Composers and Authors /

Rise, Indra (1961)

Biography   Works  


"Music is like a feast of the soul.
It addresses, narrates, exhilarates...
It teaches the language of the souls and teaches understanding.

I could be as mute as a fish, I could stop talking,
But music would still convey all I have to say."

Indra Riše


Indra Riše (1961) is from Dobele, Latvia. Having graduated from the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian State Conservatory as a pianist in 1985, Indra Riše turned her attention to composing music and completed her second round of education, graduating from professor Pēteris Plakidis’ composition class in 1990. In 1993, Indra Riše won the scholarship of the Danish Ministry of Culture and went to Copenhagen, where she continued her advancement in composition with Niels Rosing-Schow and electro-acoustic composition with Ivar Frounberg. Thus she was the first woman in Denmark who mastered a full course in composition. An essential role in her education was played also by:
• the Summer Workshop in New Technologies for Music Performance and Composition, University of California, Berkeley (1995);
• IRCAM Summer Academy in Paris (1999);
• Opera Academy, Oslo (2001);
• International Composer’s Center, Visby, Gotland (2004).

Indra Riše stayed in Denmark until 2002, composing commissioned works and periodically working as a music copyist and arranger for various orchestras for the Copenhagen Royal Opera, the Samfundet sheet music publisher, and Danish Radio. Indra Riše has written also piano scores from dramatic-musical works by Danish composers (Ib Nørholm, Erik Norby).

Since 2002, Indra Riše has been living in Latvia and is active as a composer, revealing her locally and internationally polished talent in a comprehensive variety of genres, from songs for choirs, chamber music and electronic works to symphonic and vocal-symphonic scores.

Indra Riše has three dedicated CDs (released in 1998, 2000 and 2013).

The compositions by Indra Riše have been played at festivals and concerts in Baltic States, Scandinavian countries, Germany, United Kingdom, Austria, Russia, USA, and elsewhere, including ISCM (International Society of Contemporary Music) organised festivals in Sweden (2009) and Croatia (2011).

As of 2004, Indra Riše is active in society, being a member of the Latvian Composers’ Union Board and leading the Latvian ISCM division. As of 2015, she is a chairman of the board.


/../ Music for symphony orchestra The Green Vision spoke itself: in a living, pictorial and contrast full process, in which at times hissed /../ Wind-machine, howled siren and from the speaking – trumpet came a cough exactly like in the fairy-tale, where it came through radio from the dusty city. /../ Extremely good use of program music! From the concert program’s historical and contemporary authorities The Green Vision by I. Riše left a most bright impression. It is a valuable input to Latvian music, because it stays out from our typical lyricism or pathetic.

Inese Lūsiņa, musicologist, Diena, 15.10.2003.

Music by Indra Riše is like a whirlpool, where you plunge in to a wild, even out of control, but also great organized stream…

Ligita Sneibe, organist, Neatkarīgā Avīze, 24.08.2001.

While listening to your music I was very happy, it did an enormous impact on me, one of the strongest in the whole cycle of women composers (just as did LOHN by Kaija Saariaho).

Donata Premeru, musicologist, radio-editor, Belgrad, 19.06.2002. letter

A certain Nordic angularity, conspicuous inspiration from nature and laconic straightforwardness are however still characteristics features which must be said to come from her Latvian background. She herself strongly feels a tension between a modernist, international orientation and her roots in Latvia’s culture and nature.

Ilze Šarkovska-Liepiņa, musicologist, 2000, booklet for CD


But that day comes so slowly (Bet tā diena nāk tik lēni) for sinfonietta / Riga Chamber Players, Conductor Normunds Šnē – 17’23” / Espressioni (Ekspresijas) for clarinet quartet / Clarinet Quartet of the Latvian Clarinet Society – 6’43” / Landscape in Fog (Ainava miglā) for violin and piano / Ilze Zariņa, violin, and Indra Riše, piano – 10’59” / 3 Romantic Songs – poems by K. Skalbe (Trīs romantiskas dziesmas) for mezzosoprano and 2 cellos / Antra Bigača, mezzosoprano, Diana Ozoliņa, cello, and Agnese Rugēvica, cello – 7’28” / Music for Fun (Mūzika priekam) for flute, cello and accordion / Pia Kaufmanas, flute, Inger Guldbrandt Jensen, cello, and Maria Wärme Otterstrøm, accordion – 9’29” / Spektrum for organ / Ligita Sneibe, organ – 19’15” // Music for Fun. Chamber works by Indra Riše [author CD] – 1998, Point Records, Denmark, PCD 5138

The Return (Atgriešanās) for mezzo-soprano, flute, cello and accordion / Antra Bigača, mezzo-soprano, Ilze Urbāne, flute, Leons Veldre, cello, Sergey Fedorenko, accordion – 15’23” / Three Coloured Stories (Trīs krāsainās pasakas) for piano solo / Indra Riše, piano – 8’01” / String Quartet (Stīgu kvartets) / Riga String Quartet; Uldis Viesturs Sprūdžs, 1st violin, Jurijs Savkins, 2nd violin, Einārs Rožēvics, viola, Agne Stepiņa, cello – 17’36” / Out of the Darkness (Ārā no tumsas) for alto saxophone solo / Renārs Lācis, alto saxophone – 11’20” / Pictures of Childhood (Bērnības ainas) for mezzo-soprano and electronics / Ingrid Aareskjold, mezzo-soprano – 15’02” // Indra Riše: The Return [author CD] – 1999, dacapo, Copenhagen, 8.224142

