Ainars Rubikis

Music Director, Komische Oper Berlin

credit: 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 when he emerged from strong competition to take the prestigious competition’s first prize: “This year, as with Gustavo Dudamel in 2004, we have found an exceptional conductor” observed Jonathan Nott, president of the Competition jury. 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 new production of Bernstein’s Mass.

Plans for his first Komische Oper season include Die Tote Stadt, Zauberflote, The Love for Three Oranges, Cendrillon, Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder and Der Rosenkavalier. He makes guest visits to Bamberger Symphoniker, where he conducts a concert version of Rimski-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri, Ulster Orchestra and returns to the Bolshoi Theatre for their new production of Rusalka. 


Performance Schedule


  • More info  
    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

  • More info  
    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

  • More info  
    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