LMIC radio

Edgars Račevskis

(11.07.1936 - 15.02.2022 )


Edgars Račevskis was born on 11 July 1936 in Skrunda. He studied at the primary school in Turlava and then at the Liepāja Music High School and the Jāzeps Mediņš Music High School in Riga, where he focused on conducting. He continued his studies at the Latvian State Conservatoire, graduating from Andrejs Krūmiņš’ class (1955–1960).

Račevskis has served as the conductor of the “Sakta” state song and dance ensemble (1960–1963) and the State Academic Choir “Latvija” (1960–1963, 1988–1990) and also as the chief choirmaster of the Latvian National Opera Choir (1994–1997). For many years, he was the artistic director and principal conductor of the Teodors Kalniņš Latvian Radio Choir (1963–1987). Račevskis founded and directed the “Gaudeamus” male choir of the Riga Polytechnic Institute (1959–1997); the “Vanema” teachers’ choir of Tukums District (1977–1987); the “Sonore” mixed choir of the Small Guild culture and arts centre in Riga (1987–1997); and the men’s choir of the Riga Latvian Society House (1997). He founded the Jāzeps Vītols Song Days in Gaujiena and is the organiser and chief conductor of this festival. Since 1970, Račevskis has been a principal conductor at the General Latvian Song and Dance Celebration and is currently an honorary principal conductor of this event. He has also been a principal conductor at Latvian song festivals in Canada (1991, 1996) and the United States (1997), the Nordic-Baltic Choral Festival (1995) and the Gaudeamus Song Festival for Baltic Students (1967–1995).

Račevskis has also taught for much of his career. He was a member of the faculty (1969–2000), professor (1986) and head of the Department of Conducting (1987/1988) at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian State Conservatoire (now the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music) and a professor in the Department of Conducting and Music at the Liepāja Academy of Pedagogy (2000–2003). He has composed actively since the 1990s and has been an honorary member of the Latvian Composers’ Union since 2004.

Račevskis is an Officer of the Order of the Three Stars (1996) and a winner of the Latvian Grand Music Award (1993).

Kristiāna Vaickovska, 2021