Iveta Apkalna © Nils Vilnis
Latvian organist Iveta Apkalna studied piano and organ at the Jazeps Vitols Academy of Music in Riga until 1999. She then continued at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where she received her degree in piano, completing her education with a three-year period of study in Ludger Lohmann’s class in solo organ performance at the Music Academy in Stuttgart. In 2002 Apkalna won the Royal Bank Calgary International Organ Competition in London and, in 2003 first prize and four special awards at the Third International Mikael Tariverdiev Organ Competition in Kaliningrad. As a concert organist she performs in leading concert halls around the globe, from Berlin, San Francisco, Vienna and Moscow to Budapest and Luxembourg. Apkalna has also been a guest artist at the Lockenhaus and Bremen Music Festivals, the Handel Festival in Halle, and the Schwetzingen and Ludwigsburg Festivals. She has concertized with the Berlin Philharmonic, the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the Kremerata Baltica, and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, with Claudio Abbado, Marek Janowski, and Andris Nelsons conducting. And in 2012 Apkalna will serve as artist-in-residence at the MDR Music Summer. In 2004 she was granted the Grand Latvian Music Award by her native country. Apkalna has recorded seven CDs and was named Instrumentalist of the Year by Echo Klassik in 2005 and again in 2008, this time in the category Classics without Borders for the CD Noema with David Orlowsky’s klezmer ensemble.