Айнарс Рубикис


Ainārs Rubiķis took up his position as Music Director of the Komische Oper Berlin at the start of the 2018/19 season. Latvian-born, he came to international attention as winner of the 2010 Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition when he emerged from strong competition to take the prestigious competition’s first prize: “This year, as with Gustavo Dudamel in 2004, we have found an exceptional conductor” observed Jonathan Nott, president of the Competition jury. The following year, he was recipient of the second Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award and subsequently conducted the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester at the Salzburger Festspiele. He served as Music Director and Chief Conductor of Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre from 2012 to 2014, and was awarded a prestigious Golden Mask Award as “Best Conductor” for the new production of Bernstein’s Mass.

Plans for his first Komische Oper season include Die Tote Stadt, Zauberflöte, The Love for Three Oranges, Cendrillon (premiered in 2018), Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder and Der Rosenkavalier (will be premiered in 2019).

Past seasons have included Orchestre National d’Ile de France, Jyväskylä Sinfonia (St Matthew Passion), Innsbrucker Festwochen der alten Musik, Filharmonia Poznanska, Residentie Orkest, Orquesta de Euskadi, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Gulbenkian, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra. In the UK he has appeared with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia and at the Edinburgh International Festival with the Bamberger Symphoniker.

An experienced opera conductor, recent productions have included his acclaimed debut with Welsh National Opera (Eugene Onegin); Komische Oper Berlin (Die Nase); Finnish National Opera (La traviata), Lyric Opera of Chicago (Carmen); Theater Basel (La forza del destino); Bolshoi Theatre (Boris Godunov); Latvijas Nacionala Opera un Balets (most recently Eugene Onegin); Passionstheater Oberammergau (Der fliegende Holländer, Nabucco); New National Theatre Tokyo (Carmen) and The Gran Teatre del Liceu (Carmen).

Born in Riga, Ainars enrolled to study at the Emil Darzins School - Latvia’s leading institution for outstanding young musicians - where he studied piano and violin and also sang in the choir of Riga Cathedral, going on to the Cathedral’s choir school. He later studied at Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Music Academy for a degree in choral conducting and pursued postgraduate studies in orchestral conducting with Andris Vecumnieks, also participating in masterclasses with Mariss Jansons and Zsolt Nagy. He was awarded Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir’s prize as best conductor.

From 2000 to 2005, he served as Artistic Director of the long-established Dziesmuvara, the University of Latvia chamber choir, before working as Assistant Conductor and a member of the Latvian Radio Choir from 2006 until 2010. He regularly works with Latvijas Nacionalais Simfoniskais Orkestris, Sinfonietta Riga, the orchestra of the Latvijas Nacionala Opera, Liepaja Symphony Orchestra and appeared in the 2010 Internationales Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus. In 2008 he was appointed an Assistant Conductor at Latvijas Nacionala Opera. His credits at LNO include Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte and assisting Cornelius Meister in the company’s acclaimed staging of Siegfried.