The music of Tomas Kutavičius (b. 1964) has its roots in ethnic and classical traditions as much as in jazz. Searching for a balance between those different influences, he comes up with a distinctive way of development in his compositions. From his father, the famous composer Bronius Kutavičius, he has inherited the appreciation of music and aesthetic taste that he has developed through formal education in the field of classical and jazz music, at the M. K. Čiurlionis Art School, the Vilnius Conservatoire and the Lithuanian Academy of Music.
He started playing jazz in 1985, making his debut with the Big Band of Vilnius Conservatoire. A perfect technique, a smooth blend of classical and jazz idioms and an idiosyncratic vocal expression alongside the instrumental performance have made him a sought after performer. He has been collaborating with Skirmantas Sasnauskas, Petras Vyšniauskas, Arkady Gotesman, Juozas Milašius, Dalius Naujokaitis, Vytautas Labutis, Eugenijus Kanevičius, Vladimir Tarasov, Vladimir Chekasin, Kai Kanthak, Klaus Kugel, Theo Jörgensmann, Jacques Sirone, Jana Koubkova, Anatoly Vapirov, and others.
In 1990 he made his debut as a group leader. He has been featured, solo and as part of different projects, by international jazz festivals in Lithuania and abroad, and has toured Finland, Germany, the Ukraine, Poland, Estonia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Russia, France, Switzerland and the USA.
In 1991 Tomas Kutavičius started studying composition with his father and the same year he presented his first composition, Conversations With My Soul, at Vilnius and Kaunas jazz festivals. The bulk of his compositions consists of incidental music for theatre. In 1997 he received the Grand Prix at the International Grenoble Theatre Festival for music composed for "A Journey", a production of the theatre studio "Ąžuolas".
© Jūratė Kučinskaitė
Operas "Mother's Eyes" (libretto by Violeta Palčinskaitė, 1999), "Carmen Songs" (2003), "Longnose the Dwarf" (after the fairy-tales by Wilhelm Hauff, 2005), "Snake's Eyes" (libretto by Violeta Palčinskaitė, 2005)
Ballet "We Play Hopscotch, We Play Chess" (1996)
Suite "Projects of Invisible Shadows" (1993)
Suite in Jazz for string quartet and chamber orchestra (2000)
Musicals for children "Jeronimas' Tales" (1997), "The Horse and the River" (1998)
Music for drama performances "The Mermaid" (Piotr Fomenko Theatre Workshop in Moscow, 1998), "The Lower Depths" (Juozas Miltinis Theatre in Panevėžys), "Sakura in the Wind" (Dora Theatre Company in Japan, 2004)
Jazz compositions "Conversations With My Soul" (1991), "Magister Ludi" (2001), "Autumn Chant" (2004), and others