LMIC radio

Imant Raminsh

(18.09.1943 )

"For me, music could never be separate from daily life. That is why I have always worked in all branches of music: as a composer, conductor, teacher, violinist, and, from time to time, even as a singer. The only thing that I do not want and am unable to do is to explain my music. Who really can say, how a bird flies, why nature is so resplendent, from where does love come?"

Imant Raminsh

Born on September 18th, 1943 in Ventspils, Latvia, Imant Raminsh came to Canada in 1948. After completing an ARCT diploma in violin at the Royal Conservatory of Toronto (1962) and a bachelor of Music programme at the University of Toronto (1966), he spent two years at the Akademie Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, studying composition, fugue, violin, and conducting, and playing in the professional Camerata Academica orchestra. He is the founding conductor of the Prince George Symphony (1971), the Youth Symphony of the Okanagan (1989), NOVA Children’s Choir (1983), and AURA Chamber Choir (1979).

His compositions have been performed on six continents by such ensembles as the Vancouver, Edmonton, Hamilton, Toronto, Okanagan, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick Symphonies, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, the Vancouver Bach Choir, the Richard Eaton Singers of Edmonton, the St. Lawrence Choir of Montreal, the Elmer Iseler Singers, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Tafelmusik Baroque Chamber Choir, the Dale Warland Singers, the Kansas City Chorale, the Tokyo Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the Stockholm Chamber Choir, the Finnish Radio Chamber Choir, Ave Sol (Latvian Chamber Choir), Kamēr… Chamber Choir (Riga, Latvia), the State Choir of Latvia, and many others. His music has been performed in such world-renowned halls as Carnegie Hall (New York), Tchaikovsky Hall (Moscow), the Orpheum (Vancouver), Roy Thomson Hall (Toronto), Canterbury Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, St. John’s Church (Riga), Notre Dame (Paris), and Santa Maria del` Fiore (Florence).

Recent major commissions have included a violin concerto for the Vancouver Symphony, a bassoon concerto for George Zukerman, a string quartet, a choral-symphonic setting for baritone solo, large choir, and orchestra of Rilke`s Sonnets to Orpheus for the Toronto Orpheus Choir, and large works for the St. Lawrence Choir of Montreal and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. In July 2000, he conducted the world premiere of his Recordare at the Banff Summer Festival, in a programme that also featured Krzysztof Penderecki conducting the Canadian premiere of his Credo. In April 2002, his 9-movement, 8-language Symphony of Psalms was premiered at Carnegie Hall, New York, with a massed choir of 170 voices and orchestra. He and his wife Becky were co-commissioned to create a theme song for the fourth International Children’s Conference on the Environment, held May 2002 in Victoria, BC, with 800 children from 120 countries participating. In August 2004, the Latvian State Choir Latvija and the Latvian National Orchestra performed a concert of his sacred works as part of the Seventh International Festival of Sacred Music in Riga, Latvia. In May and June of 2005, premieres of his children’s opera The Nightingale were performed by children’s choirs in Chicago, Washington, DC, and Portland, OR, followed by further performances in Hong Kong and mainland China.

A number of his choral compositions can be heard on the CBC CD recordings Songs of the Lights and Earth Chants featuring the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the CBC Vancouver Orchestra. His principal publishers include Boosey & Hawkes, Inc (NY), Gordon V. Thompson (a division of Warner Chappell), Walton Music, Colla Voce Music (Indianapolis), Hinshaw Music, Alliance Music, and Gehrmans Musikforlag (Stockholm). In February 2011, he was the recipient of the Okanagan Music Award.

Arvīds Bomiks, Mārīte Dombrovska © LMIC