The RIGA Professional Symphonic Band is the official orchestra of the Riga City Council. It was founded in 1972. The performances of the RIGA Professional Symphonic Band were acknowledged by a nomination for the Latvian Great Music Award 2010 as the best musical collective of the year in Latvia and a nomination for the Annual Culture Award of Newspaper “Diena” for the 2011/2012 Season Opening Concert.
In 2007 the RIGA Professional Symphonic Band released its first album titled Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus! that was nominated for the Annual Latvian Music Recording Award 2007 in the category of the best instrumental, film or theatre music album. In 2008 album Windstream was released in collaboration with brothers Petrauski – saxophonist Oskars and pianist Raimonds. The latest album was released in 2011 under the title Riga. Tannenbaum. Christmas Tree with participation of conductor Mārtiņš Ozoliņš and soloists Kristīne Gailīte, Ingus Pētersons and Daumants Kalniņš.
Since 2011 the artistic director and the chief conductor of the RIGA Professional Symphonic Band is Mārtiņš OZOLIŅŠ. In 2009 conductor and big band master Raitis AŠMANIS commenced his cooperation with the Riga Professional Symphonic Band and established a tradition of jazz and popular music performances.
In October 2011 in frames of the Riga Days in Saint Petersburg the band gave two performances in the Small Hall and the Great Hall of The N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg Conservatory. Since 2009 the Riga Professional Symphonic Band organizes the Spring Festival WINDSTREAM that is received with great enthusiasm by the audiences of Riga.
During the last several years the Riga Professional Symphonic Band has encouraged and facilitated creation of new pieces by the contemporary Latvian composers: Ēriks Ešenvalds – cantata Latvia. Impressions of Seasons (2008), Nick Gotham – Every Day (2010), Vilnis Šmīdbergs – Symphony (2010), Andris Dzenītis – Drone (2010), Ilona Breģe – Requiem (2010), Imants Mežaraups – cantata For the Taken Away (2011).
Orchestra's webs: draugiem.lv and facebook.com
Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Mārtiņš Ozoliņš
MĀRTIŅŠ OZOLIŅŠ is Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the RIGA Professional Symphonic Band since 2011.
He is graduated from the Latvian Academy of Music, chorus conducting class of Prof.Edgars Račevskis in 1998 and the symphony orchestra conducting class of Prof.Imants Resnis in 2003. The conductor has taken masterclasses with Helmut Rilling at the Bach Academy in Germany, Gintaras Rinkevicius in Lithuania and Vassily Sinaisky Saint Petersburg. Since 2005 Mārtiņš Ozoliņš is the conductor of the Latvian National Opera. He has collaborated with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, has toured Germany and with the Latvian National Opera to Moscow, Mexico, Tamper (Finland), Trieste (Italy), Catania (Sicily).
In 2009 Mārtiņš Ozoliņš won the second prize in Jorma Panula Conducting Competition in Finland. Since 2011 he is Head of the Department of Orchestra Conducting at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music.
Conductor Raitis Ašmanis
RAITIS AŠMANIS is conductor of the RIGA Professional Symphonic Band since 2009.
His concert programs - RIGA JAZZ 2010, Amor a la Mexicana, American Coctail - are focused to jazz, latin and popular music.