Ēriks Ešenvalds was born in Priekule, Latvia in 1977. He studied at the Latvian Baptist Theological Seminary (1995–1997) before obtaining his master's degree in composition (2004) from the Latvian Academy of Music under the tutelage of Selga Mence. He took master classes with Michael Finnissy, Klaus Huber, Philippe Manoury and Jonathan Harvey, amongst others. From 2002 to 2011 he was a member of the State Choir Latvija. From 2011 to 2013 he was Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. Ešenvalds is a three-time winner of the Latvian Grand Music Award (2005, 2007 and 2015). In 2006, the International Rostrum of Composers awarded him first prize for his work The Legend of the Walled-in Woman. Ešenvalds composed the official anthem of the 2014 World Choir Games during Riga European Capital of Culture 2014. Ešenvalds teaches at the Department of Composition of the Latvian Academy of Music.
Recordings devoted exclusively to his work include:
- There Will Come Soft Rains — The Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West, Richard Nance (cond.) (Signum, 2020)
- St Luke Passion Sacred Works — Latvian Radio Choir, Sinfonietta Riga and Sigvards Kļava (Ondine, 2016)
- Northern Lights & other choral works — Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge and Stephen Layton (Hyperion Records, 2015)
- At the Foot of the Sky — State Choir Latvija and Māris Sirmais (2013)
- Passion & Resurrection & other choral works — Britten Sinfonia, Polyphony and Stephen Layton (Hyperion Records, 2011)
- O Salutaris — Kamēr… Youth Choir and Māris Sirmais (2011)
- The Doors of Heaven — Portland State University Chamber Choir under Ethan Sperry (Naxos, 2017)
- Translations — Portland State University under Ethan Sperry (Naxos, 2020)
The album Northern Lights & other choral works was shortlisted for the Gramophone Awards 2015, selected as Gramophone Critics’ Choice 2015 and listed as ICI Radio-Canada Best Albums Selection in 2015. The albums At the Foot of the Sky (2013) and O Salutaris (2011) were awarded Best Classical Album of the Year in Latvia.
- "Ēriks Ešenvalds". Edition Peters Artist Management. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- "Ešenvalds, Ēriks (1977)". Musica Baltica. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- "Latvian Composer Eriks Esenvalds appointed Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts". Trinity College Cambridge. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- "LMB laureāti". Lielā mūzikas balva (in Latvian). Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- "2006 IRC (53rd session)". International Rostrum of Composers. International Music Council. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- "Ē.Ešenvalds has composed an official song". Riga European Capital of Culture 2014. 4 July 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- Scott, Aaron (19 May 2016). "OPB: PSU Chamber Choir Meets Eriks Esenvalds' Haunting Music". Portland State University. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- "Ēriks Ešenvalds: Translations". wfmt. wttw. 20 March 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
- "Gramophone Awards Shortlist 2015 digital magazine". Gramophone Magazine. 1 August 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- Coghlan, Alexandra (December 2015). "Northern Lights". Gramophone Magazine. 93 (1130): 19.
- "Les 12 meilleurs albums de 2015" (in French). ICI Radio-Canada. 23 December 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- "Gada Balva 2013 rezultāti". Mūzikas ierakstu gada balva Zelta Mikrofons (in Latvian). Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- "Gada Balva 2011 rezultāti". Mūzikas ierakstu gada balva Zelta Mikrofons (in Latvian). Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- Official website
- Edition Peters Artist Management (Management)
- Musica Baltica (Publisher)
- Edition Peters (Publisher)
- Ēriks Ešenvalds on Hyperion Records
- Ēriks Ešenvalds on the Latvian Music Information Centre