Krists Auznieks Appointed as New Chair of Latvian Composers Union

At the end of May, the Latvian Composers Union elected an internationally acclaimed composer Krists Auznieks as their new chairman. Auznieks brings extensive experience and a fresh perspective to the organization.

Krists Auznieks has been praised for his “exhilarating… stunning… luminous“ (San Francisco Classical Voice) music, possessing “astonishing complexity and beauty“ (Broadwayworld), “other-worldly harmonies” (The New York Concert Review), and “old-fashioned elegance“ (Herald Tribune). His quintet “Piano” was featured in The New York Times among the week’s best classical music moments; he is also a recipient of Aspen Music Festival’s Jacob Druckman Prize, International Rostrum of Composers 2021 Award, and the youngest composer to ever receive the Latvian Grand Music Award. In 2021 he was also named the Person of the Year in Latvian Culture.

Auznieks has been commissioned by Atlanta Symphony, Aspen and Norfolk festivals, American Composers Orchestra, MATA, Bang on A Can, Swedish Radio, Kremerata Baltica, Cappella Amsterdam, Latvian Radio Choir,  and Sinfonietta Riga. In the season 22/23 he was a resident composer with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. His music has been performed at The Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Royal Danish Theatre, Beijing National Arts Centre, Shanghai City Theatre, Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw, The Southbank Center, Théâtre Maisonneuve (Montreal), The Kitchen (NYC), and National Sawdust (NYC). Currently, he is working on two operas: for the Latvian National Opera and the renewed Riga Wagner House.

He received a Doctoral degree from Yale School of Music; he has served on the faculty of  Yale School of Music, Montclair State University, Latvian Music Academy, and has also taught for New York Philharmonic's Very Young Composers Program. He currently serves as the Associate Professor at Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music and as the chairman of the Latvian Composers Union.

Currently, Auznieks is working on two operas: Rosa Alchemica for the Latvian National Opera and The Flying One for the opening of the renewed Riga Wagner house in 2027.

As the newly appointed Chair of the Latvian Composers Union, Krists Auznieks prioritizes fostering a nurturing environment that enhances composers' well-being, trust, and sense of community. Concurrently, he aims to strengthen local partnerships among composers and cultural institutions and to broaden international connections to encourage cultural exchange, drive innovation, and enhance the global recognition of composers. He emphasizes the significance of promoting the commissioning of new music, with a focus on alternate sources of funding.

Photo: Krista Dzudzilo