FELIKSAS BAJORAS (b 1934 )
Feliksas Romualdas Bajoras (b. 1934) began his musical training in Kaunas with Vincas Bacevičius, the father of two eminent composers, Grazyna Bacewicz and Vytautas Bacevičius. After graduating from the Lithuanian State Conservatory (now the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre) as a violinist in 1957, he joined the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra (now the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra) and soon tried his hand in composing popular songs for light music orchestra, a genre favoured by the establishment of the time. The taste of creative work incited him to pursue professional studies in composition under Prof. Julius Juzeliūnas; he completed his studies in 1963. Even after he turned to ‘serious’ music, Bajoras continued writing popular songs occasionally, and performed them himself quite often.
Bajoras’ works seem somewhat autobiographical. One significant influence in his music comes from Lithuanian folk songs. Bajoras values the manner of singing, regional dialects and semantics over the melody. For him melody is encoded in ‘articulation’ which in turn represents the most authentic human emotional experience.
From the outset of his career, Bajoras took active interest in modern compositional techniques, including dodecaphony and aleatory. However, he never embraced such techniques in an orthodox manner. What really lies at the core of his music, are his interests in the expressive potential of a melody, the meaning of a musical phrase, dialogue between melodies, the overall language and its meaning. Melodic structures in his music appear as prominent signs or symbols of a musical discourse. Such ‘narratives’ abound in Bajoras’ works: in his opera Lamb of God (that the soviet Lithuanian Opera and Ballet Theatre once refused to stage due to ideological reasons), oratorios (The Raising of the Bell and Under This Roof), orchestral works, cantatas, sacred works, songs and chamber pieces. Each work bears a programmatic title and develops a certain theme, and captures the composer’s vision.