Composers and Authors /

Smite, Gundega (1977)

Biography   Works  

Gundega Šmite
Gundega Šmite
Foto 1

Gundega Šmite was born on June 5th, 1977, in Riga. She studied at the Jāzeps Mediņš College of Music (1992–1998), and also at the Latvian Academy of Culture in the screen and stage theatre art department (1996–1997). In 1998, she began studies at the Vītols Latvian Academy of Music in the composition department with Pēteris Plakidis, under whose direction she received her Bachelor’s degree in 2005 and Master’s degree in 2007.

Gundega Šmite is a member of the Latvian Composers’ Union (as of 2006), chairman of the board (as of 2009). Since 2011, she has been editor of the magazine Mūzikas Saule. She worked as a music theory and piano teacher at the Ķekavas Music School (1999–2000), and as organist at the St. John’s Congregation in Philadelphia, USA (2001–2002). She was also a teacher at the St. John’s Congregation Latvian School in Philadelphia and later was teacher of music literature at the Riga Music School No. 3 (2002), and a teacher of composition at the Daugavpils College of Music (2005-2008). 

For her work Pārvērtības (Transformations) she won first prize at the Latvian Academy of Music competition (1999) and gained a World Federation of Free Latvians Cultural Foundation recognition certificate for her works Atgriešanās (Homecoming) and Atnākot (Arriving, 2001). She gained 6th place at the 2005 International Rostrum for Composers competition for composers younger than 30, 2nd place (no first place was awarded) at the festival Culturescapes international young composers’ competition (for the work Isochasma, 2006), and received the Tālivaldis Ķeniņš Award (2006).

She took part in the 5th International Latvian Music Camp at Ogre and also at the Baltic Young Composers’ Mastercourses at Dundaga, and the Academic d’Villecroze in France. In the 2005/2006 academic year, as part of the Socratus Erasmus exchange program, she supplemented her education with studies at the J. Sibelius Academy of Music with Veli-Matti Puumala. Her works have been performed in Latvia, Lithuania, Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany, Japan, the U.S.A. and New Zealand.

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