Composers and Authors /

Smite, Gundega (1977)

Biography   Works  

Gundega Šmite was born in Riga, Latvia. She graduated from the composition department of the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music underProfessor Pēteris Plakidis (2007). As part of the Erasmus program, she also studied at the Jean Sibelius Academy of Music (Finland) under Veli-Matti Puumala. She has participated in the Centre Acanthes workshop, as well as in masterclasses given by Salvatore Sciarrino, Fabio Nieder, Philipe Hurel, Oskar Strasnoy and Unsuk Chin. Since 2008, she has led composition masterclasses for young composers in Ogre, Sigulda (International Young Musicians masterclasses) and Madona.

Since 2007, she has been a lecturer at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music. From 2009 to 2012, she served as Chairman of the Latvian Composers’ Union and wasArtistic Director of the Arena Contemporary Music Festival. She holds a doctoral degree in arts from the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music for her musicological research concerningthe relationship between music and text in contemporary choral music. She is currently based in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Gundega has won numerous prizes and awards for her work, including the Culturescapes International Young Composers’ Competition (Isochasma, quintet, 2006) and the Latvian Great Music Award for New Composition of the Year (IΩ. Eos, the Goddess of Dawn for symphony orchestra, 2019).

Her music is regularly performed worldwide. She has collaborated with the Berlin, Swedish and Latvian Radio Choirs, the BBC Singers, the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, Ensemble Lucilin (Belgium), BIT20 (Norway), and Dissonart Ensemble (Greece) among others.

Photo by Karīna Miezāja

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