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Žibuoklė Martinaitytė

Žibuoklė Martinaitytė

Music Adjunct Faculty

Music and Performing Arts Professions

The works of New York-based composer Žibuoklė Martinaitytė, winner of the 2022 Lithuanian National Prize in Arts and Culture and 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship, have been lauded as “breathtaking…profoundly moving” by the San Francisco Classical Voice, while The Wire praises her for “complex structures of perception and rich textures of experience”. 

Described by WQXR as a textural magician, Martinaitytė has a growing reputation for her chamber and orchestral music. In 2021 Ondine Records released the CD “Saudade” of her orchestral pieces, which has gained wide critical acclaim with reviews in the New York Times, Gramophone Magazine, BBC Music Magazine, and Limelight Magazine. "Saudade" was NPR Top 10 Classical Albums of 2021: "Martinaitytė’s orchestral language is rich, colorful and textured with fine detail. This album makes the case for Martinaitytė as a one of today’s most distinctive orchestral composers". In February 2022 the New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Santtu-Matias Rouvali gave the US premiere of the title piece Saudade from this album. 

Martinaitytė’s solo CD In Search of Lost Beauty, released on the Starkland label in 2019, received two gold medals at the Global Music Awards for Best Composer and Best Album. In 2020 she was granted the prestigious Lithuanian Government Award for her creative achievements and in 2022 a Medal of Honor from the President of Lithuania.

Martinaitytė studied composition at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater and participated in various composition courses in Europe studying with Brian Ferneyhough, Boguslaw Schaffer, Magnus Lindberg, Tristan Murail and Jonathan Harvey. Although she began her career in Europe, in the last decade her activity has been gaining momentum in the USA where she received commissions from the MATA festival, the Barlow Endowment, Volti, Bang On A Can Marathon, the “Look+Listen” Composers Competition Prize (NYC), a fellowship for the Other Minds festival (2011), the Copland House Sylvia Goldstein award, the “Composers Now” award for residency at the Pocantico Center, and the New Works residency at Harvestworks, NY (2016). She was also awarded a number of fellowships for creative residencies at the MacDowell Colony for Artists in New Hampshire (2009, 2011, 2019), Aaron Copland house (2010, 2019), Millay Colony for Artists (2012), Wildacres (2014), Djerassi Artists Residency (2017), Willapa Bay Residency (2018) and Citè des Arts in Paris (2015), the Bogliasco Foundation in Italy (2020) and the Bellagio Center by the Rockefeller Foundation in Italy (2023). 

Martinaitytė’s music has been performed throughout Europe, The USA, and Asia by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Bruckner Orchester Linz (Austria), Weimar Staatskapelle (Germany), Esprit Orchestra (Canada), Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Canada), Volti (USA), Yarn/Wire (USA), Latvian Radio Choir, The Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, The Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, The Lithuanian State Orchestra, ensemble Synaesthesis and many others. Her work for symphony orchestra A Thousand Doors To The World (2009), a commission by the Lithuanian National Radio on the occasion of “Vilnius – Culture Capital of Europe 2009” was broadcast by Euroradio – one of the “largest virtual concerts halls” with 4 million listeners. Four of her orchestral pieces received the Lithuanian Composers Union Award as Best Orchestral Performances for 2019, 2018, 2013, and 2009. Martinaitytė's music has been released on 5 solo and multiple group CDs.


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