On March 14, in the Spīķeri Concert Hall the monumental Latvia's Centenary project “Latvian Crown” was launched. The project consists of four grand concert shows that will take place across Latvia's four cultural regions. The audience was treated to an exceptional performance participating Latgalian musicians and priests and Latvian Radio Choir – the rehearsal of the concert show “Sounds And Scriptures” representing the Crown of Latgale.
The show's première will take place on April 22 at the concert hall GORS, The Embassy of Latgale in Rēzekne, Latvia. The Crown of Kurzeme will be presented as a gala concert “Blow, Ye Winds”, the Crown of Vidzeme will take the form of a musical exhibition “A Mountain Will Arise”, and, finally, the Crown of Zemgale will find its voice in the cinema-concert “In The Tides Of History”.
“The concert cycle “Latvian Crown” is one-of-a-kind present to Latvia on its centenary. Sigvards Kļava has gathered brilliant, accomplished creative individuals, and encouraged them to use different disciplines of art – academic and folk music, as well as visual arts and film as accompaniments to music. The overarching programme will begin with the tale of Latgale and finish in the fertile and sonorous Zemgale. The project also wonderfully demonstrates the role of art patronage – it has been created with the support from the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation. Thanks to their charity, at the end of Latvia's Centenary celebration an even greater present awaits Latvian public – namely, the contemporary art museum that will open its doors in 2021,” said the Minister for Culture of Latvia Dace Melbārde.
The organizer of the project, VSIA “Latvijas Koncerti” board member Guntars Ķirsis added: “Most of all I want to highlight the contribution of Sigvards Kļava, who is the author of this idea. That is the basis of it all. Funding, equipment, management is important, of course – but without the underlying idea, their purpose is lost. I am also immensely grateful to our regional partners – without their help and investment, this project would not be possible.”
The idea dreamed up by the artistic director of Latvian Radio Choir, conductor Sigvards Kļava consists of four conceptually distinct musical crowns that would showcase the particularities, the heritage and the aura of each historic region of Latvia through the most precious lens – that of the local residents. The unique cultural heritage of Latgale with its idiosyncratic traditional music, the power of the sea weaved in the everyday life of Kurzeme, the national strand and symbolic patriotic space of Vidzeme and the open horizon of Zemgale, bringing to confluence the rivulets of souls.
The series will start with a concert show dedicated to Latgale, “Sounds And Scriptures”, which will be first performed on April 22 in Rēzekne. The concert will bring together folk songs and the Holy Bible, ethnomusicians and priests, live voices and archival recordings. It is based on the excerpts from the work of Andrivs Jūrdžs, Latgalian author, publisher and the most prominent producer and distributor of hand-written literature that was disseminated across Latgale during the prohibition of Latvian and Lagalian book printing at the end of the 19th century.
Sigvards Kļava remarked about his long-cherished project: “I cannot stop marvelling about our nation, adoring our people! Our wells are so deep, and the water they bring to the surface is so life-affirming and refreshing. (..) And if we would bring the four regions together, the scene might turn out even more stunning than we can imagine sitting here in Riga.”
The project will come to reality as 16 concert shows that during the next two years will cycle through four Latvian concert halls: GORS – The Embassy of Latgale, Cēsis Concert Hall, Jelgava Culture House and the “Great Amber” concert hall in Liepāja. With the participation of Latvian Radio Choir, the crown of each region will be created by a different artistic and creative team, including Inese Mičule, Reinis Suhanovs, Roberts Rubīns, Māris Sirmais, Inese Zandere, Katrīna Neiburga, Guna Kalnača, Jānis Mitrēvics, the State Academic Choir "Latvija", Latvian Radio Big Band, Liepāja Symphony Orchestra and others.
The dedicated webpage of the project, latvijasgredzens.lv, containing the latest news and information will be open from April 1.
Tickets available at the "Biļešu Paradīze" ticket counters and online at bilesuparadize.lv
The project "Latvian Crown" is organized by VSIA "Latvijas Koncerti", in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of Latvia and the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation, State Culture Capital Foundation, GORS – The Embassy of Latgale and the city of Rēzekne, Cēsis Concert Hall and the city of Cēsis, Jelgava municipality institution “Culture” and the “Great Amber” concert hall in Liepāja.