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(b 1946 )

Pēteris Vasks was born in Aizpute, Latvia on 16 April 1946. He attended the Riga Music Academy and the Lithuanian Music Academy in Vilnius where he studied double-bass with Vitautas Sereika. During 1973–78 he studied composition with Valentin Utkin at the Latvian Academy of Music in Riga. From 1963 to 1974 Vasks was a member of the Lithuanian Philharmonic Orchestra (1966–9), Latvian Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra (1969–70) and the Orchestra of Latvian Radio and Television (1971–4).

On three occasions he has received the Great Music Award, the highest prize bestowed by the Latvian state in the field of music: in 1993 for Litene, in 1998 for his Violin Concerto ‘Distant Light’, and in 2000 for his Second Symphony. In 1996 he was awarded the Herder Prize of the Alfred Toepfer Foundation in Hamburg and was also designated principal composer of the Stockholm Festival of New Music. Since 1994 Vasks has been an honorary member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences and in 2001 became a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. During 2004 a recording of his Second Symphony (Ondine) was awarded the Cannes Classical Award in the categories ‘CD of the Year’ and ‘Best Orchestral Work’.

Vasks currently resides in Riga where he works as a freelance composer.

Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
21ST CENTURY INSTRUMENTAL SOLOS (Russo, Gattet, L. Watts, Sukmanova, Papendell, Duncan, Bruggergosman, Gerard Kim) Oehms Classics
BABADJANIAN, A.H.: Piano Trio in F-Sharp Minor / VASKS, P.: Episodi e canto perpetuo (Potch Trio) Delos
Chamber Music
Chamber Music (Piano Trios) - VASKS, P. / COWELL, H. / SHCHEDRIN, R.K. / SCHOENFIELD, P. (Episodi) (Adastra Piano Trio) CD Accord
Chamber Music
Choral Concert: Mats Nilssons Vocal Ensemble - MONTEVERDI, C. / POULENC, F. / PETERSON-BERGER, W. / JOHANSON, S.E. / WERLE, L.J. / (Sweden) Proprius
Choral - Secular
Double Bass Recital: Racz, Odon - BOTTESINI, G. / VECSEY, F. / EINEM, G. von / VASKS, P. / PAGANINI, N. (Double Bass Fantasy) Gramola Records
MALCYS, A.: Blackthorn Eyes / Hyacinth of the Snowfields / Milky Way / VASKS, P.: Piano Quartet (Baltic Inspiration) (Ippolitov-Ivanov Piano Quartet) Naxos
Chamber Music
Oboe Recital: Smith, James Austin - HINDEMITH, P. / VASKS, P. / CARTER, E. / BACH, J.S. (Distance) TwoPianists
VASKS, P.: Choral Music - Plainscapes / Our Mother's Names / Silent Songs (Latvian Radio Choir, Klava) Ondine
Choral - Secular, Choral - Sacred, Choral - Secular
VASKS, P.: Flute Concerto / Flute Sonata / Aria e danza / Landscape with Birds (M. Faust, S. Arnold, Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä, P. Gallois) Naxos
Instrumental, Concerto, Chamber Music, Instrumental, Concerto, Chamber Music, Concerto, Instrumental
VASKS, P.: Gramata cellam / Partita / Episodi e canto perpetuo (Geringas) SWR Classic
Chamber Music, Instrumental, Chamber Music, Instrumental, Chamber Music
VASKS, P.: Laudate Dominum / Da pacem, Domine / Mein Herr und mein Gott / The Fruit of Silence (Latvian Radio Choir, Sinfonietta Rīga, S. Kļava) Ondine
Choral - Sacred
VASKS, P.: Pater noster / Dona nobis pacem / Mass (Latvian Radio Choir, Klava) Ondine
Choral - Sacred
VASKS, P.: Symphony No. 2 / Violin Concerto, "Distant Light" (Storgards) Ondine
Concerto, Orchestral
VASKS, P.: Symphony No. 3 / Cello Concerto (Ylönen, Tampere Philharmonic, J. Storgårds) Ondine
Concerto, Orchestral, Concerto, Orchestral, Concerto, Orchestral
Violin and Piano Recital: Koornhof, Piet / Hecht, Thomas - DVARIONAS, B. / KANCHELI, G. / VASKS, P. / PÄRT, A. (Baltic and Beyond) Delos

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