Jānis Petraškevičs

(b. 10 February 1978, Rīga).

Latvian composer of mostly orchestral and chamber works that have been performed throughout Europe and elsewhere.

Mr. Petraškevičs initially studied violin at the Emīla Dārziņa mūzikas vidusskola – Emīls Dārziņš Music School in Rīga from 1985–94, but later studied composition there with Ģederts Ramans from 1994–96. He studied composition with Pēteris Plakidis at the Jāzepa Vītola Latvijas Mūzikas akadēmija – Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music in Rīga from 1996–2003. He also studied composition with Sven-David Sandström at the Kungliga Musikhögskolan – Royal College of Music in Stockholm in 1998–99, on a scholarship from the Svenska institutet – Swedish Institute, and later had postgraduate studies in composition with Ole Lützow-Holm at Göteborgs universitet – University of Gothenburg from 2004–07. He later worked on his doctoral thesis in musicology at the Jāzepa Vītola Latvijas Mūzikas akadēmija from 2007–14.

Among his honours are First Prize in the competition of the Association of Baltic Academies of Music in Hamburg (2003, for et la nuit illumina la nuit, Op. 2), the Carl Larsson Scholarship (2006, for a residency in Fontainebleau), the Fellowship of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbertide (2013–14), and the Lielā Mūzikas balva – Latvian Grand Music Award for new composition of the year (2014, for Darkroom – Ein Phantasiestück für Ensemble). His music has been performed in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK, including once each at the Biennale di Venezia (2008), the ISCM World Music Days (2008, Vilnius), the concert series Musica Viva in Munich (2012), the festival Warszawska Jesień – Warsaw Autumn (2013), the festival Ultraschall Berlin (2015), and the Donaueschinger Musiktage (2018).

He is also active in other positions. He has contributed articles to the magazines Mūzikas Saule – Sun of Music and Rīgas Laiks – The Rīga Time, both in Rīga.

He lectured on aspects of contemporary music at the Jāzepa Vītola Latvijas Mūzikas akadēmija from 2011–17, where he has been Senior Lecturer in composition since 2017.

His primary publishers are Edition Gravis and Musica Baltica.


E-mail address:




Distance(s), 20 strings, Op. 4, 1999

trop proche / trop loin, small orchestra (15 players), 2001–02

Translated into the Language of Memory (Reading the Silence), large orchestra, 2006–07

Darkroom – Ein Phantasiestück für Ensemble, small orchestra (15 players), 2012

Dead Wind, large orchestra (12 winds, 11 brass, harp, piano [+ celesta], timpani, 3 percussion, 50 strings), 2017–18

Echoing Distances (chamber symphony), percussion, orchestra (34 players), 2018–20

Long Walks (concerto), clarinet, orchestra, 2020–21


Flight of the Arrow. Just heaving in sight and...far afar (monodrama), cello, Op. 1, 1996–97

et la nuit illumina la nuit (recitativi ed ariosi), A-clarinet, viola, piano, Op. 2, 1997

mist...the furthest point, oboe (+ English horn), bass clarinet, piccolo trumpet, double bass, Op. 3, 1997–98

Double Vision, 4 saxophones, Op. 5, 1999–2000

Arktos, oboe (+ English horn), clarinet, French horn, trumpet, trombone, viola, cello, 2000–02

Mezzogiorno, alto flute (+ bass flute), oboe (+ English horn), clarinet, harp, guitar, mandolin, violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano, percussion, 2004–05

gefährlich dünn (fragile pieces for double string quartet), 4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, 2014

Arbōs I, birbynė (wind instrument from Lithuania), 2014–15

Four Stages, alto flute, cello, harpsichord, percussion, amplification ad libitum, 2017

Text & Alphabet, clarinet, violin, piano, 2018

Madman's Glove II, viola, 2020

Madman's Glove I, violin, 2021


Arbōs II (vocalise), 8 mixed voices, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, French horn, double bass, 2015


Herbst. Eingang (text by Rainer Maria Rilke), mezzo-soprano, clarinet, piano, 2017–18

Moon (text by Matsuo Bashō), noh voice, cello, 2019