Imant Raminsh

(b. 1943, Ventspils).

Canadian composer, born in Latvia, of mostly orchestral, chamber, choral, and vocal works that have been performed throughout the world.

Mr. Raminsh earned his ARCT in violin at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and his BMus at the University of Toronto, then spent two years at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, where he studied composition, conducting, fugue, and violin. In addition, he studied biology and geology privately.

He is also active in other positions. As a violinist, he briefly played in the Camerata Salzburg in the 1960s. He is the founding conductor of the Prince George Symphony Orchestra and the Youth Symphony of the Okanagan, as well as of the AURA Chamber Choir and the NOVA Children's Choir, all in British Columbia. He worked for many summers as a naturalist/interpreter in provincial parks in British Columbia.

He has lived in Canada since 1948.

He is married to the architectural designer and poet Becky Strube.


E-mail address:



The Nightingale (opera for children, libretto by James Tucker, after Hans Christian Andersen), boy soprano, tenor, baritone, children's chorus, small orchestra, 2003–04 (also version [Latvian translation by Astrida B. Stahnke] as Lakstīgala, 2007)

The Eternal Forest (opera, libretto by Morton Marcus), 2009–11


Suite on Five Latvian Folk Songs, string orchestra, 1972 (also version for small orchestra, 1983)

Prelude to the Golden Horse, 1975

...and the great day that dawns, 1978

Sahali, 1991

Legend, cello, orchestra, 1991 (version of chamber work)

Odyssey: A Symphonic Poem, 1995, revised 2000

Two Canzonas and a Fugue, string orchestra, 1997

Concerto, soprano ad libitum, violin, orchestra, 1997

The Rattler (concerto), bassoon, orchestra, 2000 (also version as Concerto, cello, orchestra, 2005)

Canzona, cello, string orchestra, 2001

...And the Light that Fills the World, trumpet, orchestra, 2003 (version of chamber work)

Singing Songs of Sorrow, Songs of Joy (Second Suite on Latvian Folk Songs), string orchestra, 2003

Aria, violin, orchestra, 2005 (version of chamber work)


A Penfield Pentameron, violin, viola, cello, 1980

Earth Chants, violin, cello, piano, 1982

Dialogues, violin, viola, 1983

Aria, violin, piano, 1987 (also version for violin, orchestra)

Legend, cello, piano, 1989 (also version for cello, orchestra)

A Family of Friends, recorder, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, trumpet, piano, 1994

Papillons, 2 flutes, piano, 2000

Fanfare for the Voices of Man, 3 French horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, 2002

...And the Light that Fills the World, trumpet, piano, 2003 (also version for trumpet, orchestra)

String Quartet No. 1, 'A Falcon, a Storm, or a Great Song' (in memoriam David Mardon), 2003

String Quartet No. 2, 'The Waking' (in memoriam Sylvia Russell), 2008

Field Notes, 2010 (its six sections may be performed separately: Morning, piano; Meadowlark, flute, piano; Juniper and Pine, cello, piano; Balsamroot and Sage, piano; Nighthawk, violin, piano; Field Notes [text by Becky Strube], mezzo-soprano, piano)

String Quartet No. 3, 2010


Cantarcillo de la Virgen (text by Lope de Vega), soprano, female chorus, guitar, string orchestra, 1970

Mary Magdalene (text by Boris Pasternak), mezzo-soprano, mixed chorus, harp (+ piano), organ, 1970

Silent Flowers (text from haiku from Japan), soprano, mixed chorus, flute, glockenspiel, cymbal, string orchestra, 1970

Ice and Fire (text by Lope de Vega [translated by W. S. Merwin]), mezzo-soprano, mixed chorus, timpani, string orchestra, 1971

Ave, Verum Corpus, mixed chorus, 1972 (also versions for female chorus, piano [+ organ], 1992; male chorus, 1998; mixed chorus, string orchestra, 2000; female chorus, string orchestra, 2006)

The Great Sea (text from a traditional source of the Copper Inuit people [translated by Knud Rasmussen, W. E. Calvert]), mixed chorus, string orchestra, 1972

The Face of my Mountains (text from a traditional source of the K'iche' people [translated by John Bierhorst]), mezzo-soprano, mixed chorus, 1978

