Latvian Radio Choir

Sigvards Kļava, conductor

*Skandinavien*
Rachmaninow

Sergei Rachmaninow: Liturgie des Hl. Joh. Chrysostomus op. 31

Gabrieli/Hillborg

Giovanni Gabrieli/Arvo Pärt/Peteris Vasks/Eriks Ešenvalds/Valentin Silvestrov/Per Norgard/Anders Hillborg

Eriks Ešenvalds/Peteris Vasks

Eriks Ešenvalds/Anders Hillborg/Arvo Pärt/Per Norgard/Peteris Vasks

Strawinsky/Vasks

Igor Strawinsky/Sergei Rachmaninow/Eriks Ešenvalds/Anders Hillborg/Arvo Pärt/Per Norgard/Peteris Vasks

Gabrieli/Strawinsky

Giovanni Gabrieli/Gustav Mahler/Arvo Pärt/Peteris Vasks/Purcell-Sven-David Sandström/Igor Strawinsky/Olivier Messiaen/Carlo Gesualdo/Igor Strawinsky

J.S.Bach/Hillborg

J.S.Bach-Knut Nystedt/Eriks Ešenvalds/Santa Ratniece/Arvo Pärt/
Eriks Ešenvalds/Peteris Vasks/Per Norgard/Anders Hillborg

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Latvian Radio Choir

The Latvian Radio Choir is regarded as one of the leading professional chamber choirs worldwide. Sigvards Klava and Kaspars Putnins have been conductors of the choir since 1992 .The choir gives at least sixty concerts annually in Latvia and abroad, and regularly appears in theatrical and multimedia events.

The choir actively popularizes the music of Latvian composers as Peteris Vasks, Maija Einfelde, Mārtiņš Viļums, Gundega Šmite, Andris Dzenitis around the world. Every year, the choir commissions about ten new works from Latvian composers and could be described as a sound laboratory – the singers explore their skills by turning to the art of quartertone and overtone singing and other sound production techniques. The choir is the creator of a new choral paradigm: every singer is a distinct individual with his or her own vocal signature and roles in performances.

Highlights of their performances include appearances at renowned concert halls such as the Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Berlin, Cité de la Musique Paris, Lincoln Center New York as well as festivals as Salzburg, Berliner Festspiele, Klangspuren, Usedom, Baltic Sea, The Venice Biennale, Ultima Contemporary Music Festival Oslo, Internationale Koorbiennale Haarlem, Festival de Radio France et Montpellier and Nargen Festival Estonia.

The choir has successfully collaborated with many outstanding guest conductors as Riccardo Muti, Tonu Kaljuste, Heinz Holliger, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Laurence Equilbey, Stephen Layton and James Wood.

Their discography includes recordings of works by Rachmaninov, Arvo Pärt, Jonathan Harvey, Peteris Vasks, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Kristaps Pētersons and Mārtiņš Viļums on BIS, ECM Records, Ondine, Naïve and Hyperion which have won several prizes. For their Arvo Pärt album Adam's Lament (ECM Records) the choir has won a Grammy Award at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards 2014 in the category "Best Choral Performance" together with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Sinfonietta Riga, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra under Tonu Kaljuste.

The Latvian Radio Choir has been awarded the most esteemed musical prize in Latvia, the Latvian Music Grand Prix seven times within 1994 and 2011.

Season 2020/21

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Sigvards Kļava

Sigvards Klava has been the artistic director of the Latvian Radio Choir (LRC) since 1992.

As a result of his steady efforts, the LRC has become an internationally recognised, vocally distinctive musical group welcome at the top music festivals and invited to collaborate with the most outstanding composers and conductors.

Sigvards Kļava studied conducting at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (JVLAM), the Bachakademie Stuttgart, the St. Petersburg Conservatory and masterclasses at the Oregon Bach Festival. He has been a professor in the conducting department ar JVLMA since 2000.

Kļava’s LRC projects are deliberate narratives, musical expeditions involving exploration of the phenomenon of singing and voice and seeking bridges between the archaic and contemporary, the eternal and mundane via inspiring thematic concert programmes. Churches have filled with audiences eager to listen to the choir’s higly regarded programmes Litany, The Prayer of Mother Theresa and Evening Conversations at St. John’s Church.

It was Kļava’s idea to cooperate with prominent representatives of academic and non-academic music, the clergy and contemporary musicians to fuse contemporary music experiments with cultural heritage and broaden the view of the possibilities of the human voice. The choir’s theatrical programmmes Imants and Ziedonis, The Poet and the Mermaid, Vācietis: Piano Concerto, Atlantīda (composers Imants Kalniņš and Arturs Maskats) have been particular favourites with audiences. Kļava has also directed tributes to Latvian heroes and cultural giants by preparing music for the filmed epic poem Lāčplēsis (Bear Slayer) and Writer, a stage production dedicated to poet Broņislava Martuževa.

In 2014 Kļava initiated the project Bach. Passion. Rīga through which Johann Sebastian Bach’s passions were performed in Rigas’s churches by the LRC along with outstanding interpreters of Baroque music from Latvia and abroad.

Under Kļava’s guidance, the choir has been privileged to engage in creative cooperation with the most notable Latvian contemporary composers – Maija Einfelde, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Arturs Maskats, Kristaps Pētersons, Santa Ratniece, Juris Karlsons, Andrejs Selickis, Pēteris Vasks – as well as many composers from abroad, resulting in a range of premieres and recordings.

