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Savickis, Ungars (1952 - 2018)

Biography   Works  

Ungars Savickis was born on June 24th, 1952 in Riga. From 1959 to 1970 he studied at the Emīls Dārziņš School of Music, where from 1st through 8th grade, he studied violin (Voldemārs Stūresteps, Juris Madrēvičs), from 9th to 11th grade – music theory, and from 6th to 11th grade, as an elective he studied composition with Ģederts Ramans. From 1970 to 1975, he studied at the Latvian State Conservatory, where he graduated Valentīns Utkins’ composition class. He furthered his compositional studies at the Soviet Composer’s Creative House in Ivanovo with Abram Finkelštein (1978, 1984). He participated in courses on the psychology of the understanding of the audience (1996, Bornholm, Denmark) and at the seminar EBU Radio Drama Workshop (2003, Helsinki, Finland).

As of 1975, Ungars Savickis works at Latvian Radio; as of 1991 he is the sound director at the Radio Theatre. He has been nominated for the award of Year’s Best Sound Director from the Latvian National Radio and Television Board (1998, 1999, 2003). Ungars Savickis is the first producer of radio advertisements in Latvia (since 1982). He works as a producer of advertisements, writing much for audio and video advertisements.

In the 70s and 80s he was actively involved in the field of popular music. He led the Ogre Culture House ensemble Metronoms (1972), the Latvian State University student ensemble Inversija (1976–1979), the Olaine Culture House popular orchestra and vocal instrumental ensemble (1980–1982), and founded the group Jumprava (1984). He has played the bass guitar and keyboards in many different popular groups. As a composer, Ungars Savickis worked together with almost all the notable popular Latvian singers of that time. He worked the most with the ensemble Eolika, which, for the most part, gave concerts outside of Latvia (the former Soviet republics and other Socialist states – Afghanistan, Cuba, and others.) He composed rock cantatas for Eolika, which is the first example of this genre in Latvian music. The Songs Sudrabā (In Silver) and Nav mīla jāmeklē (Do Not Search for Love) (sung by Ingus Pētersons) were included in the finals of the Latvian music yearly review Mikrofons 81 and Mikrofons 82.

The composer played the violin in the VEF Castle of Culture ensemble Kantilēna (1973–1979), which gave concerts in the Soviet Union, German Democratic Republic, and the People’s Republic of Poland. As a pianist, Ungars Savickis visited Sweden, Finland, and other European nations with the group Putni and the choir Sindi putnu dārzs.

Ungars Savickis is a member of professional groups: as of 1986 – a member of the Latvian Theatre Workers’ Union, as of 1999, a member of the Latvian Author’s Union, as of 2002 – a member of the Latvian Composer’s Union. He has received many awards in song competitions.

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