Associate professor, Head of Department of Early Music
Māris Kupčs started his musical career as a choral conductor, later focusing on orchestra and opera repertoire. As a founder of the Baroque orchestra Collegium Musicum Riga and the Baroque choir Collegium Choro Musici Riga as well as the Early Music Department of The Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, he is one of the few conductors who can direct Baroque operas and other early-music works from the harpsichord, conduct more contemporary large-scale symphonic or opera repertoire with a baton and play chamber-music programmes as a sought-after continuo player.
Māris Kupčs is the winner of many contests as a conductor, often with Balsis, the choir he established: the BBC Grand Prix in 1991, and the Silver Rose Bowl and Grand Prix Neuchatel in the same year and the first place in Cantonigros in 1995, as well as first places in the national conductors’ contests in Riga and international conductors’ contest at Vilnius in 1990.
He has been a regular guest conductor of the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra since 1999, when they recorded the album Pūt, vējiņi (‘Blow, Wind’), which received the Annual Latvian Music Recording Award in 2000 and for more than five years was one of the best-selling CDs in Latvian history. Māris Kupčs has been music director and conductor of many operas and musicals, among them Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus at The Latvian National Opera and Wiener Waltz at The Liepāja Theatre, Zigmārs Liepiņš’ opera Parīzes Dievmātes katedrāle (‘Notre Dame’) at The Latvian National Theatre, and more than 25 Baroque and Classical operas, including Caccini’s Euridice, Gluck’s Orfeo, Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Deidamia and Serse, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Mitridate, re di Ponto, Salieri’s Prima la Musica, poi le Parole and Vivaldi’s Ottone in Villa. He has conducted in Baltic States, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Israel and the USA.
Since 2014 Māris Kupčs has been chosen as one of European early music mentors in the Creative Europe project EEEMERGING (Emerging European Ensembles) and since year 2018 he is artist of prestigious label Toccata Classics.