I Wonder as I Wander, female chorus, 1979

Mary Had a Baby, baritone, male chorus, 1979

Stabat Mater, mezzo-soprano, 8 mixed voices, 1979

A Northwest Trilogy, mixed chorus, 1980

Gloria, soprano, female chorus, 1981

Lo, at the Day's End (text by Alan G. McDougall), mixed chorus, 1981

Pau: A Testament (text by Pablo Casals), baritone, mixed chorus, 4 cellos, 1981

Along the Flower Trail (text from various poems of native people of North America, Inuit people, edited by John Bierhorst), 8 mixed voices, 1982

¿Dónde Vais, Zagala?, soprano, mixed chorus, string orchestra, 1982 (version of vocal work)

Ave Maria, mezzo-soprano, mixed chorus, 1983

The Birthplace (text by Robert Frost), mixed chorus, flute, string quartet, 1983

Psalm 23, female chorus, piano, 1984 (also version for female chorus, string orchestra, 1993)

Psalm 121, female chorus, piano, 1984 (also version for female chorus, string orchestra, 1984)

Five Latvian Folk Songs, soprano, baritone, 8 mixed voices, 1985 (also version as Four Latvian Folk Songs, youth chorus, string orchestra, 2001)

Magnificat No. 2, mezzo-soprano, mixed chorus, 1985

Pater Noster, mezzo-soprano, baritone, 8 mixed voices, 1985

Songs of the Lights (set 1) (texts from traditional poems of the Algonquin people, Navajo people [translated by Nellie Barnes, Eda Lou Walton]), female chorus, flute, piano, glockenspiel, 1985 (also version for female chorus, flute, glockenspiel, string orchestra, 1985)

Two Psalms (texts from Psalm 130, Psalm 150 [Latvian translations]), mixed chorus, orchestra, 1985 (also version [English translations])

I'll Give my Love an Apple (text from a traditional source from Nova Scotia, collected by Helen Creighton), female chorus, oboe, piano, 1986

Smile, o voluptuous cool-breathed Earth (text by Walt Whitman), mixed chorus, piano, 1986

Come My Light (text by Dimitry of Rostov [translated by Kallistos Ware]), 8 mixed voices, 1987

Song (And I think over again), mixed chorus, 1987

In the night we shall go in, mixed chorus, cello, piano, 1987 (version of vocal work; also version for mixed chorus, cello, string orchestra, 1992)

Songs of the Lights (set 2) (texts from traditional poems of the Maya people, Pima people, an unknown tribe, Zuni people, Ojibwe people, Shoshone people, Tohono O'odham people [translated by Ralph L. Roys, Frank Russell, Frances Densmore, Natalie Curtis, Henry Schoolcraft, Mary Hunter Austin]), female chorus, piano, 1987

Lullaby (text by Henrik Ibsen), mezzo-soprano, mixed chorus, 1988

Of Home and the Great Wide World (Five Slavic Folk Songs), mezzo-soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, mixed chorus, 1988

As Water to the Thirsty (text by Timothy Dudley-Smith), mixed chorus, violin, piano, 1988

I Will Sing unto the Lord (text from Psalm 104), children's chorus, mixed chorus, piano, 1988 (also versions for children's chorus, mixed chorus, orchestra, 1998; children's chorus, mixed chorus, string orchestra, 2000)

Sing Hey! It's Christmas Day! (text by Margaret Fleming), mixed chorus, 1989

Missa brevis, soprano, female chorus, piano, 1989 (also versions for soprano, female chorus, orchestra, 1989; soprano, mixed chorus, orchestra, 1998)

Divi KorāļiTwo Chorales (texts by Terēze Brence, Veronika Strēlerte), mixed chorus, piano ad libitum, 1989

Prayer of St. Francis, female chorus, piano, 1990

Two Nightsongs (text by Ben Abel), female chorus, piano, 1990

Magnificat No. 1, mezzo-soprano, mixed chorus, orchestra, 1990

How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place (text from Psalm 84), soprano, mixed chorus, piano, 1991

In the Beginning (text from the Book of Genesis), female chorus, piano, 1991

Live the Circle (text by Sara Sanderson), female chorus, piano, 1991

Veni, Sancte Spiritus, mixed chorus, 2 French horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, organ, timpani, 1991

Vestigia (text by Bliss Carman), female chorus, violin, cello, piano, 1991

Ubi Caritas, mixed chorus, 1992

The Chariot Children (text by Cyril Dabydeen), female chorus, piano, 1992

Gloria, soprano, alto, tenor, bass, mixed chorus, piano, 1992 (also version for soprano, alto, tenor, bass, mixed chorus, orchestra, 1992)

Song of the Birds (text from a traditional source from Catalonia [translated by James Woodhouse], adapted by the composer), mixed chorus, 1993

Veni, Creator Spiritus, mixed chorus, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, organ, timpani, 1993

Ceļā (text by Kārlis Skalbe), mezzo-soprano, baritone, mixed chorus, orchestra, 1993

I Turn to You, mixed chorus, 1994

Mighty River, Mighty Fire (text by Charles Devanesan), mixed chorus, 1994

O Ignis Spiritus (text by St. Hildegard of Bingen), mixed chorus, 1994

Sing to Us, Cedars (texts by A. J. M. Smith, Pauline Johnson), mixed chorus, flute, piano, 1994

Cantate Domino, female chorus, trumpet, timpani, string orchestra, 1994 (also version for female chorus, trumpet, orchestra, 1995)

The Infinite Yes (text by Becky Strube), mixed chorus, 1995

Song of the Stars, mixed chorus, piano, 1995

Surrounded with Great Joy (text from a poem of the Inuit people, edited by John Robert Colombo), mixed chorus, flute, oboe, viola, cello, piano, percussion, 1995

Alleluia, Amen, children's chorus, mixed chorus, 1996 (also version for children's chorus, mixed chorus, string orchestra, 2000)

O Holy One (text by G. Malcolm Sinclair), mixed chorus, 1996

Dies Sanctificatus (texts from Psalm 117, Psalm 118), mixed chorus, piano, 1997 (also version for mixed chorus, orchestra, 1997)

In the Shadow of Evening Rocks (text by Becky Strube), girls' chorus ad libitum, mixed chorus, cello, piano, 1997

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, soprano, mixed chorus, organ/piano, 1997

Rise Up My Love, My Fair One (text from the Song of Solomon), female chorus, viola, piano, 1997

Serenade to Music (text by William Shakespeare), tenor, baritone, bass, male chorus, cello, 1997

Christmas Morn (text by Ruth Sawyer), female chorus, piano, 1998

Lacrimosa, mixed chorus, piano, 1998

Sonnets to Orpheus (text by Rainer Maria Rilke [translated by Stephen Mitchell]), baritone, mixed chorus, piano, 1998 (also version for baritone, mixed chorus, orchestra, 1998)

Into an Unknown Land, female chorus, piano, 1999

Osanna and Benedictus, children's chorus, female chorus, cambiata voices ad libitum, male chorus ad libitum, piano, 1999

Two Windsongs (texts by William D. Sargent, Robert Louis Stevenson), female chorus, piano, 1999

Es Dziedāšu Tam Kungam (text from Psalm 104), mixed chorus, organ, timpani, string orchestra, 1999

Psalm 100 (2 settings), mixed chorus, piano/organ, 2000

Recordare, soprano, alto, tenor, bass, children's chorus, mixed chorus, orchestra, 2000

Te Deum, soprano, tenor, mixed chorus, 3 trumpets, organ, timpani, string orchestra, 2000

Two Visionary Songs (texts by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Mechthild of Magdeburg [English translations]), children's chorus, mixed chorus, piano, 2000

Singet dem Herrn, mixed chorus, 2001

Ave Regina Cælorum, mixed chorus, 3 French horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, organ, timpani, 2001

Hodie Christus Natus Est, mixed chorus, piano/organ, 2001

Like Whispers Gone (text by Janel Goyette), female chorus, flute, piano, 2001

Symphony of Psalms (texts from Psalm 100 [Latin translation], Psalm 130 [German translation], Psalm 51 [Spanish translation], Psalm 104 [Old Church Slavonic translation], Psalm 23 [Hebrew translation], Psalm 139 [French translation], Psalm 133 [Latvian translation], Psalm 24 [English translation], Psalm 150 [Latin translation]), soprano, mezzo-soprano, female chorus/mixed chorus, orchestra, 2001

What Voices in an Unknown Tongue (text by Emily Carr), mezzo-soprano, mixed chorus, viola, 2002

In Widening Circles (8 songs, text by Rainer Maria Rilke [translated by Anita Barrows, Joanna Macy]), mixed chorus, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, harp, organ, timpani, percussion, 2002 (also version of three songs for soprano/tenor, piano)

A Shining Peace (texts by Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon, liturgy of the Anglican Church), mixed chorus, orchestra, 2002

Christmas Lullaby for a New-Born Child (text by Yvonne Gregory), children's chorus, viola, piano, 2002

Let Wilderness Sing (text by Becky Strube), children's chorus, piano, 2002

Lux Æterna, mixed chorus, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, organ, timpani ad libitum, 2002 (also version for mixed chorus, flute, oboe, 2 French horns, trombone, harp, string quartet, 2002)

Two Temples (text by Hattie Vose Hall), mixed chorus, violin, viola, piano/organ, 2002

Victimæ Paschali Laudes, mixed chorus, 2003

Deux Chansons (texts by Ausma Ahmed, Emma Lightstone), children's chorus, piano, 2003

For the Four Winds (text by Lindsay Kesselman), 6 mixed voices, 2003

The Shepherds' Hymn (text by Richard Crashaw), mixed chorus, piano/organ, 2003

Cantus Lauelibilis (text by Irene Leviton), mixed chorus, clarinet, 2004

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (texts from the Book of Jeremiah, Psalm 139), mixed chorus, cello, piano, 2004

To the House of the Bird with the Golden Feathers (texts from traditional sources from Central America [English translations]), mixed chorus, flute, piano, 2004

Līksmojiet, Gavilējiet, Spēlējiet (text from Psalm 98), girls' chorus, organ, 2005

Love Song (text by Rainer Maria Rilke [translated by M. D. Herter Norton]), mixed chorus, violin, 2005

The Peace of Wild Things (texts by e. e. cummings, Wendell Berry, Morton Marcus), soprano, alto, tenor, bass, children's chorus, mixed chorus, orchestra, 2005

There Was a Star Danced (And under That Was I Born) (text by Becky Strube), female chorus, orchestra, 2005

Within the Circles of Our Lives (text by Wendell Berry), mixed chorus, piano, 2005

In the Trail of the Wind, In the Shadow of God (A Cantata of Life) (texts by Rabia Basri, Thích Nhât Hanh, Crowfoot, Wendell Berry, St. Hildegard of Bingen), soprano, alto, tenor, bass, mixed chorus, small orchestra (2 flutes, 2 oboes, bassoon, 3 trumpets, timpani, strings), 2006

Through the Eyes of a Child (text by Susan Falbo), children's chorus, piano, string quartet ad libitum, 2006

Lielā Junda Brāļu Kapos (cantata, text by Kārlis Kurbads), mezzo-soprano, baritone, male chorus, orchestra, 2007 (also version for mezzo-soprano, baritone, male chorus, piano/organ, 2007)

The Lilies of the Field (text from the Book of Matthew), female chorus, organ, 2007

might there be thrushes...? (text by e. e. cummings), mixed chorus, 2007

The Path That Leads to Nowhere (text by Corinne Roosevelt Robinson), female chorus, violin, piano, 2007

Praise the Lord, Ye Dragons and All Deeps (text from Psalm 148 [English translation]), mixed chorus, French horn, organ, percussion, 2007

Under the Baltic Sun (Four Songs of the Sun and the Sea) (texts from folksongs from Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland), mixed chorus, small orchestra (2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets, timpani, strings), 2007

Ziemsvētku Naktī, mixed chorus, piano, 2007 (also version for mixed chorus, flute, oboe, harp, percussion, string orchestra, 2007)

Endless Song (text by Sara K. Astle), mixed chorus, flute/oboe/violin, 2008

Jau Saulīte (text from a folksong from Latgale), youth chorus, 2008

Šiandien man linksma dienelė (Seven Lithuanian Folk Songs of Love and Courtship), mixed chorus, piano, 2008

Empowered by Song (text by Tom Gordon), mixed chorus, orchestra, 2009

In the Old Country of My Heart (text by Agnes Walsh), female chorus, 2009

Unto the Hills (text by Jean H. Mather), mixed chorus, 2 pianos, 2009

The Flame (text by Kerry Gilbert), mixed chorus, piano, 2010

Let the Great Song Come (text by Wendell Berry), mixed chorus, piano, 2010

The Mystical Bond (Songs of Brotherhood) (texts from Psalm 133 [French translation], Rainer Maria Rilke, Alexander Pushkin, Du Fu, Thomas Wolfe, Gabriela Mistral), mixed chorus, harp, string orchestra, 2010

Ode to Music (text by Emmy Zeetsen), female chorus, 2010

Quaternity (A Cantata of Seasons) (text by Becky Strube), soprano, alto, tenor, bass, mixed chorus, orchestra, 2010

Reedsong (text by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī [English translation]), mixed chorus, oboe, 2010


Balada (text by Gabriela Mistral), soprano, flute, violin, cello, piano, 1971

¿Dónde Vais, Zagala? (text by Lope de Vega), soprano, piano, 1971 (also version for soprano, mixed chorus, string orchestra)

English Lessons (text by Boris Pasternak), soprano, 2 flutes, harp (+ piano), string orchestra, 1971

Six Chinese Lyrics (texts by Yun-Kang Tzu, Li Shangyin, an anonymous poet [translated by Jerome P. Seaton, Charles Hartman, Eugene Eoyang, Irving Y. Lo]), alto, flute, oboe, string quartet, 1981

Three Spanish Lyrics (texts by Lope de Vega, Antonio Machado, Gabriela Mistral), soprano, piano, 1982 (also versions for soprano, orchestra, 1988; soprano, string orchestra, 2000)

most this amazing day (Four Lyrics of e. e. cummings), mezzo-soprano, piano, 1984

Saeta Que Voladora (Three Poems of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer), medium voice, piano, 1984

In the night we shall go in (text by Pablo Neruda [translated by Donald D. Walsh]), medium voice, cello, piano, 1986 (also versions for mixed chorus, cello, piano; mixed chorus, cello, string orchestra)

Of Mothers and Children (Five Irish Lyrics) (texts by Freda Laughton, Patrick Pearse [translated by Thomas MacDonagh], Padraic Colum, Edward Walsh, Francis Ledwidge), soprano, piano, 1993

The Pilgrim Soul (text by William Butler Yeats), baritone, piano, 2000

In Widening Circles, soprano/tenor, piano, 2002 (version of three songs from choral work)

Kas Spēj Gaismu Šķilt (text by Ingrīda Vīksna), bass-baritone, string orchestra, 2004

Field Notes, mezzo-soprano, piano, 2010 (section of Field Notes; may be performed separately)


Three Temperaments, 1997

An Amber Sheaf of Songs (Five Latvian Folk Songs), 2005

Morning, 2010 (section of Field Notes; may be performed separately)

Balsamroot and Sage, 2010 (section of Field Notes; may be performed separately)

Suite Soleil, 2010


Prelude and Fugue, 1992


Jingle Bells (James Pierpont), mixed chorus, orchestra, 1980

Abendsegen from Hänsel und Gretel (Engelbert Humperdinck), string orchestra, 1990


A Northwest Trilogy. Jon Washburn/Vancouver Chamber Choir (CBC Records: SMCD 5097)

Songs of the Lights (set 2); Song (And I think over again); The Great Sea; Come My Light; Ave Maria; Ave, Verum Corpus (original version); Magnificat No. 1. Sandra Graham, mezzo-soprano; Jon Washburn/Vancouver Chamber Choir, CBC Radio Orchestra (CBC Records: SMCD 5116)

Missa brevis (version for soprano, female chorus, orchestra); Along the Flower Trail; Alleluia, Amen (original version); Ubi Caritas; What Voices in an Unknown Tongue. Jon Washburn/Vancouver Chamber Choir (CBC Records: SMCD 5219)

In the night we shall go in (version for mixed chorus, cello, piano); Psalm 121 (original version); Smile, o voluptuous cool-breathed Earth. Jon Washburn/Vancouver Chamber Choir (Centrediscs: CMCCD 4893)

Ave, Verum Corpus (original version). Chad Stride/Cantus Vocum Chamber Choir (FMDC: 4609)

Cantate Domino (original version). Stuart Laughton, trumpet; Jean Ashworth Bartle/Toronto Children's Chorus, members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Marquis Classics: MAR 199)

Ave, Verum Corpus (original version). John Tuttle/Exultate Chamber Singers (ND: 0191)