Primarily being an oboist, Normunds Šnē has become one of the most important Latvian conductors at the present time. In the late 1980’s he established the Riga Chamber Players group and, some years later, The Riga Festival Orchestra. With Normunds as the conductor and artistic director, they were responsible for a large number of contemporary music premieres in Latvia; the audiences in Riga were able to hear the masterpieces by Messiaen (Turgangalîla-Symphonie), Scelsi (Uaxuctum), Berio (Sinfonia) and other 20th century greats performed live for the first time. Since 2006 he is the musical director of the Chamber Orchestra Sinfonietta Riga. From season to season they have blended avant-garde compositions with a wide range of Baroque music, Vienna classics, and Romanticism in an extravagant and daring way, building up a devoted and open-minded audience. Their musicianship has been awarded a Grammy Award and recurrently – the Latvian Great Music Award. Normunds has had an extended collaboration with Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and Liepaja Symphony Orchestra; he has stood on the podiums of Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, Ostrobothnian Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, and Latvian National Opera. He is a nine-time recipient of the Latvian Great Music Award. He has shared the stage with distinguished world-renowned soloists. Among them are Peter Donahoe, Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Behzod Abduraimov, Patrick Gallois, Yevgeny Sudbin, Marc Bouchkov, Elīna Garanča, David Geringas, Tatyana Grindenko, Natalia Gutman, Gidon Kremer, Christian Lindberg, Truls Mjørk, Crispian Steele-Perkins, Terje Rypdal, Mstislav Rostropovich, Peter Erskine, Evelyn Glennie, Joe Zawinul, Valdis Zariņš and many others. Together with Sinfonietta Riga, he continues to explore the never-ending contemporary music scene, including regular commissions for new chamber symphonies from Latvian composers.
Normunds studied conducting with Maestro Jorma Panula in Amsterdam, Professor Yuri Simonov in Budapest and Miskolc, and Professor Imants Resnis in Riga.