Raimondas Sviackevičius is a musician of wide horizons, intellectually and with determination upgrading the status of his instrument, with his programming daringly breaking the limits of repertoire and genres, and incessantly raising his professional standard.
Sviackevičius graduated with MA from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in 1999 (with Assoc. Prof. Zita Abromavičiūtė). 1998–1999 he studied at the Academy of Music in Lodz (Poland), with the accordionist and composer, Prof. Bogdan Dowlasz. 1999–2000 he attended the Sibelius Music Academy in Helsinki (Finland), with Prof. Matti Rantanen. 1999–2001 he pursued post-graduate studies at the Royal conservatoire in the Hague (Holland), with the world famous Prof. Friedrich Lips (Russia) and Johan De With (Holland).
Raimondas Sviackevičius is laureate of many national and international competitions. As a soloist he has performed with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, Kaunas Symphony Orchestra, St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra and Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra. He has given recitals, appeared in original programs at the festivals Gaida, Sugrįžimai, St. Christopher Summer Festival, Druskomanija, Jauna muzika, Druskininkų vasara su Čiurlioniu, Muzikos ruduo, Permainu muzika, Is arti, Klangspuren (Austria), Venice Bienalle (Italy), Utraschall (Germany), Vale of Glamorgan (United Kingdom), Turning sounds (Poland), Harbin festival (China), Usedom Music Festival (Germany) as well as W. Lutoslawski Modern Art Forum in Lublin, Musica Moderna in Lodz (Poland) and Bayan i Bayanisty in Moscow (Russia), accordion festivals in Sanok, Czestochowa, Liublin, Bielsko-Biala (Poland), Chelyabinsk, Ufa (Russia), among others.
Performing actively as a soloist he also plays chamber music and participates in various formations and unconventional groups playing experimental and avant-garde music as well as jazz. In 2004, he joined the contemporary music ensemble Gaida, and since 2009 has been actively involved in the Lithuanian Ensemble Network.
Sviackevičius regularly appears (in the past as a participant, now as a pedagogue) in international master classes, seminars and festivals. He had masterclasses at various European Academies including Copenhagen Royal Academy, London Royal Academy, Rome Santa Cecilia Conservatory, Strasbourg academy, Linz Anton Bruckner University, Tallinn, Kragujevac, Gdansk, Warsaw, Pula, Vicenza, Katowice, Czestochowa Academies of music and Harbin University in China. He has held Masterclasses at International Campus Giardini Naxos in Sicily, Santa Severina South Italy, Shenzhen China and other places. He has performed with great success in Germany, Italy, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Denmark, Poland, Holland, Sweden, Austria, the USA and Russia, and has juried for the following national and international competitions: Klingenthal competition (Germany), Moscow Bayan & Bayanists competition (Russia), Coupe Mondiale, A. Krzanowski International Competition, Sanok competition, Przemysl competition (Poland), Premio Citta di Castelfidardo, Val Tidone Music Competitions, International Stefano Bizzarri Accordion Prize, Contemporaneamente Fisarmonica in Rome, San Vincenzo La Costa (Italy), Alcobaca (Portugal) and many more.
Since 2000, Sviackevičius has been on a faculty at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, currently works as Professor. Many of his students are winners of various international competitions, appear in various festivals, and are actively involved in concert life where they are recognized as contemporary music adepts. In 2014 by R.Sviackevicius initiative New independent accordion department was established at LMTA. Since 2014 he is Head of Accordion department at the Lithuanian academy of music and theater. Academic life during last decades has big international activity, almost all leading accordion professors had Masterclasses with students of LMTA, teachers and students regularly participate in different exchange programs and projects.
