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One of the great values of CirqueMusique is the involvement of four talented and internationally recognized Latvian composers in the project, both by them working with the participants of creative workshops (for students of music schools, it will be a truly inspiring encounter – to meet a real composer in person and to perform music together) and by creating a new production dedicated to this project. The composers have a challenging and interesting process ahead of them, as they will need to include contemporary music and elements of contemporary circus into their compositions, thus creating something completely unprecedented for the youth audience in Latvia.

Let's get to know the composers involved in the project:

Santa Ratniece
Santa is one of the most promising composers in the Baltic region. She earned her bachelor's degree at the Romualds Kalsons Composition Class at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music and her master's degree at the Estonian Academy of Nusic and Theatre with the prominent Estonian composer Helena Tulve. The composer also graduated from the Department of Musicology, but started her journey in music as a pianist.
Santa mostly works in the chamber music and vocal music genres, although the composer's list of works also features a piano concerto and a chamber symphony, and she also participated in the production of the performance War sum up and has written for a brass band. Santa's music has been selected for the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers several times and won the award in Paris in 2004. Her music has been performed by the Latvian Radio Choir, NYYD Ensemble, Ensemble Art-i-Shock, Ensemble Reflexion K, the Arditti Quartet, the Kronos Quartet, Altera Vertitas, the Netherlands Chamber Choir, Sinfonietta Riga, and many other collectives in Canada, Uruguay, China, Ireland, Australia, Britain, Romania, and the United States.
She has won several awards and appeared at numerous festivals around the world, as well as repeatedly won the Annual Award in Culture and the Grand Music Award. Santa has been living in Vienna since 2019, and before that she was the resident composer of the Austrian agency KulturKontakt in 2017 and resided at the Visby International Centre for Composers on several occasions.
Santa draws inspiration for her music from the entire world, she synthesizes ancient texts with contemporary sounds and creates sonic journeys across many cultures and religions.

Linda Leimane
Linda Leimane is a Latvian composer, whose works tends to be physicality and bodily art related. She works with electronics, curates and produces multimedia works and installations by collaborating with artists of other media. She also works with soloists, ensembles, orchestras, theatre directors, ballet choreographers, visual artists. Her music has been performed in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Slovenia, the U.S. and Australia. Her electronic works have been presented on the SHAPE platform and Crack Magazine 2022.
Platons Buravickis

Platons Buravickis (b. 1989) is an academic music composer, pianist, and improviser. He studied composition with Vilnis Šmidbergs and Pēteris Vasks, then graduated from the Composition Department of the Jāzeps Vītols Academy with Prof. Selga Mence.

He has devoted his creative process to composing symphony music and music for chamber ensembles, while holding a special passion for electro-acoustic and spatial, or ambisonic, music. As a composer, Platons works in the field of musique concrète and also composes music based on sound synthesis using computers and analog synthesizers. This means that he builds soundscapes from sounds recorded under different conditions and constructs virtual instruments/module algorithms, which he also plays. 

There is virtually no genre Platons has not explored: from nineteenth-century operetta, techno improvisations at rave events, to radical experiments combining the sound of acoustic instruments with generative or note tracking (Antescofo) modular algorithms.

Platons describes himself: “Music became my faith at an early age. From the moment I first touched the keys of a piano, I comprehended and felt the power of music: I understood that, in the twenty-first century, the profession of musician must become the dominant one, just as the military profession was dominant in the twentieth century. If war is the way to the death of humanity, then music is the way to its victory, the road towards life and development. A composer, and any musician, has a very great responsibility, as much as an architect and builder. Unlike the latter, it is harder to assess the responsibility of music creators because their results cannot be seen instantly, which makes the responsibility of music creators even greater. 

From the moment I wrote my first note, I decided I would do anything to make people listen to more music, to be closer to it, closer to victory. I decided I would do anything to make sure that after the music creator's work is complete, people are able to appreciate not only its sound, but also its responsible contribution to shaping the human soul and ego. 

Humanity needs to open itself up to music and find itself in it.”

Krists Auznieks
Composer Krists Auznieks has been praised for his “exhilarating… stunning… luminous“ (San Francisco Classical Voice) music, possessing “astonishing complexity and beauty“ (Broadwayworld), 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 and the youngest composer to ever receive the Latvian Grand Music Award for best composition of the year. In 2021 he received the main prize from International Rostrum of Composers in the "Composers under 30" category and was also named "person of the year in culture" by Latvijas Avīze. Auznieks is currently a composer in residence with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra for the 2022/23 season and a recipient of the Paris Cité internationale des arts fellowship.

Recent commissions include works for the Swedish Radio, Latvian National Opera, O/Modernt Festival and violinist Hugo Ticciati, Atlanta Symphony, Bang on A Can, Kremerata Baltica, choral pieces for Cappella Amsterdam and Latvian Radio Choir, a guitar concerto for Sinfonietta Riga and JiJi, ensemble works for Swedish Radio, New York based new music ensemble Unheard-Of, a multi-media work for Canadian soprano Meghan Lindsay, and a piece for Los Angeles based Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra.

Auznieks’ music has been performed at the Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Royal Danish Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Hall, Prague Quadriennial, Beijing National Arts Centre, Shanghai City Theatre, Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw, The Southbank Center (London), Théâtre Maisonneauve (Montreal), The Kitchen (NYC), National Sawdust (NYC), Chassé Theater (The Netherlands), Cultuurcentrum Hasselt (Belgium), and Théâtre De Nîmes (France).

It has also been featured in Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Prague Quadrennial, Aspen Music Festival, American Music Festival (Albany, NY), MATA, SO Percussion Day of Awesomeness, Arctic Arts Festival (Norway), UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in Finland, European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017 Festival (Denmark), and Chelsea Music Festvial (NYC).

He has also been commissioned by American Composer Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Yale Percussion Group, Albany Symphony, Latvian Radio Big Band, Contemporaneous, pianists Melvin Chen and David Fung, and worked with conductors Tarmo Peltokoski, Kristiina Poska, Robert Spano, Patrick Summers, Christopher Rountree, pianist Stephen Gosling, and bassist Robert Black.

He received his Doctoral and Masters degrees from Yale School of Music and is also an alumnus of The Royal Conservatory of The Hague. His most recent recognitions include fellowships from Paris Cité internationale des arts, Hermitage and AIR Serenbe residencies, Aspen Music Festival, NEXT Festival of Emerging Artists (NYC), Bennington Chamber Music Conference, American Academy of Fontainebleau and Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, The Woods Chandler Memorial Prize from Yale, awards from American Composer Orcestra’s Earshot, The Chicago Ensemble’s Discover America XI, Association for the Promotion of New Music, and Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra competitions.

He has served on the faculty of Yale School of Music, Montclair State University, Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Music Academy, and has taught for NY Philharmonic's Very Young Composers Program and Sitka Fine Arts Camp in Alaska. He has presented guest lectures at Manhattan School of Music, SUNY Stony Brook, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Florida State University. Auznieks is a long term Vipassana practitioner and also loves literature, bouldering, and cooking.