ZIGMARS LIEPIŅŠ, an officer of the Order of the Three Stars and chairman of the Latvian National Opera and Ballet board of directors, turned to composing at the young age of 17. He graduated Ilze Graubiņa’s piano class at the Latvian State Conservatory, and was a keyboardist, composer and band leader for many popular music groups. Along with his work in popular music, Z. Liepiņš also composed music for cinema and theatre productions. His rock opera Lāčplēsis (1988) became one of the most recognised symbols of the National Awakening era. His opera Notre-Dame de Paris (1997) also gained wide public and critical acclaim in Latvia and Lithuania, which was followed by opera Rose and Blood (2000), the musical dramas The Needle (2006), and The Leader (2009). From Z. Liepiņš latest expanded form pieces special mention should be made of his Concert for Violin and Orchestra (2012) and the composer’s dedication to the victims of the Japanese earthquake, The Transcendental Oratorio (2014), for soloists, choir and orchestra.