Gintaras Sodeika

Gintaras Sodeika (b. 1961) is a graduate of the Lithuanian Music Academy and additionally completed Prof. Julius Juzeliunas’ composition class in 1986.

He was a founding member of the avant garde artists’ group Green Leaf in the late 1980s and was an active participant in the group’s events and exhibitions until they disbanded in 1992. He came up with the concept and execution of three happening festivals, AN-88, AN-89 and NI-90.

In 1990, he embarked on a long and successful collaboration with highly acclaimed Lithuanian theatre director Oskaras Korsunovas and has written the musical scores for almost all of his productions.

Sodeika devises sound designs for non-traditional environments and is an interdisciplinary artist. His compositions have been performed around the world.

He is the recipient of the International Torun Theatre Festival’s award for his music composed for the play Playing the Victim (2006). He has also been granted the Golden Stage Cross, St. Christopher Award (1998) and the Outstanding Music Award for Concert for Piano and Orchestra (2014) in his home country of Lithuania.

Sodeika set out on his creative path at the beginning of the 1990s during a time when contemporary Lithuanian music was experiencing a major turning point together with an entire generation of “machinist” composers. The works of these musicians were characterized by the aestheticism of a “pure sound” ascetic, rationalism, reductionism and minimalism, a singular mechanical, machine-like quality. In concert with this, the composers sought to not only enrich the sound of the music (through the use of non-traditional means to produce sound, grouping of instruments, electronics, etc.), but to also expand the breadth with which music is associated. Through these works, the groundbreaking composers were unafraid to venture into territory that until then had not been explored, such as instrumental theatre or happenings.

Sodeika’s creative pieces can be grouped into three categories. The first consists of various “unconventional” works, such as happenings, sound installations, instrumental theatre. Most of these works were composed in the 1980s, with Baza Gaza (1988) controversially standing out with its visual, aural and olfactory components.

The composer naturally transitioned from this type of work into music for the theatre. The close and longstanding relationship between director Oskaras Korsunovas and composer Gintaras Sodeika produced a unique role for music in their plays: the plays always contain a lot of music, it serves as an impetus to drive the dramatic action forward and is modeled on the inherent organic nature of its own, internal musical form.

Another area of creative work by Sodeika is in conventional chamber, vocal, choral and symphonic music. Here, it also resounds with his own unique style of theatricality and a creative connection to modern pop culture. His most often performed work in concert halls, Sound Ontology No. 2 for two pianos, is an intriguing stylization of techno music for traditional instruments in a traditional performance environment.

The direction of Sodeika’s concert works are further expanded by compositions with elements of minimalism and jazz (such as Tremors for ten instruments) where humor and playfulness often coincide with a singularly severe, harshly resonating sound and is a paradox particular to this composer’s music.

Sodeika’s first opera Vinter was staged in 2006 and was based on the Norwegian author’s Jon Fosse’s play. It was directed by Oskaras Korsunovas.

In 2018, Sodeika’s opera POST FUTURUM was staged at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre and was dedicated to the centenary of Lithuania’s independence. It was also directed by Oskaras Korsunovas.

Most recently, the composer has turned his talents towards interdisciplinary art and has created and conceptualized a number of works for the international contemporary art fair ART VILNIUS. Since 2017, he has been writing and performing carillon music. He founded and curates the Fluxus internet radio station Flux’n’Air. Sodeika also teaches at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and is an Associate Professor in the Master Acting and Directing Department.

His most recent work in the theatre in 2019:
Vienna’s Forest Stories. Director Yana Ross, Lithuanian Youth National Theatre.
Orpheus. City Lights. Director Naubertas Jasinskas. Lithuanian National Drama Theatre. A Man from Podolsk. Director Oskaras Korsunovas, OKT.
Everything is Fine. Director Dovile Zavedskaite, Lithuanian National Drama Theatre.

Gintaras Sodeika has held prestigious positions in a number of Lithuanian institutions and organizations.
1999-2003 Chairman of the Lithuanian Composers’ Union
2000-2006 President of the Lithuanian Copyright Protection Association (LATGA)
2003-2008 Vice Minister of the Ministry of Culture of Lithuania
2010 to Current: Director of the Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center.