Brauns, one of Latvia's best-loved musical figures, celebrated his 70th birthday in September. He was born in Riga to a family of doctors and studied at the Emīls Dārziņš Music High School in the piano class, choir and choral conducting classes, and at the Department of Music Theory, where he also studied composition.
In 1970, he began studying at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian State Conservatory, graduating in 1975.
Mārtiņš Brauns became known to the wider public as a member and leader of various music ensembles and groups, but the most productive years of his work were related to the group “Sīpoli” – regarded as one of the best Latvian bands of all time. He also enjoyed a stint as the head of the music department of the Latvian National Theater, and composed numerous works for stage and cinema as well as concert hall and choir.
His best-known work is "Sun, Thunder, Daugava", which was written for a production of Rainis' poem "Daugava" at the Valmiera Theater. It established itself as part of the national canon and is regarded by many as a sort of second national anthem.
Our condolences to his many friends, family and colleagues.