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. 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. Most recently, she has released her new CD “Light & Dark”, the first solo album recorded on the Klais organ at the Elbphilharmonie, produced by the label Berlin Classics.
Iveta has performed together with a number of the world’s top orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Los Angeles Philharmonic 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, 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. In July 2018 Iveta Apkalna gave her debut at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall in London. From 2019 she will regularly perform as “Artist in Residence” at the Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg in collaboration with the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival.
Worldwide performances include concerts in Europe’s most renowned concert venues as well as engagements in China’s most prestigious concert halls such as the NCPA Beijing and the Shanghai Symphony Hall. In October 2018 Iveta Apkalna inaugurated the new Klais organ at the opening concerts of the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts in Taiwan. In the 2018/2019 season she will give concerts in Munich, Budapest, Luxembourg, Amsterdam, Paris and the Musikverein Vienna on an extensive Europe tour together with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Mariss Jansons. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the independence of the Baltic States, Iveta Apkalna performed together with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin in Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn and Berlin. Furthermore, she will give a recital at the Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles.
Throughout her career, Iveta Apkalna has earned international recognition for honours and competitions. In the frame 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. In March 2018 she received the “Latvian Grand Music Award”, the most prestigious award in music in Latvia, in the categories “Musician of the Year” and “Concert of the Year”. Furthermore, she was appointed cultural ambassador of Latvia by receiving the “Excellence Award in Culture 2015” from the Latvian Ministry of Culture. 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 and won the prestigious Johann Sebastian Bach Prize in 2002. 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 presented the world premiere of “Multiversum”, a commissioned composition of Péter Eötvös, on an extensive Europe tour in Autumn 2017. Together with the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Péter Eötvös, she will perform this work again in February 2019 at the Southbank Centre in London. Further world premieres will follow in the near future with works by Pascal Dusapin, Philipp Glass and Pēteris Vasks.
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.