About Sinfonietta Rīga
Latvia's Sinfonietta Riga is a relatively new chamber orchestra that plays music from the First Viennese School to the contemporary era. The orchestra has the explicitly stated mission of promoting Latvian chamber orchestra music, and to that end, it often commissions new work.
The Sinfonietta Riga, in full the State Chamber Orchestra Sinfonietta Riga, was formed in 2006 in the Latvian capital city of Riga. Since that time, its chief conductor and artistic director has been Normunds Sne. The orchestra's 34 members are mostly young and open to novel experiments such as a Twitter opera (based on an exchange concerning the economy in the Baltic states) and a performance in a partly disused Soviet-era airport. Concerts often mix standard-repertory and new works in a thematic or narrative fashion. The Sinfonietta Riga has attracted top-notch guest artists, including pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout, violinist Isabelle Faust, and cellist Sol Gabetta. Guest conductors, including Paavo Järvi, Heinz Holliger, and John Storgårds, have led the orchestra in concert. The Sinfonietta Riga has mounted several foreign tours, visiting major German venues, including the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, as well as Lincoln Center in New York, and the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam. At home in Riga, the orchestra has a close relationship with the Latvian Radio Choir and its conductor Sigvards Kļava, with whom the orchestra performs several times annually.
The Sinfonietta Riga has recorded for Ondine, ECM, and BIS, as well as other boutique northern European labels beyond Latvia. The group made its debut in 2007, soon after its formation, joining the Latvian Radio Choir for a recording on Ondine of composer Peteris Vasks' Pater Noster. It won a Grammy award for its 2012 ECM release Arvo Pärt: Adam's Lament, also featuring the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. In 2020, the Sinfonietta Riga backed violist Maxim Rysanov in a BIS recording of Vasks' Viola Concerto. ~ James Manheim