Kaspars Ādamsons graduated the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music with a master’s degree in music and choral conducting (under Andris Veismanis), completing additional conducting studies under early music specialist Professor Erik van Nevel at the Lemmensinstituut Leuven in Belgium. In 2011, Ādamsons graduated the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre with a master’s degree in orchestral conducting (under Paul Mägi); in 2012 he completed studies at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, where he studied orchestral conducting under professors Daniel Harding, Cecilia Rydinger Alin, B. Tommy Andersson, among others.
Since 2014, Ādamsons has led the Riga Music School symphony orchestra, and has conducted at the Latvian National Opera. To date, Ādamsons has served as assistant conductor for the opera and ballet productions of Rienzi. Rise and Fall, Three Meetings and Manon Lescaut. In the 2015/2016 season, he serves as conductor for The Birds’ Opera.
Ādamsons has collaborated with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra RIGA brass band, the Vidzeme Chamber Orchestra, the Riga Music School symphony orchestra, the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music symphony orchestra, the Estonian Academy of Music student orchestra, the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Gävle Symphony Orchestra, the Umeå Symphony Orchestra, the Linköping Östgöta Blåsarsymfoniker and the Royal College of Music in Stockholm symphony and chamber orchestras.
In 2015, Ādamsons was nominated for the Grand Music Award in the category for “Best New Artist”, and was voted the audience favourite.
Māris Sirmais is one of Latvia’s most significant conductors, a charismatic leader and a driving force in Latvian choral music. Under his more than 20 years of leadership, the State Choir LATVIJA has become one of Europe’s most well-known choirs. Sirmais has conducted concerts at the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg; Koerner Hall, Toronto; the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Moscow; Lincoln Center, New York; the Tonhalle, Zürich; the Vaslav Nijinsky Auditorium, Nantes; Stavanger Concert Hall; the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival; the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival; the Lockenhaus Festival; and others. He has collaborated closely with violinist Gidon Kremer, conductor Mariss Jansons, organist Iveta Apkalna, violist Maxim Rysanov, composers Giya Kancheli and Rodion Shchedrin, and many other world-class musicians and composers from around the world. Sirmais has conducted concerts with the Berlin Radio Choir, the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir, the Netherlands Chamber Choir and Netherlands Children’s Choir, Singapore’s ONE Chamber Choir, Šiauliai’s Polifonija, and other choirs worldwide. Sirmais performs regularly with almost all of Latvia’s professional orchestras, and has conducted ensembles such as Kremerata Baltica, Moscow’s Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra, Umeå Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Strings, the Evgeny Svetlanov State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia and others.
Sirmais was also the creator of the most vibrant symbols of Latvian choral culture, Youth Choir Kamēr…, for which he was Head Conductor from its founding in 1990 to 2012. He is also an active participant in the Song Festival amateur choir movement. Since 1998, he has been a Song Festival Chief Conductor, and he was the Artistic Director for the 2008 Song Festival Gala Concert. Sirmais teaches choral conducting at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music and sits on the juries of several international choral and choral conducting competitions. He also gives popular masterclasses.
Primarily being an oboist, Normunds Šnē has become one of the most important Latvian conductors at the present time.
In the late 1980’s he established the Riga Chamber Players group and, some years later, The Riga Festival Orchestra. With Normunds as the conductor and artistic director, they were responsible for a large number of contemporary music premieres in Latvia; the audiences in Riga were able to hear the masterpieces by Messiaen (Turgangalîla-Symphonie), Scelsi (Uaxuctum), Berio (Sinfonia) and other 20th century greats performed live for the first time.
Since 2006 he is the musical director of the Chamber Orchestra Sinfonietta Riga. From season to season they have blended avant-garde compositions with a wide range of Baroque music, Vienna classics, and Romanticism in an extravagant and daring way, building up a devoted and open-minded audience. Their musicianship has been awarded a Grammy Award and recurrently – the Latvian Great Music Award. Normunds has had an extended collaboration with Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and Liepaja Symphony Orchestra; he has stood on the podiums of Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, Ostrobothnian Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, and Latvian National Opera. He is a nine-time recipient of the Latvian Great Music Award.
