"The dream reminded me of a large tower, where unending layers rise upwards and vanish into eternity or also circularly tend downwards and disappear into the depths of the earth. When I was caught by its swinging, it seemed like we were in a spiral, and this spiral was a labyrinth. There were no ceiling, no foundation, no walls, no return path. These were themes that repeated with an amazing precision."
From the Julio Cortázar book Hopscotch
Santa Ratniece was born on March 22, 1977 in Jelgava. She studied piano at the Valmiera School of Music. In 1996, she finished the Emīls Dārziņš College of Music specializing in music theory and composition with composer Imants Zemzaris. In 2000, she graduated the J. Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, specializing in musicology, and in 2002, specializing in composition with Romualds Kalsons. In the spring of 2002, as part of the program Socrates Erasmus, she studied in Enschede in the Netherlands with the English composer David Rowland. In 2002, she began master’s studies at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre with Estonian composer Helena Tulve. In 2007 she received her Master’s Degree in arts, and the title of her Master’s Degree thesis was Claude Vivier’s Shiraz for Piano: Time and Pitch Structure. In 2006, Santa Ratniece became a member of the Latvian Composers’ Union.
Music by Santa Ratniece has been performed by the Latvian Radio Choir, Altera Veritas, Ensemble NOVE, string quartet Diference, Sinfonietta Rīga (Latvia), NYYD Ensemble, Ensemble Resonabilis, pianist Kadri-Ann Sumera, trombonist Andres Kontus, singer Iris Oja (Estonia), Deutsch-Skandinavische Jugend-Philharmonie, Ensemble Reflexion K (Germany), Arditti Quartet, Charles Matthews (England), Nederlands Kamerkoor (The Netherlands), Quatuor Molinari (Canada), Sydney Symphony Fellows (Australia) and others. Santa Ratniece’s music has been performed at the festivals Arēna, Skaņu mežs (Sound Forest), Latvian New Music Days, Solaris, Introvert Music festival (Latvia), Estonian Music Days, Autumn Festival, Lepo Sumera festival (Estonia), Présences 2006, Tenso Days Paris 2007 (France), Klangspuren 2006 (Austria), The Baltic Sea festival (Sweden), MusiMars (Canada), ISCM World Music Days 2008, GAIDA 2009 (Lithuania), Tenso Dagen Amsterdam 2009 (The Netherlands), 2010 ISCM World New Music days Sydney (Australia), La Biennale di Venezia 2010 (Italy), Usedomer Music festival 2010 (Germany) and in various concerts in Russia, Switzerland, Argentine, Belgium, and elsewhere. Awards: Petunia – 1st Prize at the Young Composers Competition in Tallinn, 2003; sens nacre – selected work in the young composers category at the 2004 UNESCO International ROSTRUM for Composers; Saline – Latvian Annual Award for Culture of the daily newspaper Diena in 2006; sens nacre – the Copyrights’ Infinity Award 2007; Saline – recommended work at the 2008 UNESCO International ROSTRUM for Composers; Chu dal – the Copyrights’ Infinity Award 2011.
Mārīte Dombrovska Photo - Edmunds Mickus © LMIC