Born in 1960, Gintaras Rinkevičius is one of the most outstanding conductors in Lithuania, a national prizewinner and a professor at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. He is the founder of the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, its artistic director and chief conductor. From 1996 to 2003 he was the artistic director and chief conductor of the Latvian National Opera, and between 2007 and 2009 he was the chief guest conductor. Currently, he is the chief conductor and artistic leader of the Novosibirsk Academic Symphony Orchestra. A winner at three international competitions, he has appeared with outstanding orchestras and famous soloists at the most prestigious concert halls. In 2009 he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Commander of the Order of Merit to Lithuania, and in May 2010, he received the Luminaries Prize 2010, established by the Konstantinas Čiurlionis Foundation.