Latvia was confirmed as a memberstate of the ISCM on November 11, 2004 in Bern, capital city of Switzerland, and first started to participate in ISCM General Assemblies in 2006 with its own delegation (Ligita Ašme, Zane Prēdele, Indra Riše). The Latvian ISCM section leader was composer Uģis Prauliņš.
The first Latvian music represented in 2007, at the ISCM „World Music days“ held in Hong Kong, was the work Solitude by Andris Dzenītis, but Indra Riše was a delegate at the General Assembly and was a member of the international jury which evaluates young composer’s (til 30 years of age) works.
In the 2008 “World Music Days” festival organized by the ISCM in Vilnius Latvian music was already represented by two Latvian authors – Santa Ratniece with her a cappella choral work Saline, and Janis Petraškēvičs with the work Arktos for 7 instruments. Composer Andris Dzenītis joined the composers’ discussion. Since the spring of 2008, Latvia’s ISCM section leader is composer Indra Riše, she represented Latvia at the ISCM General Assembly in Vilnius.
In turn, Latvia was represented in Sweden in the 2009 festival in September by Anitra Tumševica’s Klusuma mirdzums [The Shine of Silence] for brass band, Indra Riše’s Vējš, zeme un smaržas [Wind, Earth and Scents]for string orchestra and a piece for organ Uguns rituāls [Fire Ritual].
In 2010, the World New Music Days (WNMD) festival of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) was held in Sydney, Australia, and Latvian music was represented by Alveoles, a musical piece for a string quartet by composer Santa Ratniece. Santa Ratniece also participated in this festival as the delegate of the ISCM – Latvian Section to the General Assembly.
In 2011, the ISCM WNMD Festival was held in Zagreb, Croatia. This time Latvian music was represented by 5 Songs from the Tin Soldier Repertoire for a percussion duo written by composer Indra Riše and performed by the Croatian percussion ensemble BiNG BaNG under the artistic direction of Prof. Igor Lesnik.
From 2013 to 2016 the ISCM – Latvian Section was headed by composer and musicologist Santa Bušs.
TransparenT, a musical piece for a piano solo by Santa Bušs, and Concord, a sound installation by Voldemārs Johansons, were performed in Belgium in 2013. Monologue, a musical piece for a double bass solo by Sabīne Ķezbere, was performed in Austria/Slovakia in 2013. Thistle, a musical piece for a mixed choir by Gundega Šmite, was performed in Poland in 2014.
Composition 10, a musical piece (influenced by a work of art by V. Kandinsky) for an ensemble by Renāte Stivriņa, was selected by an international jury from six works submitted by the ISCM – Latvian Section in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2015. The musical piece was performed by Slovenian musicians under the artistic direction of conductor Slaven Kulenović at the Slovenian Philharmonic on 1 October.
Sonnet No 28 for a chamber choir by Oskars Herliņš was performed in the interpretation of the Incheon City Chorale Choir and conductor Jong Hyun Kim in Tongyeong, South Korea in the spring of 2016.
ISCM World New Music Days 2017 were held in Vancouver, the largest city on the western coast of Canada, from 2nd to 8th November 2017. Composer Anna Veismane took part in the General Assembly as Head of the ISCM – Latvian Section for the first time. Mercurium, a musical piece for the piano by Gundega Šmite, was chosen by the Festival organisers from six works submitted by the ISCM – Latvian Section. The musical piece was performed by Canadian pianist Rachel Iwaasa at the Vancouver Playhouse Concert Hall at the end of the Festival on 8th November.
In 2018, the ISCM WMD Festival took place in Beijing, China. Trataka. Point Noir, a musical piece for a string quarter by Andris Dzenītis, was performed at the White Angels concert by the American string quartet Mivos at the Beijing Central Conservatoire Hall on 23 May. The Festival was attended by composer Andris Dzenītis and Head of the ISCM – Latvia Section Anna Veismane, thanks to the support of the Latvian State Culture Capital Foundation (SCCF) and the Latvian Composers Union (LCU).
For more detailed information on ISCM activities, upcoming festivals, and composers who have submitted their works to ISCM festivals, please visit https://www.iscm.org