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Iveta Apkalna


Latvian organist Iveta Apkalna is considered one of the leading instrumentalists in the world. Since 2017 she has served as the titular organist of the Klais organ at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany. For the January 2017 opening of the hall she took part in the two world premieres of the evening: 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. In September 2018 Berlin Classics released the album “Light & Dark”, the first solo album recorded on the Klais organ at the Elbphilharmonie.

Since Iveta Apkalna’s debut with the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Claudio Abbado in 2007 she has performed with a number of the world’s top orchestras including the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. She has collaborated with renowned conductors such as the late Mariss Jansons, Marek Janowski, Kent Nagano, Thomas Hengelbrock, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Antonio Pappano and Andris Nelsons and frequently appeared at the Lucerne Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Ludwigsburg Castle Festival and Schleswig-Holstein Festival.

Iveta Apkalna regulary performs in Europe’s, North America’s and China’s most renowned concert venues. In October 2018 Iveta Apkalna inaugurated the new Klais organ at the opening concerts of the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts in Taiwan, where she also recorded her solo album for Berlin Classics “Widor & Vierne” released in fall of 2020. Since 2019 Ms. Apkalna has been "Artist in Residence" of the Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg, whose instrument was developed in 2017 by the Berlin organ manufacturer Karl Schuke and Johannes Klais Orgelbau Bonn in collaboration with Iveta Apkalna and inaugurated by her. She recorded the CD "Triptychon" with works by Vasks, Bach, and Liszt on this organ, which was also released by Berlin Classics.

Iveta Apkalna's most recent CD, "Oceanic," featuring works by Deutsch, Ravel, Sibelius, and Ešenvalds, was released in April 2023 by Berlin Classics.

As an internationally renowned organist, Iveta Apkalna is regularly invited to inaugurate new concert organs. Most recently, she inaugurated the new organ at the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) Concert Hall in Katowice with the world premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen's "Sinfonia concertante." She also performed the work with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, both under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen. In March 2023, Iveta Apkalna served as the artistic director of the Weiwuying Organ Festival in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where she performed in various formats on Asia's largest organ.

A highlight of the 2023-2024 season is the presentation of various concert projects featuring Iveta Apkalna as the focus artist at the Tonhalle Zurich. In addition to solo recitals, she will also perform in a chamber music concert and participate in the performance of Francis Poulenc's Concerto for Organ, Strings, and Timpani under the baton of Paavo Järvi. Furthermore, she will collaborate with the State Choir LATVIJA in Zurich. In the final year of her residency at the Konzerthaus Berlin, Iveta Apkalna will showcase the Jehmlich organ in solo programs, a trio program and Bernd Richard Deutsch's "Okeanos" together with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin. Additionally, the premiere of Péter Eötvös's work "Echo" with trumpet player Gábor Boldoczki will take place at the Kölner Philharmonie. Further performances are planned at the Müpa - Palace of Arts in Budapest and the Philharmonie Essen.

She will also give recitals at various venues, including the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall in Zagreb, Aalborg, and the Cathedral of Brussels. She will collaborate with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Orchestre National de France and the Enthusiastenorchester in orchestral projects. During the 2023-2024 season, invitations will take her to music festivals such as the Musikfest Bremen, Hohenloher Kultursommer, Heidelberger Frühling and Prague Spring Festival.

Iveta Apkalna is dedicated to contemporary music and performs works by Naji Hakim, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Arturs Maskats or Thierry Escaich. Together with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam she presented the world premiere of “Multiversum”, a commissioned composition of Péter Eötvös, during an extensive Europe tour in Autumn 2017. Pascal Dusapin's work "Waves" for organ and orchestra was premiered by Iveta Apkalna in January 2020 together with the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra under the baton of Kent Nagano.

Throughout her career, Iveta Apkalna has earned international recognition for honours and competitions. She was awarded the “Latvian Grand Music Award”, the most prestigious award in music in Latvia, four times. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Latvia, Iveta Apkalna was awarded the “Order of the Three Stars”, the highest civilian order awarded for meritorious service to Latvia by the state president. Furthermore, she was appointed cultural ambassador of Latvia by receiving the “Excellence Award in Culture 2015” from the Latvian Ministry of Culture. French-German TV network ARTE broadcast in 2008 a documentary about her titled “Dancing with the Organ”. Iveta Apkalna became the first organist to receive the title of “Best Performing Artist” award at the 2005 ECHO Klassik.

Iveta Apkalna 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. Born in Latvia, Iveta Apkalna makes her home in Berlin and in Riga.