The Return (Atgriešanās) for dramatic soprano, flute, cello and accordion / Wärme-Quartet – 13’01”// Wärme-Quartet. Mater Mea. New Baltic and Nordic Chamber Music – 2000, DACOCD 532

The Green Mug (Zaļā krūze) for mezzo-soprano and two violins / Ance Krauze, Baiba Skride and Linda Skride – 3’04” // Healthy Life 21st century – 2002, Higashikawa City Council, (Hokkaido, Japan), R-0250211, nr. 5

Das Aufwachen (Pamošanās) for flute, one percussionist and eight women’s voices (S–A) // Vocal Ensemble Putni, Miks Vilsons (flute), Edgars Saksons (percussion), mākslinieciskā vadītāja Antra Dreģe – 8’00”// Vokālais ansamblis Putni. Pamošanās – 2003, PUTNI, PCD 3

The Green Vision (Zaļā vīzija) for symphony orchestra / Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, Conductor Imants Resnis – 6’22” [fragment] // Music in Latvia – LMIC & Latvijas Radio, LMIC CD-2003-1

A Held Breath (Aizturētā elpa) for saxophone quartet / Amstel Saxophone Quartet: Remco Jak (soprano saxophone), Olivier Sliepen (alto saxophone), Bas Apswoude (tenor saxophone), Ties Mellema (baritone saxophone) – 9’16”// Amstel Saxophone Quartet. Baltica – 2005, Amstel Records, AR 003

Die Mitbewegung (Interaction) for flute and organ / Imants Sneibis, Ligita Sneibe – 15’50” // Music for Winds by Latvian Composers – 2008, LMIC 016

Uguns rituāls (Fire Ritual) for organ – 15’25” / Ligita Sneibe // Ligita Sneibe. Latvian Organ Music – 2010, Riga Sound Recording Studio, RS 071

Trīs pavasara epizodes (Three Spring Episodes) for saxophone and accordion / Romāns Manuilovs, Sergejs Fedorenko – 9'48”/ Vēja noktirne (Nocturne of the Wind) for violin, piano and electronics / Christine Michaela Pryn, Indra Riše, Wade Mattson – 9'13” / Sprīdi virs Zemes (A Bit Above the Earth) for flute and piano / Anete Toča, Indra Riše – 5'40” / Purva dvēselītes (March-Souls) for accordion / Sergejs Fedorenko – 10' / Otrpus sliekšņa (On the Other Side of the Threshold) for cello and piano / Ēriks Kiršfelds, Indra Riše – 13'40” / Pamošanās (Awakening) for flute, percussion and eight women's voices - 9'23” / Tīrās blēņas (Pure Nonsense) for eight women's voices, flute, cello and piano / Vocal group Putni, Andis Klučnieks, Ivars Bezprozvanovs, Aija Ziņģīte – 10'36” // Sprīdi virs zemes. A Bit Above the Earth – 2013, LMIC 034

Saule, vējš un pārējie (The Sun, the Wind, and the Rest) for mixed choir and vibraslap – 2'03” / Lūgšana par mūsu zemi (Prayer About Our Land) for mixed choir – 2'13” / Īsta princese (A Real Princess…) for mixed choir - 2'50” / Latvian Academy of Culture Mixed Choir Sõla, conductor Kaspars Ādamsons // Stihiju spēles – 2014, Sõla, [s.n.]


Komponista gods, nauda un alternatīvas (A Composer’s Honour, Money, and Alternatives) // Diena, January 20th, 1999
Paši pūtām, paši degām jeb kam mums tāda komponistu savienība? (We Ourselves Blow, We Ourselves Burn or Why do We Have Such a Composers’ Union?) // Mūzikas Saule, 2003, No. 3, 29–31


Ilze Šarkovska-Liepiņa, Metamorfozes (Metamorphosis) [interview] // Māksla Plus, 1998, no. 1, 80–81 • M. Dombrovska, Latvietes mūziku spēlē dāņi (The Danish Play Music by a Latvian) // Jaunā Avīze, January 14th, 1999 • I. Zemzaris, Indrai patīk mācīties (Indra Likes to Learn) [regarding I. Riše’s first CD release in Denmark] // Izglītība un Kultūra, May 13th, 1999 • I. Liepiņa, Pamošanās ar putniem, purvs ar dvēselītēm (Waking Up with Birds, a Marsh With Souls) [a review of the author concert at the Anglican Church] // Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze, May 2nd, 2000 • I. Lūsiņa, Mērķis – uzsvērt, ka sievietes spēj un var rakstīt labu mūziku (The Goal – to Focus on the Fact that Women are Able and Can Write Good Music) [regarding the author concert at the Anglican Church – with quotes from I. Riše] // Diena, May 2nd, 2000 • I. Zemzaris, Mūzika priekam (Music for Fun) [regarding I. Riše’s author concert in Riga and CD release] // Literatūra un Māksla Latvijā, May 4th, 2000 • I. Zveja, Dziesma cilvēciskām jūtām (A Song for Societal Feelings) [interview regarindg the premiere of Augstā dziesma (Song of Songs)] // Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze, August 26th, 2004 • I. Lūsiņa, Jā no atvērtas dvēseles (A ‘Yes’ From an Open Soul) [with quotes from I. Riše] // Diena, August 27th, 2004 • G. Pupa, Spēka un skaidrības avots (A Fountain of Strength and Clarity) [review] // Mūzikas Saule, 2004, no. 5, 59 • G. Malēvica, Presentation of music by Indra Riše (Latvia) Fair, a work for girls-children choir and electronics // Europa Cantat, 2005, no. 1 [text in English – page 12, French – page 24, German – page 34]

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