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Rita Mačiliūnaitė

Rita Mačiliūnaitė (b.1985) was studying opera singing and composition. In 2010 she graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, the composition class of Prof. Osvaldas Balakauskas. She also studied at The Royal Conservatory in The Hague, and attended many masterclasses. In 2008 she got a residency in B. Britten – P. Pears Young Artist Programme (Great Britain).

Mačiliūnaitė’s music is often performed in various festivals in Lithuania and abroad. In 2007 she received the prize for the best secular piece at the young composers’ competition of choral music “Vox Juventutis”, and in 2008 her opera The Duality was awarded at the annual Lithuanian Composers’ Union competition. She is notably active in organizing contemporary art and music festivals and events. Together with Rūta Vitkauskaitė she founded the contemporary music post-comedy style duo R&R Electronics. For several years since 2017, she was a singer of the ensembles Subtilusis trio, Balsai and the interdisciplinary performance collective Music Is Very Important.

Since 2014 the composer has been head of the music department at the Russian Drama Theatre in Vilnius; unsurprisingly, her music for theatre receives recognition and awards. She is a winner of the Golden Stage Cross prizes as the best Lithuanian theatre composer of the season – in 2014, 2015, and in 2017.

The music of Rita Mačiliūnaitė creates an image of natural idyl that is non-existent in reality; the composer says she was pursuing ‘fragility and transparency’, trying to discover the traces of sounds and mark the contours of shadows. Her ‘intuitively born’ works are often assembled from quavering and rustling of strings, blasts of ‘ornithological’ (exotic) woodwinds and onomatopoeic electronic sounds. Similar to many other composers of her generation, the plots of Mačiliūnaitė’s operas are abstract and conceptual, expressing a certain idea (or a complex thereof) rather than a specific life situation.