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Petraskevics, Janis (1978)

Biography   Works  

Jānis Petraškevičs was born on February 10th, 1978 in Riga. He studied at the Emīls Dārziņš Music School in the violin class (1985–1994), followed by theory and composition with Ģederts Ramans (1994–1996). He also studied at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music in the composition class of Pēteris Plakidis (1996–1998; 1999–2003). He studied at the Royal University College of Music in Stockholm with Sven-David Sandström (1998–1999). Petraškevičs has had post-graduate studies in composition with Ole Lützow-Holm at the University of Gothenburg since 2004. In 2014, he defended his doctoral thesis on “Multidimensionality in the Avant-Garde Music of the Second Half of the 20th Century (the Compositional Techniques of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, Brian Ferneyhough, Elliott Carter and Gyorgy Ligeti)” to gain his PhD. Since 2011, he has taught at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, where he is currently a lecturer.

He has attended many mastercourses, including: 4th International Academy for New Composition at Schwaz, Austria (with Boguslav Schaeffer and Marek Choloniewski, 1996); the International Seminar for Young Composers in the Baltic Region at Visby, Gotland (1997); the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music (Germany, 1998); the International Composition Seminar at Brussels with Lucas Francesconi and Fausto Romitelli (2000); under the Royaumont Foundation program Voix Nouvelles at the workshop in the Abbey of Royaumont, France (with Brian Ferneyhough, José Evangelista and Jean-Luc Hervé, 2000); three months of study at the Enschede Conservatorium in the Netherlands (with David Rowland, 2001); Domain Forget composition courses at Charlevoix, Canada (2001); and the Summer Academy Schloss Solitude, Germany with Chaya Czernowin, Steve Kazuo Takasugi and Richard Barrett (2003).

With his composition Bultas lidojums... (Flight of the Arrow…) his recording was noted at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in Paris (1997). He received a commission for a new work by the Ensemble InterContemporain for a work called Trop proche / trop loin which received its premiere in Paris at the Pompidou Centre in 2002. In 2003 he was awarded first prize at the ABAM composers’ competition in Hamburg for his work Et la nuit illumina la nuit. In 2006 Jānis Petraškevičs received the Carl Larsson Scholarship for a residency in Fontainebleau, and in 2013–2014, he received the Fellowship of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbertide. He has received the Latvian Great Music Award in 2013 and the Copyrights’ Infinity Award in 2014. In 2017, he was commissioned by Südwestrundfunk to write a piece for orchestra, which was premiered by the SWR Symphonieorchester in Donaueschingen in 2018. His music has been performed in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK, including at the Biennale di Venezia (2008), the ISCM World Music Days (2008, Vilnius), the concert series Musica Viva in Munich (2012), the festival Warszawska Jesień – Warsaw Autumn (2013), the festival Ultraschall Berlin (2015), and the festival Archipel (2015, Geneva), Donaueschinger Musiktage (2018).

He has contributed articles on music to the magazines Mūzikas Saule and Rīgas Laiks.

Photo by Marta Veinberga

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