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Rihards Zaļupe was born in 1983 in a small town in Latvia called Talsi. After finishing the Jāzeps Mediņš Music High School in 2002 (pedagogue Māris Vēriņš) R. Zaļupe entered the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Music Academy with associate professor Edgars Saksons. From 2004–2005 R. Zaļupe was Socrates Erasmus student at the Hochschule fur Musik in Cologne with professor Carlos Tarcha / percussion. In 2008 R. Zaļupe finished his master degree at the J. Vītols Latvian Music Academy (assoc. prof. E. Saksons). Rihards Zaļupe studied marimbas playing and composition with world-famous Keiko Abe, also participated in the International Katarzyna Mycka marimba masterclasses with Katarzyna Mycka, Robert Van Sice, Eric Sammut. In 2006 R. Zaļupe received the Latvian Music Academy and Hansabanka Award for the Best student of the year.
Besides working in Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Music Academy R. Zaļupe performs much solo. In his repertoire are pieces for marimba, vibraphone and percussion’s as well as solo with orchestra.
Rihards Zaļupe was performing concerts in major concert halls of Latvia and played solo with Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, State Chamberorchestra “Sinfonietta Rīga”, Professional Brass Band “Rīga” Talsi Brass Band a.o. R. Zaļupe performed solo also in Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Germany etc.
Since 2006 Rihards Zaļupe has been a percussionist in the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, also as a lecturer in the J. Vītols Latvian Music Academy. Besides Latvian National Symphony Orchestra concerts R. Zaļupe performs much solo and chamber music. Percussionist performed solo with Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, State Chamber Orchestra “Sinfonietta Rīga”, Professional Brass Band “Rīga”, orchestra “Sinfonia Concertante”, Vidzeme`s Chamber Orchestra. R. Zaļupe cooperates very close with brothers Raimonds Petrauskis (piano) and Oskars Petrauskis (saxophone).
A very important aspect of R. Zaļupe`s life is composition and arrangement. His first composition for solo marimba “Eastern Fantasia” was written in 2002. Till today R. Zaļupe has composed many works for percussion, marimba, piano, orchestra, choir, a.o. “Concertino for marimba and orchestra” was the required piece for Latvian music school performer competition 2007.
In 2008 R. Zaļupe recorded his first CD “Marimba Dance”, in album are heard his compositions for marimba solo, marimba and piano, as well as for choir. R. Zaļupe and the album “Marimba Dance” received the Latvian Music Records Award 2008 in the category “The debut of the year”.
Rihards Zaļupe was performed concerts in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Spain.
Alongside with academic music R. Zaļupe takes part in many jazz, Latin, pop, rock and house music projects as a drummer and percussionist.