The Latvian National Symphony Orchestra (LNSO) is one of the cornerstones of Latvian national culture, its history spans almost a century. The LNSO’s mission is to offer the Latvian public outstanding musical performances of the whole orchestral repertoire from the classics to contemporary compositions and to introduce audiences abroad with the treasures of Latvian music.
One of the LNSO's most important priorities is to attract young listeners with modern, creative educational programmes. The LNSO is a six-time winner of the Latvian Grand Music Award (1993, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2019).
Since 2013 the music director of the LNSO is maestro Andris Poga, a conductor sought after by top orchestras from around the world. Beginning with the 2021/2022 season Poga will take up the position of chief conductor of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra in Norway. French music critic Florence Michel has said of Poga: ‘He leads his "army" with precision and inner calm. He does not rely on chance to achieve his goals, so the overall architecture of the composition stands on firm foundations and is illuminated by an inviting, expansive leitmotif.’
The orchestra’s most notable former music directors are Jānis Mediņš, Leonīds Vīgners, Edgars Tons, Vassily Sinaisky (the LNSO’s honorary guest conductor since 2017), Olari Elts, and Karel Mark Chichon. The LNSO’s guest conductors include the world-famous Latvians Arvīds Jansons, Mariss Jansons and Andris Nelsons, as well as Valery Gergiev, Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Kirill Kondrashin, Kurt Masur, Krzysztof Penderecki, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Yevgeny Svetlanov, Yuri Simonov, and many others.
In recent years the LNSO has performed at the Philharmonie de Paris and the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, the Alte Oper Frankfurt and the Grand Théâtre of Aix-en-Provence among many other important European concert halls. The orchestra has participated in music festivals in France, Germany and Switzerland as well as the renowned Bratislava Music Festival. On its most recent tours the LNSO teamed up with the dazzling Latvian violinist Baiba Skride, the outstanding cellist Alexander Knyazev, the brilliant pianists Nicholas Angelich and Boris Berezovsky, and the rising stars Lukas Geniušas and Lucas Debargue.