Kastytis Barisas, artistic director and choir conductor of the VDU Education Academy choir „Ave Vita“, professor and associate professor at the Lithuanian Music and Theater Academy Department of Choir Conducting, member of the Lithuanian Choral Union, choir expert and consultant, was born in 1961 in Panevėžys.
Education and Qualifications:
From 1976 to 1980: Panevėžys J. Švedas Pedagogical Music School
From 1980 to 1985: Lithuanian State Conservatory (Now Lithuanian Music and Theater Academy)
From 1993 to 1995: Postgraduate studies at the Lithuanian Music and Theater Academy.
In 2008, he interned at the Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno.
In 2019, he ha dan Erasmus+ internship at the Dresden College for Church Music.
From 1983 to 1993 he was the founder and choir leader of the Vilnius Art Academy (VDA, LDA) Chamber Choir.
He is the chief conductor of the Baltic students’ song and dance festival “Gaudeamus” (Latvia: 1991, 2004, 2014; Estija: 1995, 2006, 2018; Lithuania: 1999, 2011), Kaunas Pupils‘ Song Festival (1999, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2016, 2018), West Lithuania Song Festival (2012, 2016, 2017,2018), artistic director and chief conductor of the Water Festival in Zarasai.
Choir „Ave Vita“ has participated in numerous international contests and festivals (Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Italy, the US, Latvia, Poland, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Hungary, Germany). „Ave Vita“ is the winner of many contests: The Lithuanian Adult Choir Competition (1st place in 2002, 3rd place in 2006), the „Aukso Paukštė“ nomination of the „Star of the International Brilliance“ (2002). A participant of the television projects: „Lietuvos Balsai“ („The voices of Lithuania“, 2009), „Žvaigždžių duetai“ with singer Vaida Genytė („Star Duets“, 2010), „Chorų Eurovizija“ („Choir Eurovision“, 2014). The choir has performed at different television projects with famous opera artists (V. Juozapaitis, J. Leitaitė, V. Vyšniauskas, M. Vitulskis and others), pop singers (E. Kučinskas, E. Sašenko, K. Krysko Skambinė, V. Baumila, B. Petrikytė, O. Vyšniauskas, Č. Gabalis, P. Meškėla, L. Adomaitis, M. Mikutavičius and others).
K. Barisas has recorded two audio cassettes (1996, 2000 in Italy). In 1996, a video and audio cassettes were published at the XXVI International Festival of Sacred Music in Loreto (Italy) which features the choir „Ave Vita“. In 2009, A CD published at the X Choir Festivali n Pueblo (Mexico) in 2009 also features the choir „Ave Vita“. A CD „Ačiū, kad esi“ („Thank you that you are“) was published in 2016. The choir is featured in the CDs „Aukštumos.Žemumos.Lygumos. Saulius Petreikis ir World orchestra“ (2016), ŽALVARINIS (2017). A lot of recordings were done at the LRT, LNK and other TV studios.
The choir has prepared many programs and different pieces. It is worth to mention: B. Chilcott „A little Jazz Mass“ (2015), Ch. Gounod „Messe breve“ Nr. 7 (2015), T.W. Aas cantata „Gloria“ (2015), G. Kuprevičius cantata „Pagonių giesmės“ (2014), M. Natalevičius cantata „Omnia sol temperat“ (2013), D. Pavilionis musical „Jotvingių rauda‘ (2012), K. Jenkins „Requiem“ (2011), V. Augustinas cantata „Absiste vulgus“ (2010), C. Orf „Carmina Burana“(2009), D. Falco „Messa“ (2008), W.A. Mozart „Messe breve D-dur“ (2007), V. Miškinis cantata „Creator alme siderum“ (2006) and many other.
Our project, theatrical presentation of a national costume and concert „Raštų Pynė“ received a lot of interest not only in Lithuania but also in Saint Petersburg (Russia), Mogilev and Minsk (Belarus), Pécs (Hungary) and Achen (Germany).
We performed with different orchestras: Vilnius „Sinfonietta“, Lithuania State Symphony Orchestra, Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra, Vilnius University Chamber Orchestra, Lithuanian Army Wind Orchestra, Šiauliai Chamber Choir, Lithuanian State Wind Orchestra „Trimitas“, Trakai Art School Fanfare „Trakai“, The Vilnius City Municipality St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra, Vilnius Music Amateur Symphony Orchestra and many others.
K. Barisas actively participates in the expert activities: he is the Jury Chairman of the vocal ensemble competition „Šventosios gaida“ (2006, 2008, 2015), the XVIII International Sacred Music Choir Festival in Námestovo (Slovakia, 2007), the IV International Choir Festival and Competition of Sacred Music „Cantate Domino“ (2008), the III National Children and Youth Choir Contest „Mes Lietuvos vaikai“ („We are the children of Lithuania“, 2008, 2011, 2015), the Lithuanian millennial song festival „Amžių Sutartinė“ (2009) selection board committee member, the national soloists and ensemble contest ”Sidabriniai Balsai” (2010), the XVII International Song Contest „Dainuoju Lietuvai“ (2012), The Lithuanian Adult Choir Competition (2013), the boys‘ and junior‘s choir contest (2014), the Lithuanian Song Festival „Čia Mano Namai“ selection board committee member, The Lithuanian Vocal Ensemble Competition „Šilų Aidai“ (2008, 2016), the regional vocal ensembles contest „Kur aukštas klevas“ (2008), the VI vocal music competition „Iš širdies į širdį“ (2011), the vocal music competition „Nemunėlio vingiai“ (2013), the VII vocal music competition in Veiveriai (2013).
He conducts seminars and choral singing masterclasses for choir and vocal ensemble leaders, teachers and participants of the Song Festivals. He conducted repertoire and interpretation courses for the participants of the Baltic students’ song and dance festival “Gaudeamus” in the Universities of Riga, Tallinn and Tartu (2018, 2014, 2011).
K. Barisas is a board member of the amateur choir categorization committee, a member of the LNKC Committee of the Genre Council of Choir and Vocal Ensembles. He was the chairman of the Commission of Experts for Evaluation of Professional Development Projects of Cultural Workers of the Ministry of Culture of Lithuania (2013, 2014).
The professor teaches choir conducting, music scores reading courses, the history of Lithuanian music, educational project management for master students, organ choir studies and he supervises bachelor and master research. In 2013 and 2017, he read lectures at the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University of Kaliningrad (Russia).
K. Barisas participates in national and international conferences. Each year he attends professional development courses and seminars. K. Barisas is an author of a textbook for higher education students „Harmonijos paskaitų konspektai“ („Harmony lecture notes“, 1999), he compiled and released several sets for choirs and ensembles. He also co-authored the monograph „Bendrasis muzikinis ugdymas Lietuvoje: raida ir kryptys (XX – XXI a. pradžia)“ („General musical education in Lithuania: development and directions (the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century)“, 2012). He was awarded the I Degree Medal of the Order of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas (2002), the II degree medal “For Merits to Vilnius and the Nation” (2016), the LEU Medal of Merit (2015), official letters from the Government, the Seimas, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education, the municipality and other institutions.