Ainārs Rubiķis

Music Director, Komische Oper Berlin

© Jānis Porietis -


Ainārs Rubiķis took up his position as Music Director of the Komische Oper Berlin at the start of the 2018/19 season. Latvian-born, he came to international attention as winner of the 2010 Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition. The following year, he was recipient of the second Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award and subsequently conducted the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester at the Salzburger Festspiele. He served as Music Director and Chief Conductor of Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre from 2012 to 2014, and was awarded a prestigious Golden Mask Award as “Best Conductor” for the Company’s new production of Bernstein’s Mass. In 2020, Ainars was awarded his second ‘Best Conductor’ Golden Mask Award for his performances of Rusalka with the Bolshoi Theatre.

Highlights with the Komische Oper have included new productions of Die Tote Stadt, La Traviata and the world premiere of Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder , together with Zauberflote, The Love for Three Oranges, Cendrillon, , Der Rosenkavalier and Rigoletto .

The 2020/21 season includes new productions of Rusalka and Oedipe, alongside a revival of Die Zauberflöte and regular symphonic programmes for the Komische Oper Berlin. Guest conducting includes his return to the Bolshoi Theatre (Rusalka) and his symphonic debut with Staatsorchester Stuttgart.


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    15 Aug 19 Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin Komische Oper Berlin
    Edinburgh Festival


    “As well as a very fine acting chorus, the German company has brought a crack orchestra, under new music director Ainars Rubikis, to the Festival Theatre pit, with the wind soloists particularly superb. This production is as good as opera gets.”

    Keith Bruce, The Herald, 16 August 2019

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    05 May 19 M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder
    Komische Oper

    “Ainārs Rubiķis controls the elements of this big band turned classical opera orchestra with confidence, turning the roar of a metropolis into an expressionistic sound painting”

    Zenaida des Aubris, Bachtrack, 07 May 2019

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    16 Jun 18 Shostakovich: The Nose
    Komische Oper Berlin

    “Rubiķis whips up his musicians to keep up with the sheer speed of the music, its richness of colour and bite, which is mirrored on stage by the ensemble and chorus. All this while having fun along the way, of course.”

    Zenaida des Aubris, Bachtrack, 17 June 2018

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    02 Feb 14 Bizet: Carmen Tokyo Symphony Orchestra
    New National Theatre, Tokyo

    “Ainars Rubikis conducts the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in a performance full of highly variegated tempo and emphasis, creating a brilliant soundscape for this emotive work.”
    Ayako Takahashi, The Japan Times, 03 February 2014

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    24 Oct 12 Schubert and Stravinsky Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
    Lighthouse, Poole

    “On the podium, making his debut with the BSO, Latvian conductor Ainars Rubikis offered ideal support with a richly harmonised introduction to Brahms’ Violin Concerto.”

    “First impressions of Rubikis would suggest his rising stardom is well founded.”

    “We would expect Schubert to be songful, but Stravinsky?

    In the hands of Rubikis that is just what we heard. Sure the acerbic sections of this 1919 version of the Firebird Suite lived up to, and beyond, the BSO’s usual incisive performance.

    But into the mix of menacing atmosphere and kaleidoscopic orchestral colour came the floating filigree of the Princesses Round Dance, a mysterious touch of ethereality in the Berceuse and dawning finale.

    A winning performance by a musical magician.”

    Mike Marsh, Bournemouth Echo, 25 October 2012

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    29 Apr 11 A Night of Baltic Music Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
    Estonia Concert Hall, Estonia

    “Rubikis is a lean, athletic type, bounding on to the stage in a black caftan-like coat and conducting with fluid and assured movements, musical nous in evidence. Vasks’ “Credo” led off the evening, Rubikis directing the Estonian National Symphony through this sublime piece of modern composition. Redolent of Wagnerian symphonic passages, “Credo” meandered beautifully, reaching a crescendo, only to fall back to a quiet and emotional coda. It is a pleasing and transcendent piece.”

    Mike Amundsen, ERR, 02 May 2011