Sviackevičius closely collaborates with Lithuanian composers, commissioning and performing new works for accordion. In 2004, he released his first solo CD entitled A Farewell to arms after Nomeda Valančiūtė’s work written for him. In 2006, he premiered the first Lithuanian Concerto for accordion and chamber orchestra Breakthrough by Žibuoklė Martinaitytė, which was dedicated to him. In 2007, he gave first performance of Promise, the first Lithuanian work for accordion and symphony orchestra by world renowned composer Feliksas Bajoras, at the Gaida Contemporary Music Festival. New Concerto for accordion and chamber orchestra AKO-07 by Jurgis Juozapaitis dedicated to Sviackevičius was premiered at Muzikos Ruduo festival in autumn 2007, and in 2009, Pažaislis Festival hosted a premiere of Elegy for Those Who Left Their Homeland for accordion and string orchestra by Giedrius Kuprevičius. In 2010 composer Arvydas Malcys Concerto for accordion and chamber orchestra dedicated to R. Sviackevicius was premiered in Vilnius. In 2010 he released CD “Accorpus simulacrum”. He prepared and premiered different solo and chamber works by Lithuanian composers (O.Balakauskas, B.Kutavičius, R.Motiekaitis, Ž.Martinaitytė, V.Beinarienė, J.Tamulionis, F.Bajoras, R.Merkelys, V.Baltakas, V.Germanavičius, D.Čemerytė, A.Malcys etc.) His recorded works appears at more than 15 different CD.
Recently, beside his performing career Raimondas Sviackevičius has been actively involved in organization of various accordion events, and since 2008, he has been an artistic director of International Accordion Festivals in Vilnius and Palanga. International accordion festival in Vilnius is well known and is rated as high standard festival and is one of the most important accordion events in Europe. Since 2011 he is heading International accordion competitions in Vilnius as artistic director which are successfully organized every two years. International accordion competition in Vilnius has great reputation among participants and has high quality standards of renowned Jury members, requirements and judging system.
From 2010 Raimondas Sviackevicius is the President of Lithuanian accordionists association (established in 1986). Association as biggest and oldest accordion organization in Lithuania in general is responsible for main international as well as national accordion events, collaborations between other associations, methodical, pedagogic and professional exchange in all levels and degrees from music schools to academies.
Critics on Raimondas Sviackevičius:
[…] Recital of accordionist Raimondas Sviackevičius […] was exactly what is needed for the performer in order to cultivate his own audience. […] Sofia Gubaidulina’s De profundis was performed with utmost virtuosity (the composer used gliding quartertones, while the performer transformed the timbre of his instrument in such a way that the listener had to rely on his visual sensation in order to believe that accordion is capable to produce such sounds) as was her In Croce (accordion and cello duo) or petulant and capricious Alone by Finnish Erkki Jokinen. Mihail Bronner’s Dream Garden, in which cello and accordion intertwine in a delicately nostalgic waltz, was not the only composition on the programme evoking such vivid visual associations. – Literatūra ir menas, 2003.
Seriously seasoned musician presented an interesting and ‘cool’ programme – contemporary music for accordion in a church. The programme was devised in such a way that the accordion music and the possibilities of an instrument received a manifold representation. […] Technically it is a very flexible instrument and at the same time amazingly rich in terms of sound possibilities – accordion has an astounding array of timbres! After all, by simply blowing air one can produce the sound of flapping of bird wings! […] Certainly, all that is only feasible to a master. – Muzikos barai, 2003.
Saxophonist Janas Maksimovičius, accordionist Raimondas Sviackevičius and percussionist Arkady Gotesman presented programme of free jazz in a church. Their ability to rivet the attention by only a few sounds or create a specific atmosphere attested to obvious potentials and mastery of a new alliance. […] Is it possible to better present the relation between contemporary improvised and academic music, which was so perfectly embodied by Maksimovičius and Sviackevičius duo? The young accordionist has inspired a number of contemporary compositions, and earned a reputation of an outstanding virtuoso of new music. – Lietuvos rytas, 2004.
The festival’s programme was enhanced by two ‘lighter’ concerts: …somewhat different…improvisione… (participants – G. Skerytė, V. Mikeliūnas, R. Sviackevičius and M. Bačkus) and music and film project Cinemusique. Charlie Chaplin XXI. […] astounding was the ability of musicians to react to the minutest energy vibes of the colleagues, ‘live’ and expressive continuous dialogue. Truly, it was interesting to observe or even to become part of musicians’ improvisation: the listeners had a chance to feel the momentum of creative process. – 7 meno dienos, 2008.
[…]….Thematic strands abound in this year’s Vale of Glamorgan festival, some of which are updates of familiar territory. On the opening night, virtuoso accordionist Raimondas Sviackevičius flagged up the Baltic connection and composer-pianist Graham Fitkin celebrated turning 50, but it was the introduction to featured composer Sebastian Currier that stood out. – The Guardian, 2013.