"In life and in art, I enjoy contrasts, that is why I compose both large, serious, sacred music works, as well as miniatures for choir – of course I have never written overly refined chamber music – the sad breath for a lonely clarinet... Dynamics, rhythm, simplicity, and laconicism – that is my Credo. I also have not been afraid of melodiousness – the souls of music."
Ilze Arne was born on August 19th, 1953, in Riga. She studied composition at the Emīls Dārziņš College of Music with Pauls Dambis and at the Latvian State Conservatory with Valentīns Utkins (1972–1977). After receiving her diploma, alongside creative work, Ilze Arne teaches budding musicians: at the Emīls Dārziņš School of Music (1977–1980), the Jāzeps Mediņš College of Music (1987–1996); as of 1978, she is member of the faculty of the Latvian State Conservatory/the Latvian Academy of Music, both as an accompanist in the music education division, as well as leading choir arrangement, improvisation, and chamber ensemble studies. In 2001, she received a master’s degree with her thesis Latvju dainu izmantošana improvizācijā bērna iztēles ierosināšanai and bagātināšanai (The Use of Latvian Folk Songs in Improvisation to Motivate and Enrich a Child’s Vision).
Ilze Arne composes mainly choir music and expanded instrumental or oratorio works. Her choir music has received the most attention – her works have many times been included in the Song Festival choir repertoire both in Latvia and internationally, and have received many awards at competitions. For example, Ilze Arne’s song Hand Holds Hand with words by Andrejs Eglītis was recognized as the best song at the Scandinavian and Baltic States IV Song Festival choir composition competition. As of 1986, Ilze Arne is a member of the Latvian Composer’s Union. She regularly performs in concerts as a composer and as an accompanist, playing piano, organ, or harpsichord. The composer frequently is a jury member at many different competitions and performances. More than thirty concerts of her works have been given in concert halls, as well as city and town schools. An evening of Ilze Arne’s music was held in 1999 in Toronto, Canada.
Ligita Ašme Photo - Edmunds Mickus © LMIC