Aivars Kalējs

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Aivars Kalējs
Born (1951-04-22) April 22, 1951 (age 66)
Riga, Latvia
Genres Classical music
Occupation(s) Organist, composer, pianist, improviser, musicologist
Instruments Organ, piano
Labels Bärenreiter, Edition Peters, Formblitz, Eres Edition, Musica Baltica, Melodiya, Riga Recording Company, Latvian Radio, Ritonis

Aivars Kalējs (April 22, 1951, Riga, Latvian SSR) is a Latvian composer, organist and pianist.


He is a concert organist at the Dome Cathedral in Riga [1] and chief organist for the New St. Gertrudes Lutheran Church. He has performed solo recitals and toured with various ensembles throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, included participating in dozens of international organ festivals in the US, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Denmark, and Estonia. Plays in prestigious venues (Notre Dame de Paris), performs classical repertoire, own compositions and improvisations. Performing concerts as a soloist and a great ensemble partner, he successfully gained an international recognition. Up to 2004, he has recorded six solo CDs and participated in 34 CD recordings,[2] including as chief organist for the Riga Dome Boys' Choir.[3]

Aivars Kalējs has worked with such conductors as Andris Nelsons, Māris Sirmais, Andres Mustonen, Pierre Cao, Sigvards Kļava, Normunds Šnē, Imants Kokars and Andris Veismanis. For many years he has playing duos with soprano opera singer Inessa Galante and legendary French horn player Arvīds Klišāns.

His stage partners are such musicians as violinist Gidon Kremer, violist Maxim Novikov, cellist Alexander Kniazev, bass-baritone Egils Siliņš, soprano Inga Kalna, flutist Dita Krenberga, oboe player Uldis Urbāns, contralto Lina Mkrtchyan, such collectives as Kremerata Baltica, State Choir Latvija, Latvian Radio Choir, Chamber Choir AVE SOL and many national symphony orchestras.

Aivars Kalējs has written about 100 opuses of symphonic, organ, piano, chamber and choir music. His pieces such as Toccata on the Chorale "Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr", "Songs of Innocence" and Lux aeterna'' have been played in concerts around the world and have won several composition awards (e.g., symphonic work "Musica Dolente" - dedicated to the victims of the tragic events of September 11, 2001).[4][5] His works are included in many CD's of the great musicians and collectives (e.g., Iveta Apkalna, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra)

He studied under Ādolfs Skulte, Nikolajs Vanadziņš and Lūcija Garūta.[3]


List of compositions by Aivars Kalējs

Selected works by Aivars Kalējs:

  • Musica dolente, for symphony orchestra, dedicated to the innocent victims of the tragic events of September 11, 2001
  • De profundis, for symphony orchestra
  • Songs of Innocence, for chamber choir, flute and organ, poetry by William Blake
  • Chorale Sonata, for organ
  • Toccata on the Chorale Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr, for organ
  • Per aspera ad astra, for organ
  • Via dolorosa, for organ
  • Lux aeterna, for organ
  • Prayer, for organ
  • Viator Dei, for French horn or viola or cello and organ
  • Toccata, for violin solo
  • Vēja dziesma (Wind Song), for flute and piano
  • French album , piano cycle of nine pieces (~60 min), dedicated to the French composers - J.P. Rameau, E. Satie, G. Fauré, C. Debussy, M. Ravel, F. Poulenc, O. Messiaen, M. Legrand, J. Alain, L. Boulanger and F. Lai
  • Spiritual evening songs, for tenor, alto-saxophone and organ
  • Ave Maria for voice and keyboard


  1. ^ Elizabeth Celms (28 July 2004). "Riga's most precious symbol in Jeopardy". Baltic Times. Retrieved 4 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Musica Baltica Ltd. - the major publisher in Latvia for Latvian music
  3. ^ a b "Aivars Kalējs (organ, Latvija)". Retrieved 4 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "Aivars Kalējs". Musica Baltica. Retrieved 4 February 2011. 
  5. ^ "Iveta Apkalna at Davies Symphony Hall" (PDF). San Francisco Symphony. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2011. 

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