Kalninš, Janis

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Kalninš, Janis

Kalninš, Janis, Latvian-born Canadian organist, conductor, pedagogue, and composer, son of Alfreds Kalninš; b. Pernu, Estonia (of Latvian parents), Nov. 3, 1904. He studied piano and organ with his father, then composition with Vitols at the Latvian State Cons, in Riga (1920–24). He also studied conducting with Kleiber in Salzburg, Abendroth in Leipzig, and Blech in Berlin. Returning to Riga, he served as music director of the Latvian National Theater (1923–33) and the Latvian National Opera (1933-Ì4). In 1948 he emigrated to Canada, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1954. From 1948 to 1989 he was organist and choirmaster at St. Paul’s United Church in Fredericton, New Brunswick; he served as prof, of music at the Fredericton Teachers’ Coll. (1951–71), and was conductor of the Fredericton Civic Orch. (1951–58), the St. John Sym. Orch. (1958–61), and the New Brunswick Sym. Orch. (1961–67).


dramatic:Opera: Lolita’s Magic Bird (1933); Unguni (1933); In the Fire (1934); Hamlet (1935; Riga, Feb. 17, 1936). Ballet: Autumn (1936); The Nightingale and the Rose (1936). orch.: 2 Latvian Peasant Dances (1936); 5 syms.: No. 1 (1939–44), No. 2, Symphony of the Beatitudes, for Chorus and Orch. (1953), No. 3 (1972–73), No. 4 (1979), and No. 5 (1990); Violin Concerto (1945–46); Marching Through Fredericton (1963); Theme and Variations for Clarinet, Horn, and Orch. (1963); Music for Strings (1965); New Brunswick Rhapsody (1967); Festival Overture (1969); Latvian Rhapsody (1975); Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orch. (1985). chamber: String Quartet (1948); Oboe Sonata (1963); Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano (1966); Klusa Stunda for Violin and Piano (1968); Violin Sonata (1982); Larghetto Serioso for Violin and Organ or Piano (1975); Trio for Violin, Viola, and Cello (1979); Sonata for Solo Violin (1975); Piano Quartet (1987); piano pieces, including 2 piano sonatas; organ music. vocal: Cantata for Men’s Chorus and Orch. (1965); Spring Song, cantata for Chorus and Orch. (1981); Requiem for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus, and Piano or Organ or Orch. (1988–89); choral pieces; songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire