Kaunas‘s Vocal Ensemble “Acusto” was established in 2010 by Kęstutis Jakeliūnas. The idea behind this project was to bring young, professional, enthusiastic people together to create something special. “Acusto“ performs a variety of a capella music. Their focus is to develop a modern approach on musical pieces from periods such as The Renaissance, Baroque and to establish their own style in contemporary times. The Ensemble‘s performances are a testament to their goal of professional musical expression – enchanting vocal tones, accurate intonation and a deep sense of musical style have already become signature attributes of “Acusto”. The Ensemble is always searching for a new way of performance, developing different voicing dispositions, playing with different voice tracks (for e.g. having the Bass sing the Soprano part), which allows their performances to stand out.
Every year the Ensemble strives to improve their performance and vocal skills in their annual Interpretation courses. During these courses the Ensemble performs a certain repertoire from a certain musical style (for e.g. jazz) or a specific time period for music (for e.g. Classicism). The courses are led by well-known, experienced lecturers from all around the world. From the likes of Lithuanian music experts and creators, conductors – Gintautas Venislovas, Vaclovas Augustinas, Laurynas Vakaris Lopas, Artūras Novikas to inspiring foreign guests such as Māris Sirmais (Latvia), Hirvo Surva (Estonia), Ko Matsushita (Japan). After this event, these performance pieces are incorporated into their usual repertoire. Therefore, nowadays you can hear “Acusto“ perform Renaissance masterpieces, Modern Lithuanian and Latvian music gems, German Romanticism and Jazzy Lithuanian Folk music pearls. During any concert “Acusto“ likes to present the history and their own interpretation of their music pieces to give the audience some insight and help them feel the performance in the true style of “Acusto“.
The Ensemble’s was always changing and evolving and today it is made up of 11 people, whom most of all are music professionals.
The Ensemble took part in a variety of singing competitions in which it gained recognition and won awards for great performances. Today “Acusto“ usually performs in Lithuanian choir music festivals, performing a repertoire not only of a capella music but also pieces such as Antonio Vivaldi “Gloria“, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart “Coronation Mass“ together with a small or medium-sized orchestra.
Their success is noted and talked about by many music critics, experts:
I would say, that what I heard from Lithuanian music bands, what left a big impression on me was Kaunas‘s Vocal Ensemble “Acusto“ (artistic director, conductor Kęstutis Jakeliūnas). After hearing a musical variety performance of both Lithuanian and foreign composers, it naturally occured to me that the performance had no central axis. With that in mind, I would say that this cluster of different musical pieces was perfectly combined together and sounded very organic. This performance idea is very intriguing, because every song, every composition sparks a new interest when it replaces the one before it, it brings something new and unexpected and you can‘t stop listening for more. (R.Murauskaitė, „7 meno dienos“).
„I closed my eyes and enjoyed the harmonious sounds, their eloquent voices. I want to acknowledge the sopranos for their soft, clear singing and for balancing the other voices as well. The Ensemble, it seems, has found the perfect way to perform every piece and the ammount of voices they needed for each composition was perfectly alright. (Pentatonika, www.choras.lt)
„The Ensemble‘s singers together with the string quartet „Con vios“ put together some interesting musical surprises and some very intriguing song interpretations.“ (V.Butvilienė, www.choras.lt)
Kaunas Vocal Ensemble Acusto singers:
Ilona Zajančkauskienė (soprano), Rūta Skučienė (soprano), Rasa Jakeliūnienė (soprano – alto), Daina Šliuželytė (alto), Agnė Vaitiekūnienė (alto),
Kęstutis Jakeliūnas (tenor), Jokūbas Matulevičius (tenor),
Aurelijus Zajančkauskas (bass), Gytis Junevičius (bass), Giedrius Prunskus (bass).