Irena Laurušienė (Argustienė) was born on 29 September 1944 in Kaunas. She studied piano at the Juozas Gruodis Conservatoire in 1959−1963 with E. Matiukienė. In 1969−71 she studied singing at the J. Tallat-Kelpša Conservatoire with O. Kavaliauskienė and at the Lithuanian State Conservatoire in 1971−75 (with O. Kavaliauskienė). In 1979−80 she attended a training programme at the Moscow Conservatoire (with N. Dorliak and H. Tic), at the Minsk Conservatoire with T. Nyzhnikov in 1983 and at the Leningrad Conservatoire with N. Kiseliov in 1988.
In 1975−91 Irena Laurušienė was a soloist at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic. The singer has a large concert repertoire. She has sung classical music by Lithuanian composers; the singer has particularly promoted contemporary opuses and has been the first to perform many of them (by A. Bražinskas, V. Klova, A. Šenderovas, B. Borisovas and V. Laurušas). She sang at Lithuanian composer‘s concerts (J. Karosas, J. Karnavičius, J. Pakalnis, B. Dvarionas, A. Račiūnas, V. Klova, A. Budriūnas, A. Bražinskas, V. Mikalauskas and V. Laurušas). During her career the singer has given 2500 concerts. She toured Wroclaw (Poland, 1975), Prague (Czech Republic, 1976), Bucharest (Romania, 1978), Belgrade (Serbia, 1978), Tallinn (Estonia, 1983), Moscow (Russia, 1986, 1988 and 1989), Boston, Springfield (USA, 1988), Leningrad (Russia, 1988). She has given concerts together with the Boston Conservatoire String Quartet, Symphony Orchestra Vilnius, String Quartet Vilnius, Moscow String Quartet Litsey, pianists Eugenijus Ignatonis, Saulė Eidukonytė, Veronika Vitaitė and Virginija Dapkutė, violists Jurgis Fledžinskas and Petras Radzevičius, violinists Raimundas Katilius, Paulius Juodišius and A. Štarkus, cellists A. Palšauskas, Michailas Šenderovas and Valentinas Kaplūnas, reed-piper Antanas Smolskus and clarinettist Algirdas Budriu.
The singer has participated in international contemporary music festivals Muzikos ruduo (1977 and 1983), an international music festival in Vilnius (1987), the contemporary music festival in Dniepropetrovsk (1985), the festival Muziką kuriame kartu in Boston (1988) and the III international music festival in Leningrad (1988). At the latter festival she was awarded an acknowledgement for her performance of a vocal cycle by the Swedish composer E. Hembors.
Since 1975 she has been teaching at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre; associated professor since 1991. In 1986−2004 she headed the Solo Singing Programme at the Choir Directing Department. Since 1996 she has been teaching at the Children‘s Music School Lyra. Her students include Julija Stupnianek, Eglė Bagdonavičiūtė, Dainius Puišys, Erika Navickaitė, Regina Kondrotaitė and Liubov Chuchrova.
Irena Laurušienė held master classes in Finland (Lempaala, 2006, 2007 and 2008), Poland (Dusznickach-Zdroju, 2004 and 2005), Latvia (Daugavpils, 2000), Russia (St. Petersburg, 2003), The Ukraine (Kiev, Vorsel, 2003, 2004 and 2005); she organised the international A. Kučingis Young Singers Competition and academic conferences. The singer has written numerous articles on singing methods: “The Contents and Methods of Music Disciplines at School” (“Muzikos disciplinų turinys ir metodai mokykloje”), “Contemporary Principles of Teaching Singing” (“Šiuolaikiniai dainavimo mokymo principai”), “The Main Voice Forming Characteristics” (“Pagrindiniai balso formavimo bruožai”), “Relevant Issues in Teaching Singing” (“Dainavimo mokymo aktualijos”), “Interpretation of Romantic Music” (“Romantinės muzikos interpretavimas”), “Methods of Working with Beginners in Singing” (“Darbo metodika su pradedančiaisiais dainininkais”), “The Basics Programme in Vocal Methods” (“Vokalinės metodikos pagrindų programa”) and “Advice to Young Singing Teachers” (“Patarimai jauniems dainavimo dėstytojams”). In her methodical work Irena Laurušienė has been addressing issues related to forming the first vocal skills, deepening her understanding in the areas of removing vocal defects, the position of larynx when singing and acoustics.
Cantata The Night Is Aflame, w. Eduardas Mieželaitis
Concerto for voice and string quartet
Three Romances, w. Alfonsas Maldonis, for voice and piano
When Leafs Were Falling, w. Antanas Šabaniauskas, for voice and piano
You Won't Catch Up!, w. Alė Sidabraitė, for voice and piano
P.Juodišius, S.Dapkutė, A.Palšauskas
Ostrovok [The Isle] (P. Shelley, trans. Bal'mont)
U moyego okna [Before my Window] (Galina)
Kak mne bol'no [How Painful for Me] (Galina)
Ne poy, krasavitsa, pri mne [Sing not to me, beautiful maiden] (Pushkin)
Otrïvok iz A. Myusse [Fragment from Musset] (trans. Apukhtin)
Vesenniye vodï [Spring Waters] (F. Tyutchev)
K.Weber Ansen aria
K.Gluck Chitera's aria
Piano trio: P.Juodišius, I.Kulikauskas, S.Dapkutė
Concerto for voice and string quartet
Five Poems (A. Akhmatova), 1916:
Solntse komnatu napolnilo [The Sun has Filled my Room],
Nastoyashchaya nezhnost′ [True Tenderness],
Pamyat′ o solntse [Memory of the Sun],
Seroglazïy korol′ [The King with Grey Eyes], op. 27
Šiauliai, Klaipėda, Panevėžys, Kaunas
Dalia's aria from opera „Dalia”
Pines, w. Salomėja Nėris, for voice and orchestra
Starlet, w. Leonas Stepanauskas, for voice and orchestra
Lullaby, w. Eduardas Mieželaitis, for voice and piano
In the Meadow, w. Janina Degutytė, for voice and piano
Heather, w. Janina Degutytė, for voice and piano
Oh, Close the Gates, w. Justinas Marcinkevičius, for voice and piano
The Owl Chick's Dream, w. Janina Degutytė
Marijampolė, Druskininkai, Vilnius
W.A.Mozart Two concert arias
R.Scedrin 3 solfeggio
J.Juozapaitis I will Blossom like the Wormwood, w. Salomėja Nėris, for voice and piano
J.Juzeliūnas "Between flowers"
Marcele's song and aria from musical "Chatterers of Pagramantis"