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"Vykintas Baltakas has an exceedingly alert and – in the productive sense – agitated mind, which is not pacified by a once-found solution to a problem. His specific talent for constructing musical and scenic time, together with his combinatory skills and an insatiable readiness of information, lead to different, renewed compositional approaches. These assert themselves via a sharp intellect just as they engage one with their sensual stringency."

Wolfgang Rihm

“What is remarkable about Vykintas Baltakas is his own brusque, harsh, very attentive and confident demeanour, his personal musical language, sometimes amusingly brittle, always explorative, always active and professional. His constant development, the versatility of his artistic creativity and his permanently progressive musical stance have encouraged me to nominate him for this prestigious prize.”

Peter Eötvös, The Vienna International Claudio Abbado Prize for Composition (2003).
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Music is perhaps, by its very nature, infinite. You have to imagine a big mountain. On the top of it there stands someone with a stone in front of him. It is as yet motionless, everything is open, one is free. But then the man moves the stone. The stone is unlodged. This is when it comes to life. Its life, as it is falling, depends on the direction, the surface of the mountain or the stone's weight. When this stone hits against another one, the two of them will be falling together. It is no longer just one stone but TWO stones executing ONE motion.

Perhaps they will meet a tree on their way. Perhaps they will break off one of its boughs. Perhaps the tree will continue to grow nevertheless, but differently, crooked. And because it is somewhat crooked, its fruits will be falling only on a particular spot. Perhaps on a spot covered with many little stones. But some of the fruits will manage to grow there in spite of that. And one day they will be stronger than the stones covering the roots. They will be moved. They will be falling downwards. Depending on the direction, the mountain surface or the stones' weight. In doing so, they will be moving other stones, other trees. And so on.

Now picture for yourself an infinite mountain, where falling can happen upwards and sideways as well. A mountain with an infinite number of stones, each different in shape and weight. Where some of the stones will break, like glass, into tiny little pieces and others will stick together. Featherweight stones, colored ones, ringing ones, scented ones. A mountain with no beginning and no ending.

And now imagine a composer standing underneath, observing everything that is happening on the mountain. Obviously, he can only see a fraction of it. He tries to take notes. As a result, a particular viewpoint will be registered, one element with which he can create a mosaic-like picture.

Vykintas Baltakas
b. 1972, in Vilnius


"Baltakas hat sich als origineller Eigenbrötler zu erkennen gegeben. Beifall für ihn."
Berliner Morgenpost / Klaus Geitel on Poussla at the Berliner Philharmonie with SWR SO
"Cantio became one of the most delightful séances in the history of the Biennale."
Frankfurter Rundschau / Hans-Klaus Jungheinrich on Cantio at the Munich Biennale
"[Cantio] is one of the high points of this year’s Munich Biennale"
New Sound / Donata Premeru on "Cantio" at the Munich Biennale
"Vykintas Baltakas’ Poussla was a real orchestral attention-grabber"
Asymmetry Music Magazine / Michael E. Karman on Poussla at the ISCM World Music Days in Vilnius
"Another gem that I was able to hear on that beautiful Sunday was Vykintas Baltakas’ b[ell tree]."
Neil Prufer on b(ell tree) for string quartet at the at the SONiC Festival in New York
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