Youthful fervour and vitality, thirst for knowledge and professionalism of the highest level, excellent work and enthusiasm – this is the formula for the State Chamber Orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga, one of the most renowned orchestras in the Northeastern Europe. Since the foundation in 2006, Normunds Šnē is its Artistic Director and Chief Conductor. The musicians of Sinfonietta Rīga are young and open to creative challenges – they are studying the traditions of Baroque music performance and Classical music interpretation nuances; they are brilliant performers of contemporary music and do not shy away from non-academic experiments and cross-over projects. Among the ambitions of the orchestra is promotion of chamber symphony genre in Latvian music, therefore twice a year Sinfonietta Rīga commissions a new score.
Chamber Orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga regularly collaborates with prominent European guest conductors – a number of different programmes have been staged in cooperation with Paavo and Kristjan Järvi, Heinz Holliger, John Storgårds, Christoph Poppen, Juha Kangas, Risto Joost and Tõnu Kaljuste.
Among the brilliant soloists that have performed together with Sinfonietta Rīga are classical singers Monika Groop, Inga Kalna and Olga Pasichnyk (Pasiecznik); pianists Kristian Bezuidenhout, Alexander (Lexo) Toradze and Diana Ketler; chief organist of Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg – Latvian Iveta Apkalna; Argentinian bandoneon player Marcelo Nisinman; violinists Kolja Blacher, Isabelle Faust, Thomas Gould, Alina Pogostkina, Baiba Skride, Augustin Dumay, Alexander Janiczek, Pekka Kuusisto Vadim Gluzman and Alexander Sitkovetsky; cellist Sol Gabetta; the members of the Berlin-based Artemis Quartet – violinist Vineta Sareika and violist Gregor Sigl, as well as Ukrainian violist Maxim Rysanov. Other excellent collaborations that the orchestra has enjoyed have been with clarinetists Jörg Widmann and Emil Jonason, Scottish percussionist Evelyn Glennie, Swedish trombone soloist Christian Lindberg and jazz drummer Peter Erskine, renowned Latvian accordionist Ksenija Sidorova, oboe soloist Alexei Ogrintchouk and flutist Patrick Gallois, as well as early music experts Andrew Lawrence-King and Enrico Onofri. Over the years, the orchestra has developed a close friendship with the acclaimed Latvian Radio Choir and its conductor Sigvards Kļava. Together, they stage several musical programmes each year, including first performances of Latvian sacred music.
Along with active concert life in Latvia and the other two Baltic States, Sinfonietta Rīga has performed in Paris, the Herkulessaal in Munich, the Lincoln Center in New York, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Elbphilharmonie and the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, De Doelen in Rotterdam and Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ in Amsterdamm as well as at the Philharmonic Halls in Kiev and St. Petersburg.
For its musical and cultural contribution the Chamber Orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga has received the coveted national seal of approval – the Great Music Award of Latvia – three times. Its participation in the recording of Adam’s Lament by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, released by ECM, brought the orchestra a Grammy Award in 2014. Sinfonietta Rīga has recorded ten additional albums that have been released by its devoted partners Wergo, Ondine, Onyx, Edition Records, Challenge Records. The latest recording upon Latvian National Record Label Skani will be released on May 18 this Year.