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Pavasars, Helmers (1903 - 1998)

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Helmers Pavasars
Helmers Pavasars
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Born in Lejasciems, Latvia, studied at the Latvian conservatory - composition with Jazeps Wihtols, violin with Adolfs Mecs and conducting with Janis Medins.
Since 1954 Pavasars has been living in London, England, where he has been active as a organist, and conductor at Latvian Song Festivals in England and Germany.
In 1983 Pavasars was recipient of the Prize of the Latvian National in Exile.

Helmers Pavasars has composed mainly chamber music, both instrumental and vocal, and choral music (about 80 works in all), with a few works also in the genres of cantata and music for organ. His musical output, though comparatively small, has shown him to be equally at home in all these genres. The moderate emotional content of his music is offset by his very sensitive mode of expression and smooth handling of form. At the LC Pavasars studied violin performance (1921–1930), theory of composition (1924–1928), composition (1931–1932) and conducting (1936–1938), graduating in the first two of these disciplines. He worked in Riga as music teacher and organist until 1931, then as choir conductor, organist and violin teacher at music schools in Valmiera (1931–1932) and Cēsis (1931–1940). In 1934 he became the director of the music school in Cēsis, which in 1937 gained the status of College of Music. In Cēsis he founded and conducted the municipal symphony orchestra and also worked as violin teacher and conductor at the Teachers College (1938–1940). He then lectured on theoretical subjects at the LC until 1944 when he fled Latvia as a refugee. In Germany he resumed lecturing at the Baltic University in Pinneberg, working also as choir conductor and organist, mainly in Hamburg.
From 1954 Pavasars worked as an organist in London, was Principal Conductor at the Latvian Song Festivals in Great Britain in 1958, 1961 and 1967, and also at the 1st Latvian Song Festival in Europe (Hamburg, 1964). In 1990 he took part in the 20th Latvian National Song Festival concerts in Riga as one of the composers. He has been made an Honorary Professor by the Latvian Academy of Music.

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