Truth and beauty: these are the qualities Latvian pianist Reinis Zariņš seeks in the music he chooses, the interpretations he sculpts, and the collaborations he enters. Equally at home in classical and contemporary repertoire, his passion lies in the crafting of conceptual programmes that encourage interaction between music, philosophy, history, and theology.
2022 highlights include a complete performance of Messiaen’s Vingt regards at the London's Wigmore hall, the premiere of a new triple concerto with the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra,performances of Bach’s complete multi-piano concertos with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, and appearances with the Lithuanian National and State symphonic orchestras. During the pandemic lockdowns, Reinis devised a home concert series that was livestreamed on his YouTube channel. Ever since his concerto debut at the age of ten, Reinis has performed as a concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician throughout Europe and North America. He has participated in prestigious music festivals including the Lucerne Festival, the Bath International Music Festival, and the Scotia Festival of Music. His thoughtful virtuosity has delighted audiences at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, London’s Wigmore hall, New York’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow. Reinis has collaborated with leading orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, and with conductors Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös, Pablo Heras- Casado, and Andris Poga, among others. His performances have been broadcast live by BBC Radio 3, NDR, Polish National Radio, and King FM. In 2018, he was Artist-in-Residence at Latvian Radio 3 and the Cēsis Concert Hall with his Trio Palladio.
Pēteris Endzelis began learning to play the oboe in the Emīls Dārziņš Music School with Uldis Urbāns, moving on to Liepāja Music College, followed by oboe studies in Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music under Vilnis Pelnēns.
From 1998 to 2005 Endzelis was the principal oboist in the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra. Since 2001 he has been the principal oboe in the Latvian National Opera and Ballet. As of 2011 he is also the lead oboist in the Chamber Orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga, directed by Normunds Šnē.
He has performed as a soloist with Gidon Kremer and the Chamber Orchestra Kremerata Baltica, with Marta Sudraba in some of the most famous European concert venues, as well as with the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra and the Latvian National Opera and Ballet orchestra. He has also performed in the David Oistrakh Festival in Pärnu.
Pēteris Endzelis has worked with such esteemed conductors as Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Mariss Jansons, Andris Nelsons, Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Heinz Holliger, Krzysztof Penderecki, Olari Elts, Andris Poga, Cornelius Meister etc.
He regularly collaborates with the Nordic Symphony orchestra, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra.
In 2010 Endzelis received the Latvijas Gāze Annual Award as the Best Orchestra musician.
Latvian pianist Agnese Egliņa possesses sharp-edged stage presence, playful dexterity and plenty of excitement and vigour. Agnese Egliņa is a laureate of the highest music award in Latvia The Grand Music Award for outstanding ensemble work and of many awards for best performance as pianist-accompanist at international competitions. By actively participating in different chamber music projects Agnese Egliņa has become one of the most influential Latvian pianists of her generation.
Agnese Eglina has performed in South African Republic, Zambia, Zimbabwe, USA (New York, Washington, Cleveland), Estonia, Russia, Switzerland, Gibraltar, Italy, Germany, Austria, Albania, Norway, Finland et al. Lately Agnese Egliņa has included more solo repertoire into her concerts. As soloist she has performed with Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and Liepāja Symphony Orchestra. She has collaborated with chamber orchestra Sinfonietta Riga and Latvian Radio Choir. The pianist performs regularly with the leading Latvian musicians and has performed with internationally-acclaimed soloists, such as Chen Halevi, Nicolas Baldeyrou, Thomas Indermühle, Christian Schmitt and many others.
As a soloist and chamber musician Agnese Egliņa has participated in many music festivals. She has appeared in Promenade at Lusaka, Zambia, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, International Montpellier Music Festival, VII Kremerata Baltica Festival, 16th and 21st Liepāja International Piano Stars Festival, Latvian chamber music festival Schubertiade at Ungurmuiža, Contemporary Music Festival Arēna and many others.
