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Boļeslavs Voļaks (1944—2020)

Boļeslavs Voļaks (1944-2020) is one of Latvia’s most talented, striking, and virtuosic trombone players. He was the LNSO’s principal trombone from 1974 to 2011.

He earned his early experience in wind orchestras in Daugavpils and later enrolled in Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (JVLMA), graduating in 1971. From 1972 to 1975, he furthered his skills in an assistantship at Moscow State Conservatory. He embarked on a professional musician’s career already during his studies as the principal trombone at the Latvian National Opera Orchestra.

He earned the professorship of the JVLMA in 2002, where he had been lecturing since 1980. In addition, he started teaching in Emīls Dārziņš Music School in 1988. Over the course of his teaching career, Voļaks has trained virtually all Latvian trombone players who are now active performers.

Using a scientific approach, Voļaks has tackled the physiology of breathing for wind instrument players and developed a brand new approach to breathing. He has also contributed to many materials for trombone teaching.

Voļaks is committed to working with young musicians. He established the symphony orchestra of Pārdaugava School of Music and Arts in 1997 and the Riga Youth Brass Band in 1999, serving as their leader and conductor for many years. He was also the author of all orchestrations and arrangements for the young performers.

In addition to his accomplishments in music, Boļesļavs Voļaks is an international chess master and a fan of table tennis and other sports.

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