearing the dress of academic music,’ represent a syncretic form of minimalist art that combines performing musicians with minimal choreography, lighting, scenographic and visual effects to create a theatrical event situated in the area between academic and pop music.
In 2010 the composer was signed with Peermusic Classical (Germany–USA) to publish and distribute his scores.
Gediminas Gelgotas (b. 1986) studied piano, trumpet and composition from 1993 to 2005 at the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Art (Vilnius, Lithuania). In 2011 he graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, where he studied composition and orchestral conducting. He later continued his academic career at the Hochschule for Music and Theater Hamburg, where he studied composition with Peter Michael Hamel (2009–2010).
Biography © 2017 by Gediminas Gelgotas. Any edited or altered use of the content without the permission of Gediminas Gelgotas or his authorised representatives is strictly prohibited.