The drummer and percussionist Vladimir Tarasov (b. 1947) studied at the high school of music in Arkhangelsk. After graduating in 1966, he entered the Leningrad Conservatory; however, soon he was expelled for the 'malicious' dissemination of jazz. Since 1968 he has been living in Vilnius. Here he appeared as a percussion player with the Lithuanian State Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra (present Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra) and "Trimitas" Wind Orchestra. In 1984 he became a soloist of the Lithuanian State Philharmonic Society. Since 1971 he has been a member of the celebrated Trio GTCh (Vyacheslav Ganelin, Vladimir Tarasov, Vladimir Chekasin). His experience with this group is accounted at length in his "Trio", an autobiographical book published in 1998. He was repeatedly hailed the Best Drummer (1980-87) and the Second Jazz Musicians of the Year (1987) of the Soviet Union, as well as the Second Europe's Drummer (1986). In 2012, he was honoured with the Vilnius Jazz Festival Award for lifetime merits to the Lithuanian jazz culture.
In 1984 he started solo performances with his "Atto" series of compositions. In 1991 he founded the Lithuanian Art Orchestra - a variable line-up of musicians coming from both academic and jazz backgrounds. He also composes music for film, drama and dance performances. He taught improvisation courses for ensembles and solo instruments in Podewil (Berlin) in 1991, and at the Bremen Academy of Music in 1994. From 1993 to 1994 he was a fellow composer at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart.
Vladimir Tarasov is equally engaged in visual arts, presenting his work in many personal and group exhibitions, collaborating with artists such as Ilya Kabakov and others. From 1999 to 2002 he was director of the Russian Drama Theatre in Vilnius.
Vladimir Tarasov has recorded more than 100 LPs and CDs with the Trio GTCh, many other artists and orchestras, including also numerous solo performances.
© Zana Lebedeva