curated by Frank J. Oteri – Anthology of Lithuanian Art Music in the 21st Century



If such an eclectic character as the journalist, composer, collector and musician Frank J. Oteri is called by the Music Information Centre Lithuania (MICL) to compile a 21st century Lithuanian art music anthology, undoubtedly the result will be extremely relevant. The American critic handled the work with an encyclopedic touch, after listening to more than 300 compositions recorded in the institution archives. But Asta Pakarklytė, the MICL director, highlights instead that the names of the edition might be considered quite atypical and different from the choices you would expect by a local musicologist. J. Oteri tries with success to escape from praises and contradictory critics: with no doubts he claims “it’s not really possible to make judgments about the 21st century” because
it’s too soon to have an impression and provide judgments on the zeitgeist of a period which is so long and still too close. The edition consists of a selection of eighteen tracks and authors, divided into two CDs, included in an elegant 36-page paperboard booklet. The project’s main core is to offer the best representation of the Lithuanian music, “the idea is to represent everyone, to show that everybody in society can create music.” Obviously there is a selection process behind the project, despite J. Oteri’s ability to avoid this question. The chosen authors are mostly born after the Second World War, for example Mindaugas Urbaitis or Šarūnas Nakas, Vaclovas Augustinas, Jonas Tamulionis, Remigijus Merkelys and Arvydas Malcys, or are very, very young, such as Raimonda Žiūkaitė, born on 1991. In addition, due to mere reasons of editorial line, the composers who had performed very short tracks or symphonies longer than 15 minutes were excluded. Another selection guideline was the differentiation of the tracks according to the different ensemble, which allow the listener to experience different kinds of orchestral combinations. As a result, we have here an interesting and diverse classical music anthology, which is at the same time balanced and concise. The work cannot be all inclusive, but can easily address a larger audience and not only the insiders, and we think this was the goal the MICL would aim for.