updated 24 April 2023
© Dmitrij Matvejev

Justė Janulytė

Lithuanian composer born 1 May 1984 in Vilnius.

Justė Janulytė studied piano, choral direction, and music theory at the National M.K. Čiurlionis School of Art in Vilnius. She also studied composition with Bronius Kutavičius in Vilnius, then with Alessandro Solbiati at the Milan Conservatory, enrolling in masterclasses with Luca Francesconi and Helena Tulve. In 2004, she received her baccalaureate from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Janulytė defines herself as a composer of monochrome music. Her catalog oscillates between minimalist and spectral aesthetics, and Polish sonorism, a focus of which is the different characteristics of timbre. She uses highly monochromatic ensembles for her pieces, such as wind only in Unanime, Psalms, and Endings; strings only in White Music and Apnea; and voice only in Aquarelle, Radiance, and Iridescence. Through this technique, and taking inspiration from her father’s work as an astrophysicist, Janulytė creates “clouds of sound” whose gradual textural, dynamic, and timbral evolution evokes natural phenomena, comparable to musica universalis. Pieces such as The Colour of Water, Silence of the Falling Snow, Eclipses, Midnight Sun, and Observation of Clouds demonstrate her attempts to produce acoustic metaphors of visual ideas, often linked to the environment. All of these pieces are founded on the principle of cyclical metamorphosis and reversible process, exemplified in the hourglass in the Sandglasses installation. This piece was presented at the closing ceremony of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2013. Through this installation for four cellos, electronics, and video set design, Janulytė explored the visual dimension of her work, as she also did through Breathing Music for string quartet and electronic and kinetic sculptures. In 2020, she focused on this process through her collaboration with the Latvian director Viesturs Kairišs for the feature film City on the River.

She has worked with ensembles such as WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Orchestra Filarmonica della Fenice, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Polish National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Sinfonietta Riga, Ensemble Modern, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, the Estonian National Male Choir, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, SWR Vokalensemble, and the Quasars Ensemble. Her pieces have been performed at the Venice Biennale, Romaeuropa Festival, Holland Festival, Warsaw Autumn, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, MaerzMusik (Berlin), Musik der Zeit (WDR Cologne), Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, musikprotokoll Graz, Biennale Némo (Gaîté Lyrique, Paris), and the Musica Festival in Strasbourg, among others.

Janulytė has taught lessons in contemporary musical language at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre since 2006. In 2011, she was the guest speaker at the Nordplus music laboratory’s “Process 2013” in Nida, Lithuania. She has held composition masterclasses at the “Luigi Canepa” Music Conservatory in Sassari, Italy, in 2014, as well as at the SYNTHETIS Summer Course for Composers in Poland in 2019 and 2020, and at the International Young Composers Academy in Lugano, Switzerland, in 2021.

Janulytė is a member of the Prince Pierre of Monaco Foundation Music Council.

Prizes and Awards

  • First place in the Musica femina München competition, 2019
  • Lithuanian National Prize for Culture and Arts, 2017
  • Young Artist’s Prize from the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, 2011
  • First place at the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris (category for composers under 30), 2009, for Aquarelle
  • Best chamber piece from the Lithuanian Composers’ Union, 2005, for White Music

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2023


Site de la compositrice, Salabert, quatuor Quasar, Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco, Universal Music Publishing Classical, Amadeus, Lithuanian Culture Institute

Liens Internet

  • Site de la compositrice : www.justejanulyte.com
  • Editions Salabert : www.durand-salabert-eschig.com
  • SoundCloud : www.soundcloud.com
  • Andreas Zurbriggen, « Monochrome Klanglandschaften. Justė Janulytė und der grosse Reiz der Einfarbigkeit », dissonance 142, Juni 2018, p. 21–28, à lire ici.
  • Dāvis Engeelis, « The Long Koans by Justė Janulytė », Lithuanian Music Link n°21, janvier-décembre 2018, à lire ici.
  • Jurij Dobriakov, « Composing Visual Metaphors », Lithuanian Music Link n°15, octobre 2007-mars 2008, à lire ici.

(liens vérifiés en avril 2023).


  • Justė JANULYTE, Sandglasses ; Elongation of nights ; Aquarelle ; Observation of clouds ; Psalms ; Textile, dans « Smėlio Laikrodžiai = Sandglasses », 5 CD-2 DVD Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Centre, 2014, LMIPC CD 077.