The Latvian Radio Choir (LRC)
is a unique musical group in the domain of choral music – here is a chamber choir able to perform the widest repertoire from the early music to the most sophisticated scores created by modern composers. The Latvian Radio Choir is a creative lab insistently encouraging composers to write music that challenges the scale of vocal arsenal – from folk music to overtones and quarter tones.
Since 1992, LRC has two conductors – Sigvards Kļava, Music Director and Principal Conductor, and Kaspars Putniņš, Conductor. During the last 20 years, LRC has developed an unprecedented notion of a choir – every chorister has its own mission and individual contribution. As a result, the alloy of all the timbral bouquet stands for the sounding standard of the choral ensemble. The expertise of singers has made LRC a remarkably flexible ensemble able to deal with a wide variety of musical genres: vocal and instrumental music, as well as opera performances, multi-media projects, intimate a capella talks, and theatrical shows where singers can express themselves as versatile soloists, talented actors and instrumentalists.
The choir has been invited to perform at the top international musical forums in Salzburg and Lucerne festivals, BBC Proms, Radio France Montpellier Festival, the Baltic Sea Festival, Printemps des arts de Monte-Carlo, Klangspuren Festival, White Light Festival USA, KLANGVOKAL Dortmund, Musikfest Erzgebirge, Soundstreams in Canada, and at renowned concert halls such as the Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, Elbphilharmonie, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Konzerthaus in Berlin, and Cité de la Musique in Paris, Lincoln Centre in New York and Dresden Frauenkirche.
Latvian Radio Choir has successfully worked with many outstanding guest conductors, including Heinz Holliger, Riccardo Muti, Ricardo Chailly, Gustavo Dudamel, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Essa-Pekka Salonen, Peter Phillips, among others. The Lucerne Festival Orcestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Camerata Salzburg and Concerto Copenhagen at als. have been the partners as well.
The Latvian Radio Choir records on a regular basis. The records have been published in collaboration with such labels as Ondine, Hyperion Records, Deutche Grammohon, ECM, BIS.
In 2015, a new series of recorded Latvian choral music was initiated by the record company Skani!. LRC has also been a part of recording the Grammy winner Arvo Pärt’s album Adam’s Lament (ECM), performance being conducted by Tenu Kaljuste.
One of the most valued recordings is Sergey Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil, praised by the renowned music magazine Gramophone as the best recording in February 2013 and ranked as one of the 25 best albums of the year by American radio NPR. In the summer of 2017, LRC debuted at the famous BBC Proms Festival with Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil with great success.
Latvian Radio Choir is a member and one of the four founders of Tenso, the European network for professional chamber choirs. The choir has repeatedly received the highest national award for professional achievement, including the Latvian Music Grand Prix, and the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers Award.
Latvian Radio Choir was founded in 1940 by one of the legendary Latvian choir conductors Teodors Kalniņš, who led the choir till the end of his days in 1962. Another important period in LRC history is connected with Edgars Račevskis – he was music director in 1963–1986. In 1987 – 1992 the post of LRC Music Director was held by Juris Kļaviņš, who invited Sigvards Kļava to become assistant conductor.