Atvars Lakstigala commenced his career as the Chief Conductor of the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra (LSO) in January 2010 with a splendid debut performance. He studied music at Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music, graduating as a French horn player (class of prof. Arvīds Klisans), wind orchestra conductor (class of prof. Janis Purins) and symphonic orchestra conductor (class of prof. Imants Resnis), further improving professional mastery with Vassily Sinaisky, Leonid Grin, Neeme Jarvi, Paavo Jarvi, Heinrich Schiff and other distinguished teachers. From 2009 to 2011 Atvars Lakstigala studied at the Berlin University of the Arts with professor Lutz Koehler.
As a professional French horn player Atvars Lakstigala from 1997 to 2010 has performed solo and chamber music programmes, and been a member of Latvian and foreign youth and professional symphony orchestras. From 2001 to 2010 he worked at the Latvian National Opera Orchestra as the assistant principal French horn player.
Atvars Lakstigala made his conducting debut with the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra in March 2008 and after a regular and fruitful collaboration period became its chief conductor. On April 16, 2009 he made a successful debut performance of La traviata by Giuseppe Verdi at the Latvian National Opera (LNO) – it led to regular collaboration with the LNO: during the 2013/2014 concert season Atvars Lakstigala conducted several operas, including La traviata, Masked Ball and Macbeth by Giuseppe Verdi, Triptych and Tosca by Giacomo Puccini, Eugene Onegin by Peter Tchaikovsky, as well as ballets – The Sleeping Beauty by Peter Tchaikovsky and The Lady of Camellias with Franz Liszt’s music. Since 2010 alongside his activities with the LSO Atvars Lakstigala has conducted Berliner Symphoniker orchestra, Milli Reasurans Chamber Orchestra, and Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra in Germany, Turkey, Lithuania and elsewhere.
In 2013/2014 Atvars conducted two new productions of the LNO – opera Mikhail and Mikhail Play Chess by Kristaps Petersons, which was nominated for the Latvian Great Music Award, and ballet Three Meetings with music by Peteris Vasks, Georgs Pelecis and Rihards Dubra.
During the season of 2013/2014 he also conducted Orchestra Sinfonica di Bari and Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma in Italy, Yasar University Chamber Orchestra in Turkey, as well as visited Brazil, where in December he conducted the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, shortly before embarking on a tour to China and India with the LSO.
On February 13 the conductor for the second time will lead the Landesorchester Nordrhein Westfalen (Germany). The 2014/2015 season will continue with a debut performance with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; on November Atvars Lakstīgala will join the LSO at the Great Amber Concert Hall Opening Concert and in December he will conduct the Royal Scottish Ballet production of Serge Prokofiev’s ballet “Cinderella”.
In 2010 for his performances with the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra Atvars Lakstigala received the greatest form of state recognition in music – the Latvian Great Music Award. This year he has been nominated again for his interpretation of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No.3 in E flat major, Op.55 at the Vidzeme Concert Hall “Cēsis” on September 25, 2014 with the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra and soloist Ilze Zariņa.