Santa Bušs (*1981) studied at the Alfrēds Kalniņš Cēsis College of Music (1996–2001) in the piano class of Inta Kārkliņa and the organ class of Lelde Krastiņa, and studied composition with Līga Liepiņa-Kaņepe. She continued her studies at the Latvian Academy of Music, where she graduated from the music theory class of Jeļena Ļebedeva, and in parallel studied in the composition class of Arturs Maskats. In 2009, she received her Master’s Degree, graduating from the composition class of Rolands Kronlaks. Santa Bušs also studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg (2005–2006) with Manfred Stahnke (composition) and Georg Hajdu (multimedia composition). She supplemented her studies with 30+ master courses with renowned composers, as well as been part of the Jerwood Opera Writing Programme (2014–2015, UK), New Music Incubator (2015–2016, Croatia/Belgium), Composers LAB Heritage & Modernity (2016, Egypt), ENOA/Helsinki Festival’s Music Theatre Creation Lab (2016, Finland), Women Opera Makers Workshop supervised by Katie Mitchell (2016–2017, organized by Festival d’Aix, France), Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg’s TalentLAB#18 (2018), and the Central and Eastern European Countries Composers Field Trip in China (2018).
Santa Bušs actively works in the field of music research and journalism, writing about music and art. In 2003, she was awarded 1st Place in the Young Music Journalist Competition. In 2004, her book Lexicon of Opera Librettos was published. In 2008, Santa Bušs received a DAAD stipend for study at the Bayreuth Summer University in Germany. Her music has been played in many new music festivals over the world. She has an ongoing collaboration with writer and director Fxxx Bxxxxx, currently developing opera Speak Red. Bušs has been head of ISCM Latvian section (2013–2017).
Santa Bušs: “Music is the common denominator of all the senses. It can be scented like a fragile and intoxicating fragrance, it can be tasted like an excellent wine or an everyday meal, it can be physically touched and felt, emotionally experienced and can tickle the nerves like the most engaging game of sport, or calm like a powerful sermon, and, at any moment, can be heard and listened to. Composing is a condition of an acute expression of all these senses, balancing on the border of the conscious and the subconscious, a confusion of inscrutable mysticism and rational intellect.”