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.
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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.
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