Latvian organist IVETA APKALNA is considered one of the leading instrumentalists in the world. Beginning in 2017 she will serve as the titular organist of the Klais organ at the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg’s new cultural landmark and one of the most exciting structural projects in Europe. The January 2017 opening offered two world premieres: Wolfgang Rihm’s Triptychon und Spruch in memoriam Hans Henny Jahnn with Thomas Hengelbrock and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, and Jörg Widmann’s ARCHE with Kent Nagano and the Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg.
Further 2016/2017 engagements include a recital in Walt Disney Concert Hall and her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel, as well as concerts in China’s most prestigious halls such as the NCPA Beijing and the Shanghai Symphony Hall. In autumn 2017, she will tour Europe with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, performing a commissioned composition by Péter Eötvös.
Iveta has performed with a number of the world’s top orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony, Hamburg Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra of the West German Radio, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Kremerata Baltica, and Latvian National Orchestra. She has collaborated with renowned conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Mariss Jansons, Marek Janowski, Simone Young, Sir Antonio Pappano, Roman Kofman, and Andris Nelsons and has frequently appeared at the Lucerne, Lockenhaus, Bremen, Halle Georg Friedrich Händel, Ludwigsburg Castle, Schwetzinger, and Schleswig-Holstein festivals.
Throughout her career, Iveta has earned international recognition for honors and competitions. She was appointed a cultural ambassador of Latvia by receiving the Excellence Award in Culture 2015 from the Latvian Ministry of Culture, and she became the first organist to receive the title of Best Performing Artist at the 2005 ECHO Klassik awards. French-German TV network ARTE broadcast Dancing with the Organ (2008), a documentary about her life and work. In 2003 she received the Latvian Great Music Award for special accomplishments in music, as well as first prize and four additional special prizes in the International M. Tariverdiev Organ Competition in Kaliningrad, Russia. In 2002 she advanced to the world finals of the Royal Bank Calgary International Organ Competition in Canada and received the prestigious Johann Sebastian Bach Prize.
Iveta studied piano and organ at J. Vitols Latvian Academy of Music, the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the National Academy of Music and Fine Arts in Stuttgart. She is dedicated to contemporary music and frequently performs the works of Naji Hakim, Ēriks Ešenvalds,, Arturs Maskats, and Thierry Escaich.
Born in Rezekne, Latvia, Iveta has made it her mission to bring the splendor of organ music beyond church walls and into concert halls. She currently lives in Berlin and in Riga.