Piano Quintets



First name: Janis
Last name: Medins
Dates: 1890-1966
Category: Quintet
Nationality: Latvian
Opus name: Quintet (1946)
Peculiarities: http://www.lmic.lv/core.php?pageId=778&l=A&name=&afftor=&autors=&zanrs=233&Sastavs=&year=
Information: J?nis Medi?š was born on October 9, 1890 in Riga. The composer was raised in an unusually musical family – the Medi?š family brought a whole three composers into Latvian music culture – including J?nis’ two older brothers J?zeps and J?kabs. Their sister Marija was a talented pianist. In 1900, at the age of ten, J?nis Medi?š enrolled at the Riga Z?gerts Music Institute, where he simultaneously studied piano, violin and cello. In 1904, at the age of 14, Medi?š began his career in orchestral music – first as the violinist for the Riga Latvian Society’s orchestra and then as the violist for the Latvju opera orchestra. During this time, he also became known as a composer. He composed his first songs as soon as 1909, and began work on his opera Uguns un nakts (Fire and Night) in 1913. The opera was hoped to be completed by October 1915, however, harsh events entered into his life. During World War I, Medi?š was the conductor of the army orchestra, and found himself in Siberia at the conclusion of the war. As he wrote in his book, he was only able to endure this thanks to the love and support of his wife, who, on her own shoulders, carried the heavy, canvas bound score of Uguns un nakts through the Siberian snow. Unfortunately, to decrease the weight of the baggage on the way home, approximately 30 other works composed in Siberia had to be burned in the taiga. After returning to his homeland, the composer was actively involved in the development of music culture in the newly founded Latvian state. At the Latvian Conservatory he led the conducting and instrumentation classes. He was one of the conductors of the Latvian National Opera beginning in 1920, and, from 1928 to even 1944, J?nis Medi?š was the conductor of the newly founded Latvian Radio Orchestra, tirelessly making efforts to popularise Latvian music throughout those years. After the reoccuption of Latvia in 1944 by the Soviet Union, wishing to retain freedom for himself and his art, J?nis Medi?š, along with his family, fled Latvia in August. For four years, he lived in refugee camps in Germany – Segeberg and Blomberg, and, as of 1948, J?nis Medi?š’s home was Stockholm. During this time, Medi?š mainly composed chamber music.