Chairman of the Jury and the artistic director of the Festival

Mārtiņš Klišāns is one of the most active Latvian choir conductors of our time. Since 1998 he is the artistic director of the Riga Cathedral Boys’ Choir. So far, under his guidance, the choir has been granted the Latvian Grand Music Award – the highest State award in music and Latvian Music Recording Award. M. Klišāns has graduated from the conducting class at the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Music Academy (tutored by Imants Kokars). M. Klišāns teaches choral conducting at the Riga Cathedral Choir School and at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music. In addition, M. Klišāns is the conductor of the mixed choir Valmiera and chief conductor of Cēsis district. Mārtiņš Klišāns has also been the chief conductor for the Latvijas National Song and Dance Celebration (2008, 2013, and 2018) and the artistic director of the Gala concert in 2018. In 2015 M. Klišāns was awarded with the highest State award – The Order of the Three Stars.


Members of the Jury

Romāns Vanags’ professional work is mostly associated with choral conducting and pedagogy. Since 1987 he is the chief conductor and the artistic director of Jazeps Medins Riga Music School No. 1 boys’ choir. Since 1987 R. Vanags works at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music as a professor of the choral conducting department. Since 1990, he has been the principal conductor of the Latvian University female choir “Minjona”. He has also been appointed as one of the chief conductors of the Latvian Nationwide Song and Dance Celebration (in 1993, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2018). Professor R. Vanags is the Artistic Director of Interkultur. He has been the organizer of various courses for conductors in numerous countries around the World and also a jury member of many international choral competitions. R. Vanags has received the highest civil award of Latvia – The Order of the Three Stars.


Hirvo Surva is the Chief Chorus Master of the Estonian National Opera Chorus, Chief Conductor of the Estonian National Opera Boys’ Choir, the Estonian United Boys’ Choir “Kalev” and the Revalia Male Chamber Choir. Since 1991, he has been actively participating as a conductor in the Estonian Song Festivals, and was the Artistic Director of the 8th (1997) and 9th (2002) Youth Song Celebration. He was the artistic director of the 26th Estonian Song Celebration in 2014. Since 2001 H. Surva is the Chairman of the Association of Estonian Choral Conductors. Since 2008 he works as a teacher in Tallinn Music High School. H. Surva is a Docent of Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre where he educates the next Estonian choral conductors.


Nadezda Mihailov (Надежда Михайлова) graduated from Vocal Art faculty of Kazakh National Conservatory. Since graduation, she works as a vocal teacher. Now N. Mihailov’s professional life is associated with Saint Petersburg, Russia, where she works in the St. Petersburg Glinka Choir College and St. Petersburg RimskyKorsakov College of Music. In more than 25 years of pedagogical work, she has taught the vocal technique to many well know singers of our time.


Daumants Kalniņš is a well known Latvian singer and musician. In 1997 he entered the path of music education at the Riga Cathedral Choir School. Recently D. Kalniņš has graduated from Latvian Academy of Music as an oboe player and jazz singer. At an early age he started his professional career with a debut in Latvian National opera with a role of W. A. Mozart  in the performance “The Magic flute”. D. Kalniņš has performed with many outstanding musicians in Latvia and abroad. He has developed a strong and successful collaboration with Maestro Raimonds Pauls, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra “Riga” and others. In 2016 D. Kalniņš received the Grand Prix of a prestigious competition “Riga Jazz Stage 2015”, but in 2016 he was nominated for the Latvian Great Music Award.