Riga an Ideal Place for World Choir Games – “Interkultur” President

Riga an Ideal Place for World Choir Games – “Interkultur” President
Kaspars Garda, Riga 2014 . Günter Titsch
The first part of the World Choir Games is over and many choirs are already heading home, but in the coming days, more choirs will arrive in Riga to participate in the competition. From the organisational standpoint, the first week of the festival passed without a hitch, and is remarkable for Latvian choirs’ highly successful performances. Günter Titsch, the President at “Interkultur” (Germany) – the organiser of the World Choir Games, emphasises that Riga is an ideal place to host such a major choir singing event thanks to both the well-developed infrastructure and the beautiful concert halls.

“I am greatly surprised and very pleased at the opening ceremony, the multiple concerts performed to capacity audiences, and especially at the high quality of performances by Latvian choirs,” the “Interkultur” President told the media representatives on Monday, the 14th of July, thanking in particular the Riga public for being proud and happy about the World Choir Games taking place in their city.

“That is why I am very happy that the three Baltic nations – Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians – are the recipients of the first World Choir Games Peace Prize. The goal of the World Choir Games is to unite nations and countries that are not always friendly to each other. Our objective is to be, and sing, together, and that is the message at the heart of the Peace Prize. We presented the Prize to the Baltic countries for their contribution to maintaining and preserving the tradition of choir singing,” Günter Titsch said of the special Peace Prize that was bestowed for the first time on the Mežaparks Open-Air Stage on Sunday, the 13th of July.

“The concert in Mežaparks came as a great surprise to all of us, it was highly praised by a lot of participant countries right after the concert ended.

That is why I believe that such concerts must become a permanent tradition at the World Choir Games in the future,” suggested the head of “Interkultur”.

All Rigans and guests of the city are also invited to concerts during the second part of the World Choir Games, where choirs will compete in such categories as jazz, folklore, pop music and others.

Following the first week of the World Choir Games, Ralf Eisenbeiß, a Member of the Artistic Committee of the 8th World Choir Games, emphasises the high artistic quality of the concerts and the obvious improvements in choirs’ performance.

“In the Champions Competition, where winners were announced in every category to later perform in two impressive Champions Concerts, we also handed out 109 gold medals. It means that most choirs participating in the competition earned the highest recognition. This illustrates the continuing development of the World Choir Games. In every category there was fierce competition among the choirs, there were a lot of participants, and such high results prove the high artistic quality of the event,” Ralf Eisenbeiß told media representatives.

“This week, too, there will be tough competition during the concerts. The choirs will not be as large as during the first week, when we saw choirs with 120 singers perform on the stage. This week we will be judging choirs in the categories of gospel music, folklore and jazz. Another pinnacle not to be missed is popular music choirs, yet another very special group of choirs is the young children’s choirs made up of children under the age of 12,” said the World Choir Games’ Artistic Committee member.

He also emphasised the Musica Contemporanea category, recommending music lovers that it was not to be missed:

“When we invited applications for this category, we decided that choirs would have to perform one world premiere. That means we will hear twenty world premieres in this competition category, which signifies and asserts the development of choir music in the future.”

“If you do not wish to attend the competitions, go see the Friendship Concerts, Celebration Concerts and other special events. These include the Closing Ceremony on the 19th of July, where choirs from Latvia and other countries will meet,” said the “Interkultur” representatives.

A full programme of the World Choir Games concerts and master classes is available on www.singriga.lv.

As reported, the World Choir games in Riga will continue until the 19th of July. Choir competitions are held in the various Riga concert halls every day, and there are daily Friendship Concerts on four open-air stages in the city: at the Esplanade, in Vērmanes Park, on the “Origo Summer Stage” and in the Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia.

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