The Orchestra RIGA, the official orchestra of the Riga City Council, was founded in 1972. Orchestra RIGA has received the Grand Music Award which is the highest form of state recognition in the field of music in Latvia for the outstanding performance throughout the year 2017, as well as the Public Sympathy Award in 2016 for the concert Mercury on the Moon and the annual Latvian Television and Latvian Radio Kilograms Kultūras Award in 2012 for the concert Music of Inspiration.
Since 2010 Orchestra RIGA organizes Spring Festival WINDSTREAM that is warmly welcomed by the listeners. The 1st International Composers’ Competition WINDSTREAM 2014 took place in frames of the Spring Festival WINDSTREAM 2014 – it was an event of the year of Riga as the European Capital of Culture. January of 2017 came with a new festival in Riga’s cultural life – Three Stars, happening every November and dedicated to the Centenary of the Republic of Latvia.
Even more often Orchestra RIGA is collaborating with young and talented conductors – Guntis Kuzma, Kaspars Ādamsons, Jānis Retenais, Andis Klučnieks, Mārcis Miķelsons, Dāvis Jurka. The number of Latvian composers writing works specifically for the Orchestra RIGA is constantly growing, including such names and music works as Rihards Zaļupe – The Palatine Celebration (2014), Linda Leimane – Art Deco (2015), Jachin Pousson – Leaves Upon the Wind (2015), Santa Bušs – Thoughts, My Thoughts (2015), Jēkabs Nīmanis – People of the Future (2015), Platons Buravickis – The Way I Am (2015), Jēkabs Jančevskis – The Sea Flows Quietly… with soprano and kokle solo, for mixed choir and wind orchestra (2016) & And Against the Song of His People (2018), Selga Mence – In the Winds of the Ages for soprano, mezzosoprano, mixed choir and orchestra (2016), Imants Zemzaris – Arcadia (2016), Andris Sējāns – Caravan (2016), Ilona Breģe – Music for the Commemoration of Sculptor Kārlis Zāle (2018), Laura Gustovska – Lielupe. Breakout (2019), Santa Ratniece – Meadows (2019), Matīss Čudars – Riseing (2019), Gundega Šmite – Three Delineation in the Forest (2019), Krists Auznieks – Gaismup (2019) and many others.
With the start of the 2015/2016 season, the artistic director of the Orchestra RIGA is Valdis BUTĀNS.