Ainars_Rubikis (5)

Ainārs Rubiķis came to international attention as winner of the 2010 Mahler conducting competition. The Latvian conductor emerged from strong competition to take the prestigious competition’s first prize: “This year, as with Gustavo Dudamel in 2004, we have found an exceptional conductor” observed Jonathan Nott, president of the Competition jury.

In 2011, Rubiķis was announced recipient of the second Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award and subsequently conducted the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester at the Salzburg Festival to critical-acclaim. He served as Music Director and Chief Conductor of Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre from 2012 to 2014, and was awarded a prestigious Golden Mask Award as Best Conductor for the new production of Bernstein’s Mass.

Plans for the 2016/17 season include debuts with Lyric Opera of Chicago (Carmen), Theater Basel (La forza del destino), Finnish National Opera and return visits to Latvian National Opera, Orquesta de Euskadi, and Passionstheater Oberammergau.

Highlights of recent seasons include debuts with Residentie Orkest, Bolshoi Theatre with a production of Boris Godunov, New National Theatre Tokyo, Liceu, Barcelona (Carmen), Oberammergau Festival (Nabucco), Bournemouth, Toronto, Melbourne and Lucerne Symphony Orchestras, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestre du Pays de la Loire, at the Edinburgh International Festival with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra et al. Rubiķis has also appeared in the 2010 Lockenhaus Festival.

Born in Riga, Rubiķis enrolled to study at the Emīls Dārziņš Music School – Latvia’s leading institution for outstanding young musicians – where he studied piano and violin and also sang in the Riga Cathedral Boys’ Choir. He later studied at Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Music Academy for a degree in choral conducting and pursued postgraduate studies in orchestral conducting and also participated in masterclasses with Mariss Jansons, Leif Segerstam and Zsolt Nagy.