Vladimir Tarasov and Lithuanian Art Orchestra (Lithuania):
Vytautas Labutis - saxes
More than two decades ago Vladimir Tarasov came up with an idea to gather the renowned Lithuanian jazzmen and classical musicians into one collective. The Lithuanian Art Orchestra (LAO), pursuing the best traditions of the Lithuanian jazz school, made its debut in 1991.
The orchestra has presented several original programmes, two of which were recorded: Waltz Atto was released on Sonore Records in 1993, and Lithuanian Divertissement was recorded in Hamburg in 1994. The collective appeared in the 10th “Vilnius Jazz”, and in 2002 introduced itself to international audience as part of Jazz in Lithuania culture program in the Frankfurt Book Fair.
The LAO’s line-up keeps regenerating. This time, in addition to the old-timers and jazz masters the audience will meet representatives of younger generation. However, all the members are professionals of the highest rank, having earned recognition in Lithuania and abroad.
For “Vilnius Jazz” audience, Tarasov and the LAO present new programme – Aleatoric Games. The musicians dedicate it to the centenary of John Cage, the cult figure and mastermind of aleatoric music.
According to Tarasov, this project displays the closest association with principles of contemporary music, but at the same time epitomizes the freest expression. “In our play we will obey aleatoric rules. This composition is our mutual effort”. Composer, percussionist and visual artist Vladimir Tarasov spent many years working with various symphony, chamber and jazz orchestras in Lithuania, Europe and the US. In 1991, he joined the Lithuanian Composers’ Union. Maestro composes for orchestra, writes music for film and theatre.
As a composer and improviser Tarasov is best appreciated in his solo percussion projects. His discography amounts to 16 solo albums, 34 with Viacheslav Ganelin, Vladimir Chekasin and Vladimir Tarasov Trio, and more than 60 with other Lithuanian and foreign jazz and classical musicians.
Born in Arkhangelsk, he settled in Lithuania in 1968. In 1971, he was one of the three initial members of Viacheslav Ganelin Trio (saxophonist Vladimir Chekasin being the third) – the originator of the Lithuanian jazz school. As a Trio member Tarasov toured in Europe and the US, and authored an autobiographical book “Trio” (1998). In 2002, after 16-year interruption the Ganelin Trio had reunited for several performances.
Between 1999 and 2002 he was in charge of the Russian Drama Theatre of Lithuania, where he also directed plays. The musician has collaborated with Staatstheater in Stuttgart (1995), Majestic Theatre at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York (1995), Josef Nadj Centre Choreographique National Orleans in Orleans (1998) among other performing art institutions.
Since 1991, Tarasov has participated in personal and collective visual art exhibitions. He has displayed his works in Kunsthalle in Düsseldorf, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Centre Georges Pompidou and Galeries nationales du Grand Palais in Paris, Venetian Biennale, EXPO-2008 in Saragossa, Bass Museum of Art in Miami, Kulturhuset in Stockholm, the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, and other art centres. 2008 saw Baltos lankos publication of Vladimiras Tarasovas: tarp garso ir vaizdo (Vladimir Tarasov: Between Sound and Image).
Tarasov taught in Bremen Music College, Podevil Art Centre in Berlin, Visual Art Institute in Orleans, University of California, University of the Pacific, and art academies in Düsseldorf and Vilnius, etc.
The artist regularly participates in various theatre, jazz and visual art projects in France, Italy, Germany, Russia and the US. The musician has initiated a number of projects involving people of letters from Lithuania and abroad. In 2009, together with German writer Frido Mann he presented a memorable audio-visual project Deluge, which was part of the program of Vilnius – European Capital of Culture 2009.
The percussionist has collaborated with Andrew Cyrille, Rova Saxophone Quartet, Anthony Braxton, Lauren Newton, Butch Morris, Thomasz Stanko, Didier Petit, Mark Dresser, Gyorgy Szabados, Masahiko Satoh, Kazutoki Umezu and Anatoly Vapirov among other luminaries of jazz and improvised music.
In 2009, the Russian publishing house “NLO” presented Tarasov’s third book Tam- Tam. The same year he was the first representative of Lithuania to be awarded Russian prestigious prize “Triumph”, for achievements in art and literature.