Composer Krists Auznieks has been praised for his “exhilarating… stunning… luminous“ (San Francisco Classical Voice) music, possessing “astonishing complexity and beauty“ (Broadwayworld), and “old-fashioned elegance“ (Herald Tribune). His quintet “Piano” was featured in The New York Times among the week’s best classical music moments; he is also a recipient of Aspen Music Festival’s Jacob Druckman Prize and the youngest composer to ever receive the Latvian Grand Music Award for best composition of the year. In 2021 he received the main prize from International Rostrum of Composers in the “Composers under 30” category and was also named “person of the year in culture” by Latvijas Avīze.
Recent commissions include works for Atlanta Symphony, Bang on A Can, Kremerata Baltica, choral pieces for Cappella Amsterdam and Latvian Radio Choir, a guitar concerto for Sinfonietta Riga and JiJi, ensemble works for Swedish Radio, New York based new music ensemble Unheard-Of, a multi-media work for Canadian soprano Meghan Lindsay, and a piece for Los Angeles based Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra. In season 2022/23 Auznieks will also be a composer in residence with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra.
Auznieks’ music has been performed at the Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Royal Danish Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Hall, Prague Quadriennial, Beijing National Arts Centre, Shanghai City Theatre, Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw, The Southbank Center (London), Théâtre Maisonneauve (Montreal), The Kitchen (NYC), National Sawdust (NYC), Chassé Theater (The Netherlands), Cultuurcentrum Hasselt (Belgium), Théâtre De Nîmes (France) and featured in Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Prague Quadrennial, Aspen Music Festival, American Music Festival (Albany, NY), MATA, SO Percussion Day of Awesomeness, Arctic Arts Festival (Norway), UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in Finland, European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017 Festival (Denmark), and Chelsea Music Festvial (NYC).
He has also been commissioned by American Composer Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Yale Percussion Group, Albany Symphony, Latvian Radio Big Band, Contemporaneous, pianists Melvin Chen and David Fung, and worked with conductors Robert Spano, Patrick Summers, Christopher Rountree, pianist Stephen Gosling, and bassist Robert Black.
He received his Doctoral and Masters degrees from Yale School of Music and is also an alumnus of The Royal Conservatory of The Hague. His most recent recognitions include fellowships from Hermitage and AIR Serenbe residencies, Aspen Music Festival, NEXT Festival of Emerging Artists (NYC), Bennington Chamber Music Conference, American Academy of Fontainebleau and Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, The Woods Chandler Memorial Prize from Yale, awards from American Composer Orcestra’s Earshot, The Chicago Ensemble’s Discover America XI, Association for the Promotion of New Music, and Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra competitions.
He has served on the faculty of Yale School of Music, Montclair State University, Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Music Academy, and has taught for NY Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers Program and Sitka Fine Arts Camp in Alaska. He has presented guest lectures at Manhattan School of Music, SUNY Stony Brook, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Florida State University. Auznieks frequently collaborates with his husband American pianist Robert Fleitz and is passionate about literature, philosophy and Italian cuisine.