Born in Riga, Latvia, composer Andris Dzenītis (b. 1978) studied with Pēteris Vasks and Pēteris Plakidis in Riga. His sonata for violin and piano “Pamestie” (“Deserted”) was awarded the chamber music prize (1994) by the Latvian Composers’ Union when he was only 16. He studied composition at the Vienna School of Music and Drama with Kurt Schwertsik and continued his studies at the Lithuanian Music Academy with Osvaldas Balakauskas. He has taken part in several young composers’ seminars, attended mastercourses with Magnus Lindberg, Pär Lindgren and Bent Sorensen.
His music has been performed and commissioned in Latvia and abroad: at the Warsaw Autumn Festival, the Gaida Festival in Vilnius, Maerzmusik Berlin, the Bergen music festival, Klangspuren Schwaz, Time of Music, Viitasaari, the ISCM World Music Days Hong Kong and Beijing, Musica Viva and many other festivals and played elsewhere by significant Latvian and international ensembles and musical formations like the Latvian Radio Choir, Ensemble Modern, the Radio Symphony Orchestras of Berlin and Amsterdam, Leipzig Gewandhaus and the Boston Symphony Orchestra and conductors Peter Eotvos, Karel Mark Chichon and Andris Nelsons, among others. “Seven Madrigals by E.E. Cummings” for mezzo soprano and six instruments was awarded first prize at the International Jurgenson Competition for young composers in Moscow. In 2007, Andris Dzenitis was awarded the Great Music Prize – the highest musical award in Latvia for his “Fides.Spes.Caritas” and the same prize in 2015 for his concerto for the saxophone and orchestra. He also received the national prize of cinematography for his film music. Dzenītis also works in music pedagogy and is active as a music journalist.