Romans Vanags was born in 1960. He studied at Emīls Dārziņš Secondary Music School and at the Choir and Orchestra Conducting Department of Jāzeps Vītols Latvian State Conservatory, majoring in choir conducting, music teaching and symphonic orchestra conducting. In 2003 he received a Master of Music diploma from Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (JVLMA).
From 1984 to 2004 Romans Vanags was the chief conductor of "Vanema" teacher’s choir. Since 1990 he is the principal conductor of "Minjona" female choir of the University of Latvia. Since 1987 he is the chief conductor and the artistic director of Jāzeps Mediņš Riga 1st Music School and from 1990 to 1993 he also conducted Jāzeps Mediņš Secondary Music School Symphonic Orchestra. In 1987 Romāns Vanags joined the faculty of JVLMA as a professor of choir conducting. Since 2005 he is the Head of the Conducting Department of JVLMA.
Romāns Vanags has organized numerous conducting courses in Latvia and abroad and has worked in juries of many international choir competitions. He has also been amongst the chief conductors of the national song festivals (1993, 1998, 2001, 2003 and 2008) and the youth song festivals (1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010) of the Republic of Latvia. Since 2004 Romans Vanags is the chairman of the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO for the Latvian National Song and Dance Festival affairs.
Under his leadership several choirs have won prestigious international awards (Arezzo, Debrecen, Tour, Varna etc.) and given performances across the globe. In 2008 Romāns Vanags received the highest form of recognition of the Latvian State – the Order of Three Stars.