Lithuania mourns leading composer

Lithuania mourns leading composer


norman lebrecht

April 28, 2020

The former avant-gardist turned national composer Vytautas Barkauskas has died at the age of 91. A mathematician by training, he taught for 59 years at the national academy of music, influencing students with the works of Ligeti and Penderecki even as his own scores turned tonal and sedate.

The President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda called him the country’s most progressive force in music.


  • John Borstlap says:

    Very sad, on a personal level.

    On a professional level: there does not exist something like progress in music.

    Where composers wrote works with the intention to ‘progress’, to ‘bring the artform forward’, the works survived on the basis of artistic quality and NOT because of being ‘progressive’. Art does not develop as science develops, new insights replacing older ones. No musical work replaces an older one because of being ‘newer’.

  • John Borstlap says:

    This is an impressive piece by him, which is not suffering from any avantgarde progressiveness: