Hermanis Brauns (1918-1979)
The concert agency Hermanis Brauns Foundation is named after Latvian legendary pianist and prominent musician.
Hermanis Brauns was an ideal expert of his job as a soloist, a delicate ensemble player and a teacher by vocation. As a concertmaster he worked with singers mainly, having in this respect a perfect gift and rare ability to keep his own individuality in feeling and sounding; at the same time he could save his own vision of a performing piece, becoming a background for a singer, dissolving in a soloist and setting off the richness of a voice.
Mr. Brauns was born in St. Petersburg. His first teacher was his mother Dora Brauns, who graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory.
After graduating from the Latvian Conservatory (1938) as a student of Nikolay Dauge and Nadezhda Karklina, Mr. Brauns went on polishing his skills under the famous French pianists Robert Casadesus and Alfred Cortot in Paris.
Mr. Brauns returned to Riga in 1940 and started to work at the Latvian State Conservatory named after Jazeps Vitols where he was running the classes of piano, ensemble and concert-mastery. Among his students were Silviya Heine, Maiya Saiva, Nathalia Schreder, Inta Villerusa, Raimonds Pauls. A lot of Latvian concertmasters (more than 200) graduated from his class.
As a concertmaster of the Latvian Philharmonic Society and the Latvian Radio Mr. Brauns performed a large number of various concert programs with famous singers such as Elfrida Pakule, Zhermena Heine-Wagnere, Alexander Dashkov, Karlis Zarins, Janis Zabers, Gurij Antipov. He recorded a range of vocal masterpieces with his wife Ludmila Ryabova-Brauns, who is a well-known professor of singing. There are many radio records, which were made by Mr. Brauns in cooperation with such celebrities as violinists Gidon Kremer, Rasma Lielmane, Valdis Zarins, flutist Albert Ratsbaum, who were rising stars at those times.
The concertmaster's vast repertoire included Tchaikovsky's, Rachmaninov's, Alfr.Kalnins' romances and songs as well as vocal music by Latvian, West European and many Russian composers. In those times the art of chamber singing reached its peak in Latvia.
Mr. Brauns and Latvian singers gave numerous touring recitals in Moscow, St. Petersburg and all over ex-USSR. The concert seasons were embellished with his programs.
The editing took a significant place in Mr. Brauns' activities. He edited several collections of vocal pieces by Latvian composers. The first whole collection of Alfreds Kalnins' songs is considered to be the main work of Mr. Brauns as an editor.
The concertmistress and the general director of Hermanis Brauns Foundation Inna Davidova has immortalized memory of the outstanding musician on giving his name to her agency; at the same time she has chosen the guiding star of eternity.