Latvia’s top symphonic player, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra (LNSO), reintroduces the international workshop for young composers. Andris Dzenītis, one of Latvia’s most excellent composers, developed the tradition by attracting numerous young authors to workshops in various Latvia’s cities – Dundaga, Cēsis, and Mazsalaca.

The workshops will take place on 19–23 August, 2019, in Rēzekne – a city in the heart of Latvia’s most peculiar region Latgale.

Workshop participants will have the opportunity to draw inspiration from the oldest layers of North Latgale’s traditional music.

The workshop lecturers are: Andris Dzenītis (Latvia), Marco Stroppa (Italy/Germany), and Anders Nordentoft (Denmark).

The workshop will conclude with a performance of the participants’ new works in the opening concert of the LNSO Summer Festival at the Latgale Embassy GORS Small Hall.


LATGALE is a glorious lakeland in the southeast of Latvia. It is the poorest and the wealthiest part of the country simultaneously: a region with the least successful economy and the richest traditional culture and music. Historically, the territory of Latvia (and Estonia) adopted Lutheranism in the 16th century, except for Latgale, which was under Polish rule at the time and remained Catholic.

Another specific feature of Latgale is that the majority of population speak the Latgalian, or High Latvian language. This form of Latvian has its own literature, and the relation between the Latvian of the Lutheran regions and Latgale’s High Latvian makes an approximate analogy to the relation between the High German and Low German or even High German and Dutch.

Catholicism and folklore are the two dominant factors of Latgalian cultural identity. It is important to stress that Catholicism and folklore constantly interplay in Latgale: plenty of mixed phenomena have emerged due to Catholic music and poetry fusing with local folklore and traditional music.

It is important to understand the term bolss which has an important role in High Latvian musical terminology. The noun bolss has three meanings: 1) human or animal voice – sound produced by vocal cords, 2) vocal part in polyphonic music, 3) tune. The first two meanings are similar to those of the word ‘voice’ in various languages. The third meaning is used in folk music terminology in the Baltics and among some East- and South-Slavic peoples. It is still used in Latgale.

More information available in the enclosed document.

Music samples:


Andris DZENĪTIS (Latvia)

Anders NORDENTOFT (Denmark)

Marco STROPPA (Italy/Germany)


The musicians who will participate in the workshop and the premiere of the new works at the LNSO Summer Festival are:

Lolita SVILĀNE – flute

Zane BALTĀBOLA – violin

Zane DZIESMA – viola

Maija KALNIŅA – cello

Mārcis LIPSKIS – double bass

Ieva SALIETE – harpsichord, clavicymbalum

Jurģis LIPSKIS – percussion


To apply for the workshop, the candidates have to submit mp3 audio recordings (recommended length 5 to 10 minutes) of two or three previously composed chamber music pieces or any other musical work written for at least four (4) instruments; the respective sheet music scores in digital format (pdf only), a detailed CV, photo and completed application form. All the materials must be submitted electronically to the workshop organizers by May 1, 2019.


The admission commission, comprising the workshop lecturers and members of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, will evaluate the submitted materials and choose five (5) international workshop participants.

The selected composers will be announced by May 15, 2019.

The 5 participants selected by the commission will be invited to compose one short piece (maximum duration 7 minutes) for chamber ensemble of residing musicians.

The commissioned works should follow a common theme – Northern Latgalian traditional songs.

Northern Latgalian traditional song motives, melody or structure should serve as inspiration for your new composition.

The selected participants will have to complete and submit their compositions to workshop organizers until August 1, 2019.

The works must be 90% complete by that date. The workshop will be devoted to working with the lecturers and musicians to refine any details and make viable modifications.

The new works will be performed at the LNSO Summer Festival Opening Concert on August 23, 2019, in the Small Hall of the Latgale Embassy GORS.

The workshop is intended for young composers up to 35 years of age. However, the organizers may allow exceptions.


Each participant will engage in private consultations with all lecturers, present their music, take part in open rehearsals, seminars and discussions over the course of five days (on 19–23 August) in Rēzekne.

All conditions for creative individual work will be provided during the workshop, including accommodation, catering, free Wi-Fi, printer, etc.


The residing musicians will perform the compositions created during the workshop in a single concert. The concert will also be the opening of the LNSO Summer Festival. Everyone will be invited to enjoy the participants’ presentations in an informal atmosphere on every evening of the workshop.

There is a lake situated near Rēzekne. The programme also includes short excursions to a potter’s kiln and the renovated Lūznava Manor. The participants will also have the opportunity to hear a live performance by a folklore ensemble that fosters ancient traditional music.


Participation fee is 300 EUR. It covers all the facilities and activities listed above. However, travelling expenses to Latvia and back shall be covered by the participants.


Contact us for more information about the workshop:

The application form and further information can be found in LNSO VASARNĪCA 2019 meistarkursi_NOLIKUMS EN OS and LNSO VASARNĪCA 2019 meistarkursi_LATGALE EN OS.