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. In September 2018 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.
Since her debut together with the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Claudio Abbado in 2007 she has performed with a number of world’s top orchestras including 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 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.
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. Since 2019 she has been “Artist in Residence” of the Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg, whose instrument was developed in 2017 by the Berlin organ manufacturer Karl Schuke and the Bonn organ builder Johannes Klais in collaboration with Iveta Apkalna.
As “Porträtkünstler” (“Portrait Artist”), Iveta Apkalna will present the most diverse facets of the Rieger organ in the Vienna Konzerthaus during the 2019/2020 season: solo performances, together with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, with Martin Grubinger and the Percussive Planet Ensemble as well as in duo with baritone Thomas E. Bauer. As “Palastorganistin” of the Dresden Philharmonic she gives concerts in the Kulturpalast Dresden and presents the German premiere of Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 12 “Lodger” under the baton of Dennis Russell Davies. She will also perform as “Artist in Residence” with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony.
She 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 will be 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. 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. 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.
French-German TV network ARTE broadcasted in 2008 a documentary about her entitled “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 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, she currently makes her home in Berlin and in Riga.