Ēriks Ešenvalds

Ēriks Ešenvalds is one of the most sought-after composers working today, with a busy commission schedule and performances of his music heard on every continent. After study at the Latvian Baptist Theological Seminary and the Latvian Academy of Music, he was a member of the State Choir Latvija. In 2011 he was awarded the two-year position of Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. Ēriks has won multiple awards for his work and undertakes many international residencies working on his music and lecturing.

Recent premieres include Lakes Awake at Dawn for the Boston Symphony and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Whispers on the Prairie Wind for the Utah Symphony and Salt Lake Vocal Artists, St Luke Passion for the Latvian Radio Choir and Sinfonietta Riga, and the major multimedia symphony Nordic Light in the US, Canada, and Germany. His full-scale opera The Immured was premiered at the Latvian National Opera in 2016 to great acclaim. His writing continues with commissions from the Gewandhaus Leipzig and Grant Park Music Festival Chicago. 2018 sees the premiere of his next multimedia symphony based on volcanoes.

His compositions appear on recordings from Trinity College Choir, Cambridge on Hyperion, Portland State Chamber Choir on Naxos, Latvian Radio Choir and Sinfonietta Riga on Ondine, ORA on Harmonia Mundi, and VOCES8 on Decca Classics, amongst others.

Ikon Arts–Edition Peters is managing Ēriks Ešenvalds' commissions and workshop schedule. Ēriks Ešenvalds is published by Musica Baltica in global partnership with Edition Peters.

Read an interview with Ēriks Ešenvalds here


(a reflection of Byrd’s Infelix ego)

After Savonarola’s death in 1498, the words of the martyr’s meditation and reflections echoed widely through printed editions and also through music, starting with the Italian lauda. Almost one hundred years later the words settled on the music manuscript of William Byrd: the six-voice texture powerfully projecting the text and emotionally dramatizing one’s struggle to have hope in the face of adversity – Byrd’s fear of being persecuted for his
own beliefs. And it seems to me, there is an arch, a timeless bridge or even a trans-ages dialogue connecting both of them, where the torch of the highest ideals and freedom is burning achingly bright. I’m so moved hearing ORA’s emotional performance on this recording; there is nothing of selfish tasks or thoughts, but the humble heart and the flow of that timeless river telling this sad story.

This commission appears on ORA’s second album, Refuge from the Flames.