Karen Shahgaldyan is one of the most brilliant musicians of modern Russia. Laureat of Pablo Sarasate International Competition. He finished the Moscow State Conservatory at the class of Professor Victor Tretiakov and the Graduate School of the Moscow State Conservatory into the class of Professor M. Glezarova. Karen attended master-classes of Yehudi Menuhin, Vladimir Spivakov, Grigorii Zhislin, Evgeniia Chugaeva. Several years Karen performed in the orchestra "Virtuosos of Moscow" under the direction of Vladimir Spivakov. He performed at such halls as Carnegie Hall, New York, Bolshoy Hall, Moscow, Royal Festival Hall, London, Musikverein, Wien, Laeizhalle, Hamburg, Purcell Room, London, Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Opera City Hall, Tokyo and others. He visited with concerts more than 200 cities in such countries, as USA, China, South Korea, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Austria, Australia, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lietuva, Czech Republic, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Armenia.
Artistic director of “Classic strings” Competition and Festival in Riga, Latvia.
From 2006 violinist of Khachaturian trio.
State Choir Latvija
The State Choir Latvija is one of Europe’s most well-known choirs, invited to collaborate with world-class conductors and orchestras, and requested at prestigious concert halls and festivals. The singers’ musical intelligence and skill makes this a musical unit that feels as at home in delicate a cappella choral music as in large-format performances with triple orchestra. Since 1997, the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the choir is Māris Sirmais, and the Executive Director is Māris Ošlejs.
The State Choir LATVIJA is a regular guest at one of the world’s most important concert halls: the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. The choir has performed the second and third symphonies of Gustav Mahler and György Ligeti’s Requiem alongside the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra and conductor Kent Nagano, and gave a solo performance in 2019 alongside organist Iveta Apkalna.
In 2020, the choir once again returned to the famous Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam to perform Igor Stravinsky’s opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex alongside the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 2019, the choir performed Ludwig van Beethoven’s Missa solemnis at Barcelona’s Palau de la Musica, Madrid’s National Music Auditorium and the Auditorio de Zaragoza under conductor Gianandrea Noseda. Similarly significant was the choir’s participation at Germany’s Ruhrtriennale, one of the world’s most ambitious and prestigious cross-genre festivals, where they sang Ligeti’s Requiem as part of a performance entitled Revolution.
National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia
The National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia was founded in 1962 by prominent violinist Zareh Sahakiants. Due to his brilliant individuality and reputation, Zareh Sahakiants managed to unite a group of dedicated musicians, and in a short period, the orchestra gained a great reputation in Armenia and far beyond its borders. Zareh Sahakyants has left rich performing and creative traditions, and the established traditions were further developed and enriched by the subsequent directors of the orchestra Kostandin Baghdasaryan (since 1975) and Ruben Aharonyan (since 1982).
In 1997 the orchestra was united with Yerevan Chamber Orchestra, founded in 1979 and headed by its conductor Zaven Vardanyan. As a result, the present National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia (NCOA) was formed. American-Armenian conductor Aram Gharabekian became its Artistic Director. The NCOA has commissioned and premiered more than 40 new works and encouraged the integration of traditional Armenian musical instruments such as duduk, zurna, shvi and kamancha in the works written for the orchestra. They have recorded CDs that included contemporary Armenian composers' works having an aim to develop and promote contemporary music.
The NCOA has successfully toured in the United States (Carnegie Hall, NY, Alex Theatre, LA), Canada, United Kingdom (Canterbury Festival, Canterbury), Germany (The Halle Festival, Halle), Switzerland (Victoria Hall, Genève), Greece (Dimitria Festival, Thessaloniki Concert Hall), Russia (Catherine Palace, Glazunov Hall, St Petersburg), Cyprus (Presidential Palace, Nicosia), Lebanon (American University of Beirut), United Arab Emirates (Cultural Foundation Theatre, Abu Dhabi), etc.