Sigvards Kļava has received the Latvian Great Music Award several times. He is also a recipient of the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers Award and the Order of the Three Stars. He has been a principal conductor of the Latvian Song Festival since 1990. Sigvards Kļava is a professor in the Choral Conducting Faculty at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music. He has also taken part in numerous contests as a member of the jury.

Kļava has conducted concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Elbphilharmonie, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Berlin Philharmonic and elsewhere. He takes part in international juries and educational projects. As a guest conductor, Kļava has performed with the Netherlands Radio Choir, the Netherlands Opera Choir, Netherlands Chamber Choir, Cappella Amsterdam, the Berlin RIAS Chamber Choir, the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir and many others.

Season 2020/21

News

Latvian Radio Choir in Dortmund with "Best of programme"

The Latvian Radio Choir and Sigvards Klava perform a "Best of programme" at Klang Vokal Festival Dortmund on 4 June featuring Rachmaninov's Vespers and works by Arvo Pärt, Anders Hillborg and Peteris Vasks.

Latvian Radio Choir: ICMA Award

The Latvian Radio Choir and Sigvards Klava are winners of ICMA Award 2020 in the category choral with their album Tchaikovsky: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostum at Ondine.

Press

  • CD review: Peteris Vasks: Laudate Dominum

    At times impassioned, at times hauntingly still, Vasks's atmospheric choral world is brilliantly showcased in performances that are exquisitely balanced as they are perfectly paced. A stunning disc.

    BBC Music Magazine 2/2018

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    Radiating sound crystals

    The exquisite choir of the Latvian Radio under Sigvards Klava devoted themselfes elaborately and sensitively to the composed religious faith of Arvo Pärt. A dream of spiritual ardency was the A Cappella song "Nunc dimittis". A relief for the soul has also been "Salve Regina", with transcendentally, perfectly balanced dynamics.

    Die Welt Hamburg, Peter Krause, 11.02.2017

  • Record of the Month: CD Arvo Pärt: Da Pacem Domine

    The Latvian Radio Choir is marvellous throughout. I can't imagine this music better sung. All admirers of Pärt's choral music are advised to invest in this disc without delay.

    Göran Forsling, Musicweb International, 11/2016

  • Eriks Esenvalds: St. Luke Passion

    Esenvalds’s St. Luke Passion (2014) plunges the listener straight into the midst of the Crucifixion scene which is an unusual and highly effective beginning. Esenvalds has a highly individual and striking melodic style. A Drop in the Ocean (2006) is classic Esenvalds, exploiting the paradoxical grounded – yet-etheral quality of the Latvian singers. Colours are idiosyncratic, to great effect in Litany of the Heavens (2011) with overtone singing (…). One could hardly ask for better performers in this repertoire. A superb release.

    Gramophone, Ivar Moody, August 2016

  • Pärt Adam's Lament at Mozartwoche Salzburg

    The Latvian Radio Choir under Tonu Kaljuste proved their extraordinary quality, amazingly accompanied by the Camerata Salzburg. They enchanted with a programme that affected the listener’s souls. Sacral pieces as Mozart’s Sancta Maria, Mater Dei or Arvo Pärt’s Salve Regina and the melancholy of Eastern chants merged with the melancholy of the Knight of the Rose by Richard Strauss. A charming a cappella piece honored Strauss again, then the Grammy awarded final piece Adam’s Lament by Arvo Pärt on texts by monk Starez Siluan, where one mystic met another.

    Salzburger Nachrichten 03.02.2014

  • Pärt Adam's Lament in Munich

    The five religious works by Arvo Pärt elaborately built on Gregorian phrases and mixed with broken chords, whose aesthetic proclaim an ideal world without sharp edges. Mainly because Tõnu Kaljuste, Latvian Radio Choir, Sinfonietta Riga and vocal ensemble "Vox Clamantis" were performing at the highest stage, one could hardly elude the charm.

    Abendzeitung München, Volker Boser, 15.10.2012

  • Pärt Adam's Lament in Munich

    The agile orchestra and the choir with his unswerving persistency embellish one another, once searching for harmony, contrasting the other time. Silvery flageolets emerge, the soprano voices are often rounded by male head voices in a velvety manner. The audience remains in breathless silence during the concert and literally explodes at the end of the concert celebrating the performers.

    Münchner Merkur, Christof Fiedler, 15.10.2012

Discography

Peteris Vasks: Laudate Dominum

Sinfonietta Riga
Ilze Reine, Orgel
Sigvards Klava (conductor)
Ondine (2017)

Brahms: Liebeslieder

Sigvards Klava (conductor)
Ondine (2017)

Kjell Habbestad: Et nox in diem versa

Sigvards Klava (conductor)
Lawo Classics (2017)

Arvo Pärt: Da pacem Domine Sigvards Klava (conductor)
Ondine (2016)
Erik Esenvalds: Luke Passion

Eriks Esenvalds: Lukas Passion (2014), A drop in the Ocean (2006),
The First Tears (2014), Litany of the Heavens (2011)
Ondine (2016)

Einojuhani Rautavaara: Missa A Cappella Sigvards Kļava (conductor)
Ondine (2012)
Arvo Pärt Adam’s Lament Sinfonietta Riga, Vox Clamantis, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
Tõnu Kaljuste (conductor)
ECM Records (2012)
Grammy Award
Rachmaninov: Vespers op. 37 Sigvards Kļava (conductor) Ondine (2012)
Pēteris Vasks: Plainscapes Sigvards Kļava (conductor)
Ondine (2012)