Pēteris Vasks was born the son of a minister 16th April 1946 in Aizpute (Latvia). He attended the Riga Music School and the Lithuanian College of Music in Vilnius where he studied double bass with V. Sereike until 1970. From 1973 to 1978 he studied composition with Valentinus Utkins at the Latvian College of Music in Riga. From 1963 to 1974 Pēteris Vasks was a member of various Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. Pēteris Vasks works as a freelance composer in Riga.
During his studies Vasks took an interest in both early and contemporary music, the techniques of which he has at his command and applies. He has also introduced traditional and folk elements of Latvian music into his compositions. His works usually have programmatic titles relating to events in Nature, but with Vasks it is not a question of poetic praise of nature or a portrayal of the countryside as an aesthetic ideal. The reciprocal relationship between Nature and Man, the beauty of life and the threat of ecological and moral destruction of these values, these are the themes which Vasks takes up and depicts musically in his most recent compositions.