Born Sept. 9 (21), 1881, in Riga; died Jan. 26, 1949, in Riga. Latvian singer (dramatic tenor) and social activist. People’s Artist of the Latvian SSR (1944). Member of the CPSU from 1940.
Bérziņš studied singing in Riga, Copenhagen, and Berlin. He began his stage career as a chorus member and dramatic actor in the Riga theaters. He made his debut as an opera singer in Riga in 1903. He participated in the Revolution of 1905–07. After 1908, Bérziņš toured abroad (mainly in Germany). He became a solist with the Latvian Theater of Opera and Ballet (Riga) in 1919, playing leading roles. He enjoyed particular success in the operas of Wagner. After 1940 he taught at the Latvian Conservatory (Riga), and he became manager and artistic director of the Latvian Theater of Opera and Ballet in 1944. Bérziņš was awarded the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Star, and a medal.
REFERENCEGrinfelds, N., and Zālīte, M. Rudolfs Bérziņš. Riga, 1958.