Latvian Radio Choir

Sigvards Kļava, conductor


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


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


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


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


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 2019/20

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Gotham: The Fool By The Roadside

Sigvards Kļava

Sigvards Kļava began to collaborate with the Latvian Radio Choir in 1987 and was appointed its Chief Conductor and Artistic Director in 1992. As one of Latvia's most prolific choral conductors, Sigvards Kļava has conducted the leading Baltic choirs performing numerous first performances of new choral works by Latvian composers apart from the standard choral repertoire.

He has recorded over 25 CDs with the Latvian Radio Choir with works by Peteris Vasks, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Rachmaninov, Bernat Vivancos as well as numerous Baltic compositions for Ondine Records. Sigvards Klava is preparing about 20 programmes with the choir each season.

Sigvards Kļava has also been Artistic Director of several of Latvian and Nordic song festivals. He initiated the festival “Meetings in Music” in 1990 which developped into one of the most important festivals of the Baltics. He is also a co-founder of the Latvian New Music Festival ARENA.

In addition he teaches at the Choral Department of the Latvian Academy of Music and the Choral College of the Riga Lutheran Cathedral.

Sigvards Kļava studied at the Latvian Music Academy and at the Conservatory St. Petersburg.  He also attended master classes in Germany and USA and won the Grand Prix of the Dmitri Shostakovich Conducting Competition 1885 in St. Petersburg.

Sigvards Klava has been awarded the Latvian Great Music Award and the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers Award.

Season 2019/20

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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.


  • 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


    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


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)