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Last Updated: Monday, 6 October, 2003, 16:14 GMT 17:14 UK
Composer found dead
Antanas Rekasius's apartment block (image: Lithuanian TV)
Rekasius's body was found in his home
An elderly Lithuanian composer who had fallen on hard times has been found shot dead in his flat in Vilnius.

A gun was found by the body of Antanas Rekasius who had a bullet wound to the head and police suspect suicide.

Rekasius, 75, had been living in poverty and barely able to pay the bills on his three-bedroom apartment.

His work, which included symphonies and ballet music, was performed both in the ex-USSR and abroad, and was known for its humorous touches.

Worried about his lack of income, he had been suffering from depression, police in the Lithuanian capital said.

Rekasius's compositions had a non-conformist quality and were full of humour and the grotesque, the Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Centre writes.

Antanas Rekasius (image: Lithuanian TV)
Born 1928
Graduated from the Lithuanian State Conservatory
Works include nine symphonies, 12 ballets, seven concertos and an opera-oratorio

Apart from numerous symphonies and ballets, he wrote music for children including song cycles and piano pieces.

The Baltic Music Information Centre once described him as "the most controversial composer on the Lithuanian Scene... his fondness for clowning sometimes overshadowing the serious nature of his work".

Stunts he employed included switching off the lights for the finale of his fifth symphony and once having singers bare gold teeth at the audience.

Antanas Rekasius's work was performed in the United States, Italy, France, Finland, Sweden, Germany and Hungary, as well as Lithuania and Russia.

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