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Lucija Garuta


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Lūcija Garūta (14 May 1902 – 15 February 1977) was a Latvian pianist, poet and composer. She is mostly known for composing the cantata Dievs, Tava zeme deg! in 1943.

Lūcija Garūta was born in Riga (at the time Russian Empire) in the family of an accountant. From in 1919 to 1925, she studied at the Latvian Conservatory with professor Jāzeps Vītols for piano and others including Jānis Mediņš, Jēkabs Mediņš [lv] and Jēkabs Kārkliņš [lv]. During her studies she was the pianist répétiteur at the Latvian National Opera.

After graduation, she worked at Riga Radio from 1925 to 1926. In 1926 she took a position teaching music theory and piano at the Jāzeps Mediņš School of Music [lv]. In 1926 she also continued her studies with Alfred Cortot, Isidor Philipp and Paul Le Flem, and in 1928 she studied composition with Paul Dukas at the Paris École Normale de Musique. In 1926 she made her debut in Paris, and afterwards became active as a composer, holding concerts with singers Milda Brehmane-Štengele [lv], Ādolfs Kaktiņš [lv] and Mariss Vētra, violinist Rūdolfs Miķelsons and cellist Atis Teihmanis. In 1939 she served on the Latvian music promotion association's board of directors. In the 1920s and 1930s, Lūcija Garūta was one of the most active pianists both as a soloist as well as accompanist, performing in Riga and in all of Latvia. Overall, Garūta performed with more than 100 musicians in chamber music concerts.

In 1940, shortly before the Soviet occupation of Latvia took place, Garūta took a position teaching composition and music theory at the Latvian Conservatory, where she was elected to professor in 1960. Illness ended her performing career in the late 1940s, but she continued to teach.

Lūcija Garūta died in 1977 in Riga (at the time Latvian SSR, Soviet Union) and was buried at the 1st Riga Forest Cemetery. Since 2002, the bi-annual International Young Pianists Competition of Lūcija Garūta has been held in Latvia in her memory.

from Wikipedia


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