Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Valdis Butāns has recently elected and season 2015/2016 is his first season with Orchestra RIGA. He graduated from the Department of Orchestral Conducting at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music with MA degree. In 2005/2006 he improved his orchestral conducting skills at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts (Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien) with Prof. Uroš Lajovic. He has participated in master classes with Lutz Köhler, Per Borin, Juozas Domarkas, Yuri Simonov and Zsolt Nagy. Since 2010 Valdis Butāns was the assistant of conductor Karel Mark Chichon at the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, and for the 2012/2013 season also at the German Radio Philharmonic Saarbrucken-Kaiserslautern. Two seasons he has worked at the Latvian National Opera, conducting opera performances “Lucia di Lammermoor”, “La Boheme”, “A Little Sweep” and “Le nozze di Figaro”.