Normunds Šnē is an accomplished musician with a broad musical background. He has a wide range of interests and is always keen to undertake diverse musical activities.
After graduating from the Latvian Academy of Music as an oboist, he studied chamber music with Tamara Fidler at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and with Heinz Holliger in Bern.
As well as the Baroque period and the Viennese classics, he is especially interested in 20th century composers and Latvian contemporary music.
Šnē’s talents have always been very versatile. He has been a sound engineer, guitarist and oboist with various Latvian rock and New Age groups and, even now, enjoys taking part in projects that are associated with non-academic music.
In 1987 Šnē, together with pianist Jānis Maļeckis, formed the orchestra Rīgas kamermūziķi (Riga Chamber Players). At present, Šnē is the Artistic Director of this internationally renowned musical ensemble, presenting about 12 concert programmes per season.
Šnē seriously started his conducting career in 1995 while studying with Yuri Simonov in Budapest and Miskolc. Later, he continued his studies with Jorma Panula in Amsterdam and Imants Resnis in Riga.
In 1996, Šnē accepted the post of Conductor of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra which he held until 1998. In 1998 he made his debut as the conductor of the Latvian National Opera. From 1997 to 1999 he was Guest Conductor with the City of Liepāja Symphony Orchestra.
Šnē has given solo concerts with the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, and has conducted in many European countries, Australia and Japan. He has successfully collaborated with many internationally renowned soloists.
In 1999, Šnē initiated the project The Riga Festival Orchestra. This orchestra, which brings together the best musicians from several orchestras, performs masterpieces of the 20th century twice a year.
Šnē has made radio and television recordings in Latvia, the United States, Australia and Europe and has several CDs. Many premiere performances of Latvian music have been realised under his baton. He has been awarded the Latvian Great Music Award, the highest acclaim for achievements in music in Latvia, three times.
Currently he is Artistic Director of the chamber orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga.