Imants Ramiņš 80 year anniversary concert




Concert Hall LATVIJA, Ventspils


State Choir “Latvija”

Liepāja Symphony Orchestra

Solists: Laura Zariņa (violin), Viktorija Majore (soprano), Oksana Ņikitjuka (mezzo-soprano)

Conductor – Māris Sirmais

Programme: violin concerto and pieces for choir by Imants Ramiņš

Māris Sirmais, who is the artistic director of this concert, has included the a cappella pieces “Stabat Mater” and “Alleluia, Amen” in the concert after the special request of the author. In addition, the concert will include the choral works ” Jūrai” (the author’s tribute to the State Choir “Latvija”), “Singet dem Herrn”, etc., as well as “Jau sauļeite” (the author’s tribute to Māris Sirmais). A special event will be the Latvian premiere of Imants Ramiņš’ Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, featuring soloist Laura Zariņa and the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra.

Imants Kārlis Ramiņš was born on September 18th, 1943, in Ventspils, but already at 11 months old, he, his mother, and three older sisters went to Germany as refugees. Four years later, the family arrived in Canada and settled in Cochrane, Ontario. Canada is also the place that Imants Ramiņš’ life is most closely linked to.

He studied at the Cervévis High School in Toronto until 1962, and at the same time, he graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto with a diploma in violin performance. and from 1966 to 1968 he studied violin at the “Mozarteum” in Salzburg with Cesar Brueggen, as well as composition and conducting, but also played in the “Camerata Academica”, toured, and made recordings.

Then, until 1972, he lived in Prince George, British Columbia, where he founded the New Caledonian Chamber Orchestra (1971), renamed the Prince George Orchestra in 1981. Later, he was the leader of the Okanagan Symphony Chorus and a member of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra (1978–1982), during which he founded the Okanagan Youth Symphony Orchestra (1989), the children’s choir “Nova” (1983), and the chamber choir “Aura” (1979). Since 1977, he has been a teacher at the Vernon School of Music.

In 1989, Imants Ramiņš composed a new “Pūt, vējiņi!” at the request of the conductor of the Vancouver Chamber Choir. This arrangement is an irreplaceable part of the repertoire of Latvian amateur and professional choirs.

The works of the sound master Ramiņš have been performed in concert halls that do not need comments. The list includes Carnegie Hall in New York, Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in England, the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, and the list goes on—he has been on every continent except for the coldest. There are 91 recordings of Imants Ramiņš’ music in the Latvian Radio archive, most of them choral. Ramiņš’ works were not only performed but also recorded in Latvia by the Latvian Radio Choir, the State Choir “Latvija”, the Riga Cathedral Girl Choir “Tiara”, the choirs Ave Sol, “Kamēr…”, “Muklājs”, “Spīgo” and others. Imants Ramiņš has been awarded the Order of the Three Stars (2007) and one of Canada’s highest awards, the Order of Canada, which he received in 2019. The Order was awarded to the Latvian-Canadian composer for his contributions and achievements as a Canadian musician, composer, and conductor.

“Even if during the development of a piece there is a somewhat darker moment, it seems that in Ramiņš’s music the light just pours in, stretches out, and washes over the edges, and the creator himself enjoys the role of its preserver and carrier,” says musicologist Gunda Miķelsone about the music created by the jubilee composer.

The public and the press agree that Latvian violinist Laura Zariņa (1987) has ” high-class musicality” and a “radiant””tone”—”slender, but with a character of its own, which surprises with its high intensity at the right moment”.

During her musical education in Latvia (Emīls Dārziņš Music Secondary School) and Germany (“Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin” with Professor Ulf Vallin), Laura Zariņa participated in various international concert projects – masterclasses in Europe and the USA. Laura Zariņa has received several prizes in national and international competitions, such as the “Villa Musica” recognition prize and the special award for her interpretation of the Schubert Sonata at the international competition “Premio Rodolfo Lipizer” in Italy. Laura Zariņa has performed as soloist with the Orchestra of the Canadian Opera Company, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Latvian National Opera Orchestra, Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, Estonian Symphony Orchestra, “Mainzer Kammerorchester” and “Norddeutschen Philharmonie Rostock”.

Organised by: SIA “Kurzemes filharmonija”.

November 10, 2023.