Vytenis Gurstis was born in Vilnius, Lithuania on February 15, 1989. He started playing the flute in 1998 in “Ąžuoliukas” music school. His first teachers were Daiva Tumėnaitė and Armis Mangirdas, and from 2002 - Žibutė Valkaitytė. In 2003, Vytenis Gurstis finished “Ąžuoliukas” music school with honours and continued studying with Ž. Valkaitytė. Two years later he started having private lessons with Professor of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, principal flutist of the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Valentinas Gelgotas. In 2007 Vytenis successfully auditioned for the Royal Academy of Music in London and was awarded a full entrance scholarship allowing him to study for his Bachelor's degree with Professor William Bennett.
Vytenis is an active solo and chamber music performer: recitals, concerts, international festivals in Lithuania and foreign countries - Germany, USA, Norway, Switzerland, England, Latvia, Belarus, Poland, Ukraine. As a soloist he has played with Vilnius St. Christopher Chamber, Lithuanian National Symphony, Lithuanian National Chamber orchestras.
National and international competitions/awards/prizes:
2000 - Ist place – 8th J. Pakalnis’ national wind competition, Kaunas, Lithuania
2001 - IInd place – International chamber music competition “Sąskambiai”, Vilnius, Lithuania
2002 - Ist place – 10th J. Pakalnis’ national wind competition, Kaunas, Lithuania
2003 - IInd place – 4th International competition “Jaunais flautists”, Jelgava, Latvia
2004 - Ist place – 12th J. Pakalnis’ national wind competition, Kaunas, Lithuania
- IInd place – International competition “Gradus ad Parnasum” and the Special Prize
“For the best baroque performance”, Kaunas, Lithuania
2005 - Winner of the Concerto Competition at the “MasterWorks Europe” Festival, Winchester, England
2007 - Ist place – “European Competition for flute”, Thessaloniki, Greece
- IInd place – International chamber music competition “Music Without Limits”, Druskininkai, Lithuania
2008 - IIIrd place – Jurjanu Andrejs International Flute competition, Riga - Jurmala, Latvia
2008 - 'Highly Commended' mention at the "All Flutes Plus Prize” of the Royal Academy of Music
2009 - 'Very Highly Commended' mention at the “J.J. Brough Prize” of the Royal Academy of Music
2010 - 'Highly Commended' mention at the "All Flutes Plus Prize” of the Royal Academy of Music
In 2004 - 2009 Vytenis Gurstis has been receiving a scholarship from Mstislav Rostropovich's fund "Support to Lithuanian Children". M. Rostropovich chose Vytenis himself and recommended him for the scholarship.
During the summers of 2004 and 2005, Vytenis took part in the Christian Performing Artists’ "MasterWorks Festival" in USA - Winona Lake, IN (2005); England - London (2004) and Winchester (2005) where he had won the concerto competition and played the W.A. Mozart's Concerto for flute and orchestra in G-Major as a soloist.
Vytenis Gurstis has participated in many masterclasses and played to famous pedagogues all over Europe. Teachers include: R.Greiss-Armin (Germany), B.Gissler-Haase (Austria), R.Aitken (Canada), L.McGhee (Scotland), M.Ziegler (Switzerland), E.Beynon (Wales), E.Pahud (Switzerland) and W.Bennett (England).
He was given a full, personal W. Bennett's scholarship (2006, 2008, 2011) and the “TopWind” scholarship (2007) to his International Summer School in England – Farnham and Bradfield College.
Virginia Survilaitė (organ)