Chamber orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga
Joy of learning and discovery of new horizons are the traits that best describe the Grammy-winning State Chamber Orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga. Since its foundation in 2006, the orchestra's artistic director and chief conductor has been Normunds Šnē. Sinfonietta Rīga musicians are young, erudite and bursting with creativity. They are assiduous students of the musical heritage of the First and Second Viennese School and eager presenters of the musical phenomena and styles of the 20th century, while continuing to look for the brightest revelations in contemporary music scene. Among the ambitions of the orchestra is promotion and development of chamber symphony genre in Latvian music, therefore twice a year Sinfonietta Rīga commissions a new chamber symphony score to contemporary Latvian composers.
Sinfonietta Rīga often collaborates with guest conductors, and has staged thematically and stylistically varied programmes together with Paavo Järvi, Heinz Holliger, John Storgårds, Christoph Poppen, Olari Elts, Juha Kangas and Tõnu Kaljuste.
Among the brilliant soloists that have performed together with Sinfonietta Rīga are classical singers Julia Lezhneva and Inga Kalna; pianists Kristian Bezuidenhout, Nelson Goerner and Yevgeny Sudbin; internationally renowned Latvian organist Iveta Apkalna; violinists Isabelle Faust, Kolja Blacher, Baiba Skride, Pekka Kuusisto and Thomas Zehtmair; cellists Sol Gabetta and Jean-Guihen Queyras; and the members of the Berlin-based Artemis Quartet – violinist Vineta Sareika and violist Gregor Sigl, as well as Ukrainian violist Maxim Rysanov. The orchestra has also enjoyed collaborations with clarinetist and composer Jörg Widmann; trombone soloist Christian Lindberg; percussionists Martin Grubinger, Evelyn Glennie and Peter Erskine; accordionist Ksenija Sidorova; Argentinian bandoneon player Marcelo Nisinman; oboe soloist Alexei Ogrintchouk; and early music experts Andrew Lawrence-King and Enrico Onofri. Over the years, the orchestra has developed a close creative friendship with Latvian Radio Choir and its conductor Sigvards Kļava. Together, they stage several musical programmes each year, including first performances of Latvian sacred music.
JVLMA Symphony Orchestra
JVLMA Symphony Orchestra (artistic conductor Kaspars Ādamsons, orchestra practice director Jānis Puriņš) has become one of the most artistically compelling and traditional symphony groups in Latvia, even though it experiences regular changes in participants due to the nature of its setting. The group continues to develop the skills which have been cultivated over the decades under Professor Leonid Vigners, Imants Resnis and Andris Vecumnieks, occasionally collaborating with exceptional foreign and local guest conductors such as Lutz Köhler, Leif Segerstam, Rolf Gupta, Karel Marc Chichon, Normunds Šnē, Yalchin Adigezalov, Denis Severin, Ainārs Rubiķis, Lorenzo Della Fonte, Erica J. Neidlinger, Eero Lehtimäki, Josef Wallnig and others.
The orchestra prepares an average of 7 concert programmes a year. Over the last decade the student orchestra has performed numerous State Celebration concerts (at JVLMA, the Great Guild, Ķīpsala Concert Hall), and at regional centres in Latvia – in Liepāja, Rēzekne, Daugavpils, Jelgava, Cēsis, Madona, Gulbene, Kuldīga as well as performing in Lithuania and Estonia. It has been the accompanying orchestra at Stage III of the Jāzeps Vītols International Choral Conductors Competition and frequently cooperates with VSIA Latvijas Koncerti, performing at joint children and youth projects; it took part at the XXIV Nationwide Latvian Song and Dance Celebration in 2008, the World Choir Olympics in 2014 and other significant events in the Latvian concert cycle. The orchestra’s mission is to be not only a group for students of the Instrumental Music and Symphonic Orchestra Conducting study programme, but also a unit that performs concerts and whose artistic activities and quality reaches beyond the realms of the study process.