Latvian organist Iveta Apkalna is considered one of the leading instrumentalists in the world. Starting from 2017 she serves as the titular organist of the Klais organ at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany – Hamburg’s new cultural landmark and one of the most exciting structural projects in Europe. The January 2017 opening offerd two world premieres: Wolfgang Rihm’s Triptychon und Spruch in memoriam Hans Henny Jahnn with Thomas Hengelbrock and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and Jörg Widmann’s ARCHE with Kent Nagano and the Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg.
Iveta has performed with a number of the world’s top orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. She has collaborated with renowned conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Mariss Jansons, Marek Janowski, Kent Nagano, Thomas Hengelbrock, Sir Antonio Pappano and Andris Nelsons and frequently appeared at the Lucerne, Lockenhaus, Bremen, Halle Georg Friedrich Händel, Ludwigsburg Castle, Schwetzinger, and Schleswig-Holstein Festivals.
Recent engagements include a recital in Disney Hall and the debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel, as well as concerts in China’s most prestigious halls such as the NCPA Beijing and the Shanghai Symphony Hall.
Throughout her career, Iveta Apkalna has earned international recognition for honours and competitions. She was appointed a cultural ambassador of Latvia by receiving the “Excellence Award in Culture 2015” from the Latvian Ministry of Culture. In March 2018 she received the “Latvian Grand Music Award” as “Musician of the Year” and in the category “Concert of the Year”, the most prestigious award in music in Latvia. Iveta Apkalna became the first organist to receive the title of “Best Performing Artist” award at the 2005 ECHO Klassik. French-German TV network ARTE broadcasted in 2008 a documentary about her entitled “Dancing with the Organ”. In 2003 she received the first prize and four additional special prizes in the International M. Tariverdiev Organ Competition in Kaliningrad, Russia. In 2002 she advanced to the world finals of the Royal Bank Calgary International Organ Competition in Canada and received the prestigious Johann Sebastian Bach Prize. Iveta studied piano and organ at J. Vitols Latvian Academy of Music and continued her studies at the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama and at the National Academy of Music and Fine Arts in Stuttgart.
She is dedicated to contemporary music and performs works of Naji Hakim, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Arturs Maskats or Thierry Escaich. Together with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam she has presented the world premiere of “Multiversum”, a commissioned composition of Péter Eötvös, on an extensive Europe tour.
Born in Rēzekne, Latvia, Iveta has made it her mission to bring the splendour of organ music beyond church walls and into concert halls. She currently lives in Berlin and in Riga.
Photo: Aiga Redmane