36th Vilnius Jazz Festival. 12-16 October, 2022

Petras Vyšniauskas - Arkady Gotesman


Petras Vyšniauskas – saxes, p
Arkadij Gotesman – dr, perc

The creative trajectories of Lithuanian jazz formers P. Vyšniauskas and A. Gotesman crossed when Lithuania was on the threshold of independence. In 1990, they debuted as the duo PetrArka and soon released Lithuania, the first jazz album in independent Lithuania. The tandem’s first concerts were related to the events of January 13th.

Despite its sporadic and more occasional performances, the duo became an important phenomenon, touring many prestigious European jazz festivals. The musicians share not only a liking for musical experimentation, but also a fascination for interchange with other arts, especially literature. “We are always close to the text – plays, poems, sonnets”, Gotesman has said.

It is no coincidence that the duo’s name is “literary”, inspired by the legendary 14th century writer Francesco Petrarca, famous for his love sonnets. According to the PetrArka virtuosi, the form of the sonnets is close to their playing style.

This is a special year for the duo. Petras and Arkady decided to blow away the dust of time from the archives and to enrich the jazz discography with the music from their concert on the Improdimensija platform. Their performance, filled with lyrical and subtle improvisations, which was enjoyed by the audience, will find its way to our homes in the form of an album. It will fill not only our homes, but also our hearts, because this duo’s work, like Petrarca’s sonnets, is timeless poetry of the highest quality. Come and see for yourself.

Petras Vyšniauskas is one of the founders of the professional saxophone school in Lithuania. He is the most titled jazz musician in Lithuania.

The musician’s trophies include the Lithuanian National Culture and Art Prize, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania Art Prize, the 5th Class Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, the Word Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Gold Medal, the Baltic Assembly Art Prize and a number of other awards.

Vyšniauskas is a musician of exceptional versatility. His imagination is inexhaustible: the saxophonist has his say in the most diverse jazz styles and music genres. He is at home not only in jazz, but also academic music – from baroque compositions to contemporary opuses dedicated to him; in addition, he has composed music for many theatre productions and feature films. His discography amounts to over 60 albums.

The musician has collaborated with a great number of celebrated jazz, classical and folk musicians including Prague Philharmonic and New York St Luke symphony orchestras, Paris Radio and New York Metropolitan Opera choirs, folk singer Veronika Povilionienė and birbynė player Antanas Smolskus, jazz guitarist Fred Frith, pianists Bob Stenson and Karl Berger, saxophonists Steve Lacy and Charlie Mariano, double bassists Kent Carter and Vladimir Volkov, trumpeters Tomasz Stańko and Herb Robertson, drummers Han Bennink and Klaus Kugel. He has enjoyed a very close, long-standing creative friendship with the legendary keyboardist and composer Vyacheslav Ganelin, a legend of the Vilnius Jazz School.

According to Vyšniauskas, jazz is, first of all, the way to communicate: the realm where one makes the most striking discoveries, thus the saxophonist never puts his music down on paper. “My music is in my head”, said the musician.

With various collectives Vyšniauskas appeared in international festivals in the USA, the UK, Australia, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Finland, Poland, Russia and other countries. He took part in music programs of five EXPOs: Hanover (Germany), Aichi (Japan), Zaragoza (Spain), Shanghai (China) and Yeosu (South Korea).

Vyšniauskas’ disciples – Jan Maksimowicz, Liutauras Janušaitis, Kęstutis Vaiginis, Remigijus Rančys, Dovydas Stalmokas, Simonas Šipavičius and others – represent today’s elite of younger jazz generation.

Arkady Gotesman, one of the most resourceful and versatile Lithuanian percussionists and composers, is also enjoying repute as a poet, theatre director, pedagogue, producer, Spiritus Movens of Vilnius Klezmer Orchestra and artistic director of two music festivals.

He composes, records and performs music for theatre, writes scenarios for musical performances and installations, organises projects with dancers, writers, actors and visual artists, appears in personal shows.

Arkady has a gift to discover new venues for jazz in periphery and enrich his projects with the participation of the world’s jazz luminaries. He has collaborated with exponents of various trends including Roland Dahinden, Vladimir Volkov, Vyacheslav Gaivoronsky, Arkady Shilkloper, Julian Joseph, John Zorn, Jack Siron, Frank London, Anthony Coleman, Charles Gayle, Tim Daisy, Joey Baron, Barry Guy, Dominic Duval, Dave Douglas, Albert Beger, Martin Küchen, Mark Tokar, Warren Smith, Andrew Lamb.

In Lithuania the percussionist has regularly been working with Vyacheslav Ganelin, Petras Vyšniauskas, Vladimir Tarasov, Dmitrij Golovanov and Jan Maksimowicz.

Gotesman is an enthusiast of silent movies, as a taper with various international musicians he promulgates the genre in Lithuania.

The percussionist plays not only jazz, but also contemporary academic music. He has performed world premieres of works by Osvaldas Balakauskas, Anatolijus Šenderovas, Zita Bružaitė and Šarūnas Nakas among others. Moreover, he is the organiser of the Klezmer Music Festival in Vilnius, the artistic director of Šeduva Percussion Festival and the founder of Theatrum solius quadri.

In 2018, Gotesman was honoured with Birštonas Jazz International Festival Grand Prix, and in 2015 – was presented with Vilnius Jazz Award for contributions to Lithuanian jazz. 


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