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Clarinetist and conductor Guntis KUZMA is the LNSO’s conductor and Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music Woodwind Instrument Class assistant professor. He was the principal clarinetist at the LNSO from 2008 to 2014 and at the State Chamber Orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga from 2006, the year it was established, to 2016.

Guntis Kuzma began his conducting career in 2007. Guntis led the premiere of Marina Gribinčika’s oboe concerto Voyager in one of his first concerts with Sinfonietta Rīga. He regularly conducts the Sinfonia concertante orchestra, whose concert programmes often include works by Latvian composers. Guntis Kuzma has stood in front of the LNSO conducting the orchestra’s woodwind and string instrument ensembles, supporting emerging talents in the final of the Augusts Dombrovskis competition, conducting the premiere of Rihards Zaļupe’s symphony Namejs in spring of 2015, leading the programme of Connesson, Séjourné and Stravinsky’s music, and conducting the concert-talks, presented by Latvian singer Goran Gora, in autumn of 2015.

In late 2016, Guntis Kuzma performed together with the Liepāja SO as a soloist and conductor simultaneously. Together with the LNSO, Guntis participated in the Grand Concert of Latvian Symphonic Music in February, 2017, performing Dziedājums (Chant) by Pēteris Plakidis for the first time in a long while, and premiering Gundega Šmite’s Accordion Concerto (soloist Artūrs Noviks).

As a clarinet player, Guntis has successfully participated in festivals and competitions. He enjoys taking part in chamber music projects and is particularly keen on contemporary music. He was nominated for Latvia’s Grand Music Award in 2012 for Outstanding Work in an Ensemble. Guntis has performed in concert in the USA, Denmark, Sweden, Lithuania, Ukraine, Germany, Poland and other countries. He has played the solo in the first performances of numerous clarinet concertos: Kristaps Pētersons’s Ligeija (Ligeia), Alvils Altmanis’s Concertino, Rihards Zaļupe’s Sequenza Transformed, Andris Dzenītis’s Urban Translated, and both clarinet concertos by Mārīte Dombrovska. Guntis has also played in the first performances of several chamber music works, including Alvils Altmanis’s Clarinet Quintet, Rolands Kronlaks’s Ice Age, Georgs Pelēcis’s Rundāles kvintets (Rundāle Quintet), Romualds Jermaks’s single-movement works.

Guntis studied at the Emīls Dārziņš Music School with Gunārs Kļaviņš and at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music with Ģirts Pāže, obtaining his master’s degree in the class of Sigurds Circenis. In addition, he has learned from Kjell-Inge Stevenson and Eduard Brunner. Furthermore, he studied symphony orchestra conducting in the class of Mārtiņš Ozoliņš, completing his bachelor’s degree in June, 2014. He is continuing his master studies in the class of Andris Vecumnieks. Guntis has honed his conducting skills with Zsolt Nagy and Lutz Köhler.