The Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra (LNSO) Karel Mark Chichon, who is also the Principal Conductor of Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern, has named the young Latvian conductor Valdis Butāns as his assistant at Deutsche Radio Philharmonie for the 2012/2013 Season; Butāns has been working as Maestro Chichon’s assistant at LNSO since May 2010.
Valdis Butāns: ‘I am grateful to Karel Mark Chichon both for the trust he has placed in me and his support and interest in assisting the new generation of Latvian symphony conductors in general. To me, the opportunity to work as an assistant conductor at the German Radio Philharmonic Saarbrücken-Kaiserslautern is a great honour, as well as an excellent opportunity to perfect my professional skills on an international level, working with a top-class orchestra.’
Valdis Butāns graduated from the Department of Choral Conducting at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (LMA) with BA and MA degrees and got his BA degree in orchestral conducting from LMA where he studied with Professor Andris Vecumnieks. Valdis Butāns is currently studying for his MA degree at the Department of Orchestral Conducting of LMA. In 2000, Butāns attended the Europa Cantat international course in choral conducting in Nevers, France; in 2005/2006 he perfected his orchestral conducting skills at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts (Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien) in Austria. Butāns has attended master classes taught by the likes of Lutz Köhler, Per Borin, Juozas Domarkas, Yuri Simonov and Zsolt Nagy. In 2010, Valdis Butāns became a semi-finalist of the XIV Dimitri Mitropoulos International Competition for Conductors (Athens, Greece).
In May 2010, Valdis Butāns was named as the assistant of the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of LNSO Karel Mark Chichon. The conductor has also worked with the Sinfonia Concertante Chamber Orchestra, the Rīga Professional Symphonic Band, appeared in concerts at the 2010 Arēna New Music Festival in Riga; he also assisted in rehearsals for the season opening concert of the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra (2011) and the revival production of Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème at Latvian National Opera (2012).