Vitalij Neugasimov

Composer

Lithuania

Author

About

Vitalij Neugasimov was born in 1978 in Vilnius, Lithuania. His father, Vasilij Neugasimov, was electronics engineer, mother Lija Neugasimova (Belenkaja) is professional pianist. Since 1985 he has been studying piano in B. Dvarionas special music school with A. Velička. In 1996, he was graduated from music school with honors, and in the same year entered the Lithuanian Music Academy. There he studied organ with Prof. L. Digrys, and piano with Doc. S. Okruško. Since 1999 till 2012, Vitalij has been working in Liepaites choral singing school accompanying and teaching piano, solfeggio, music history, vocal and improvisation. As a singer, pianist and organ player he had concerts in Poland, Belorussia, Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Netherlands.

Vitalij is a founder of numerous music projects in Lithuania, including male a cappella group “Quorum”, early and contemporary music mixture “Pop with Wigs”, folk music project “Bridges Between Cultures” and so on.

He also plays organ and harpsichord together with various choirs, orchestras, ensembles and soloists and is highly appreciated for his basso continuo playing skills. Vitalij is also well-known in Lithuania for his teaching methods, and is considered to be one of the most prominent tutors. Some of his pupils are already successful performers, some continue their studies in Lithuanian high schools or even abroad, for egz., in Tech Music School in London or in Royal Conservatoire in Scotland, also Hague Royal Conservatoire in Netherlands.

Vitalij took part in numerous TV shows and competitions in Lithuania, such as „Voice of Lithuania“ (1 season, assistant of tutor E. Sipavicius), „Battle of the Choirs“ (2,3, and 4 season, arranger, tutor of „Indigo choir“ from Panevėžys, 2-nd place), „Patriotic song contest“ (5-th place for his group „Quorum“ song „Pagaminta Lietuvoje“), „Vilniaus Bokštai“ (2-nd place for his song „Lietus apie mus“, special award for his song „Nepaskutinis žodis“).

His compositions and free improvisations are based on classical traditons with the influence of sacred, folk, pop, jazz and modern music. His piano piece “Lullaby” by was included in the ABRSM Piano syllabus “Piano Exam Pieces 2015 & 2016, Grade 2” main list. During two years „Lullaby“ was played by thousands of pupils all over the world. He also collaborates with „Pianoheads“ company, founded by his sister, piano teacher Liudmila Neugasimova and her husband Martynas Vilkelis. It is based in London and provides multiple resources for music education. As the result of cooperative work, in 2016 OUP (Oxford University Press) publishes two „Pianoheads“ collections – sets of piano pieces, written by Vitalij Neugasimov („Piano Sketches“).

It was followed by „Piano Sketches“ for 4 hands (Duets), which has appeared in 2017.

In 2018 another piece of Vitalij called „Lazy Bear“ was included in the ABRSM piano syllabus.

Videos

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

I think, it is the best way to be free and also to express myself. Sometimes I feel, that music gives me an opportunity to contact other dimensions, to meet those, who passed away. It is very important for me – to overcome the limitation of material world, to find the feeling of immortality. Music helps me a lot, while communicating with people all over the world, as well.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Yes, actually, I think, that everything is about fantasy, creativity, some challenges, as well. But music also contains deep mystery inside. Something, that cannot be revealed. And it arises from silence. Otherwise, it is just a noise. In my opinion, real music is about calm and space.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

Maybe, a doctor. Though, I have too much empathy, and medicine needs the people with nerves of steel. I have definite interest in spiritual life, as well. Anyway, I can’t imagine my life without bringing hope to others, even despite my own problems.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?

Not at all. I still believe, that young people are naturally attracted by beautiful things. Maybe, tutors should change teaching tactics in order to motivate young generation. It is necessary to simplify education at the beginning in order to get rid off stress, that was normal in my childhood. But then we have to keep going in right destination – to prevent art from total eclipse. Good taste, true emotions, versatile skills and deep philosophy - we need it all to make our future bright and prosperous.

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

I want to believe, that music will remain the universal language for billions of people, bringing love, hope and harmony. I mean the music, that comes from the depth of the soul. The style doesn’t matter, though I prefer more soft music. It can be pop, jazz, folk, classical and so on. But the attitude towards it is the most important thing. Music as a source of pure energy, music as a love message, music as a spontaneous expression of yourself.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

It is all about creativity. Even, when you are just a performer. An individual approach makes it vital and exciting. It doesn’t mean, that you are inventing something all the time. Many things are invented already, you only have to use them in proper way. The creative process means for me to stay calm and just behold the things, it’s like a meditation. You need to get in touch with certain source, an then you often have more broad vision of everything.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

Yes, we definitely can. Maybe, crossovers are the good solution. Also, writing new music, which is not too sophisticated, quite easy to perform and to listen to, as well. It has to bring good emotions, but not in a primitive or aggressive way. So, we need a bridge between classical and popular traditions. As I can see, this trend is already working.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

Well, it depends. Sometimes I just improvise without any purpose, and then I catch some ideas by chance. Sometimes I have a certain idea of writing particular piece, in this case the creative process is more constructive. My favourite thing is „Be mine forever“, the song, which was composed as a piano piece for 4 hands. It extremely coincides with my philosophy. I really can’t remember the way it was written down. But i still have that feeling of something very sweet and tender, maybe – the lost paradise. I also had some influences by that time. So, I think, I used some phrases from my favourite songs of that period, subconsciously.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

I think, the best way to learn something is to find simple examples of great music. I mean, if you want to play it yourself. Of course, you can listen to thousands of great performers playing the toughest works, that were ever written. And then you have to be highly motivated, but also wise and patient enough, in order not to skip some necessary stages of learning. It shoudn’t be boring, but it still depends on many factors – support of family and friends, teacher’s authority and your own talent, passion and mental abilities.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

Perhaps, I have some people in mind, while creating something. More often I have the feeling of muse‘s presence in my soul. Especially, when i write something for particular person. But mostly it is the wide feeling of giving love for love’s sake.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I don’t have many plans. Normally I live for today. And my creativity depends on my mood a lot. I have some ideas for new projects in nearest future. But I am also open to new suggestions, partnerships, etc. Of course, since I feel the whole life on the Earth as a giant experiment, I accept these conditions and continue my own experiments - again and again:)