Jānis Petraškevičs. Photo: Marta Veinberga
Composer of classical contemporary music. Born in 1978 in Rīga, Latvia. Lives and works in Rīga. Works for acoustic instrumentations.
Initially studied violin at the Emīls Dārziņš Music School in Rīga from 1985–94, but later studied composition there with Ģederts Ramans from 1994–96. He studied composition with Pēteris Plakidis at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music in Rīga from 1996–2003. Later had postgraduate studies in composition with Ole Lützow-Holm at University of Gothenburg from 2004–07.
Worked on his doctoral thesis in musicology at the Latvian Academy of Music under the guidance of Prof. Jeļena Ļebedeva from 2007–14. The title of thesis is Multidimensionality in avant-garde music of the second half of 20th century (composition techniques of Boulez, Carter, Ferneyhough, Ligeti and Stockhausen).
He defended the thesis in 2014, obtaining PhD.
His music has been performed in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK, including once each at the Centre Pompidou, the Biennale di Venezia, Wigmore Hall, the ISCM World Music Days, the concert series Musica Viva in Munich, the festival Warsaw Autumn, the festival Ultraschall Berlin, the festival Archipel, Donaueschinger Musiktage, and the festival Skaņu mežs (Sound Forest). He has been featured composer at the festival AFEKT in Estonia. He has received commissions from Ensemble Intercontemporain, Nieuw Ensemble, Ensemble Modern, Wigmore Hall and SWR among others.
He is also active in other positions. He has contributed articles to the magazines Mūzikas Saule – Sun of Music and Rīgas Laiks – The Rīga Time, both in Rīga.
He has lectured on aspects of contemporary music at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music since 2011. He has been appointed Senior Lecturer in composition at the above institution in 2017.
Together with Rolands Kronlaks and Guntars Prānis he has curated the exhibition "Transcribed Sound" on history of musical notation at Latvian National Library in 2016–17.
In May 2019 issue of the magazine MusikTexte there have been published two articles on his music: Von der Zerbrechlichkeit des Suchens by Dan Albertson; Aufschwung und Gegenwind by Jānis Petraškevičs.
In spring 2020 signs with Edition Gravis (Germany).
In May/June 2022 the Latvian Radio 3 presents the recording of his Echoing Distances (Guntars Freibergs – percussion, Sinfonietta Riga, cond. Normunds Šnē) at the 68th International Rostrum of Composers.
In summer 2022 he was a member of the 1st round jury of the 3rd International Music Composition Competition for Symphony Orchestra "Future Symphony Competition".
1st prize in Prix Annelie de Man 2023 Composers Competition (Amsterdam) for "Neparalēles", duo for harpsichord and accordion
Teacher of the Year award at the Latvian Academy of Music
One of the featured composers at the contemporary music festival AFEKT (Estonia)
Nomination for Latvian Grand Music Award for new composition of the year
(for clarinet concerto Long Walks)
Scholarship for creative work (Jaunrades veicināšanas stipendija) from State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia
Commission by Südwestrundfunk for an orchestral work for Donaueschinger Musiktage 2018
Participation at the Ligeti Symposium with paper Structural analysis of the first movement of György Ligeti’s Piano Concerto, The Music Centre of Helsinki
Co-commission by Ensemble Modern and Wigmore Hall (London)
Fellowship of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Umbertide
Latvian Grand Music Award for new composition of the year
(for Darkroom – Ein Fantasiestück für Ensemble)
Commission by Ensemble Modern within the framework of the project Where from? Where to? Myths – Nation– Identities
Participation at EarLab: composition course with Luca Francesconi and Ensemble BIT 20, Stresa (Italy)
Carl Larsson Scholarship for a residency in Fontainebleau
Commission by Nieuw Ensemble
First Prize at the competition for composers announced by The Association of Baltic Academies of Music (ABAM), Hamburg
Participation at International Masterclass for young composers with Chaya Czernowin, Steven Kazuo Takasugi and Richard Barrett, organized by Summer Academy Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart
Selected for a commission for the Ensemble Intercontemporain by the jury of Reading Panel (Comitée de Lecture), Paris
Participation at Composition course with Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Domaine Forget, Charlevoix (Canada)
Participation at Voix Nouvelles – a programm of the Royaumont Foundation: Composition course & workshop with Brian Ferneyhough, José Evangelista, Jean-Luc Hervé
Participation at International Composition Seminar with Luca Francesconi and Fausto Romitelli, organized by Ictus Ensemble in collaboration with Avanti!, Brussels
Scholarship from the Swedish Institute for studies with Prof. Sven-David Sandström in Stockholm for a period of 9 months
Participation at Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music
Participation at International seminar Young Composers in Baltic Region, Visby, Gotland (Sweden)
Participation at 4th International Academy for New Composition, held by Boguslaw Schaeffer and Marek Choloniewski, Schwaz/Tyrol