"If you’re lucky, you can feel the music. If you’re lucky, you can sense that this experience doesn’t have a genre, an artistic direction and technique, or various times and spaces. There is just a single, possibly Godly presence—sacred, immaterial, and indescribable. This is one state that dissolves existential doubts and confirms the virtues that make a person better. I believe in this power of music, and I am happy and thankful that I’ve been given the opportunity to sense its existence."
Jēkabs Nīmanis was born in Riga on November 29, 1980. He graduated from the Latvian Academy of Music with a bachelor’s degree in clarinet (Sigurds Circenis, 2003) and master’s degrees in chamber music (Herta Hansena, 2005) and composition (Andris Vecumnieks, 2009). Nīmanis participated in the International Sibelius Academy ABAM Chamber Music Master Classes in Finland in 2004, and studied composition, instrumentation, and electroacoustic music as a Socrates/Erasmus exchange student at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2008. He has also studied composition with David Finnesy and Alistair MacDonald.
In 2003, Nīmanis won first place in the Polyphonic Composition Competition organized by the Latvian Academy of Music’s Composition Department; that same year he finished second in the International Student Chamber Ensemble Competition in Klaipeda, Lithuania. In 2010 he won a special jury prize at the Baltic Theater Festival (Lithuania), and a Spēlmaņu nakts Award (Actors Night Award, Latvia) for the music for the theatre production Plūdi un saulgrieži Straumēnu skaņās (Floods and Solstices in the Sounds of Straumēni).
Nīmanis has been a member of the Latvian Composer Union since 2009. Nīmanis performs as a clarinetist in various chamber ensembles and orchestras. From 2002 to 2010 he organized chamber music concerts at the New Riga Theatre. He has taken part in Digitālā darbnīca (Digital Workshop) projects since 2004. Nīmanis is also a teacher at the Bolderāja Music and Art School, where he has taught clarinet and saxophone since 2004.
Mārīte Dombrovska © LMIC, 2011