ATVARS LAKSTĪGALA was the principal conductor of the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra from 2010 to 2017. Since 2009, he has been a guest conductor at the Latvian National Opera. He has also taken part in several new opera productions (The Love for Three Oranges by Sergei Prokofiev,
Mikhail and Mikhail Play Chess by Kristaps Pētersons, 2014). Lakstīgala
has, on several occasions, worked together with the Orchestra RIGA and
has conducted the Sigulda Opera Music Festival. Critics and audiences
have highly appreciated Atvars' collaborations with the Lithuanian State
Symphony Orchestra, Bari Symphony Orchestra, the Milli Reasürans Chamber Orchestra in Istanbul, and Philharmonie
Südwestfalen, among others. Laureate of the Latvian Grand Music Award 2010 (best debut), 2014 (performance of the year for the opera Mikhail and
Mikhail Play Chess), 2017 (concert of the year for the opening concert of
the 25th Liepāja International Stars Festival). From 1997 to 2010, as a professional French horn player, he performed solos, chamber and orchestral music (including as the assistant principal of
the French horn group of the Latvian National Opera Orchestra).
Lakstīgala studied at the JVLAM, where he graduated from the French horn class led by Prof. Arvīds Klišāns, the wind orchestra conducting class led
by Prof. Jānis Puriņš, and the symphonic orchestra conducting class led by Prof. Imants Resnis, as well as at the Universität der Künste Berlin under professor and conductor Lutz Köhler. He further
improved his conducting skills in masterclasses with Vassily Sinaisky,
Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Heinrich Schiff, and other distinguished teachers.