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Sounds of Latvia


Fri 16 Nov 2018, 7:00pm–9:30pm

Where: Elder Hall, University of Adelaide, North Tce, Adelaide CBD, South Australia

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $45.00
  • Pensioner/Unemployed: $35.00
  • Student/Child: $15.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: Lyn1xnt

Many Latvians regard the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century as a time of national cultural awakening, a classical era of Latvian culture that began in parallel with the emerging Latvian nationalist movements. The first National Song Festival, a significant event that celebrated Latvia’s cultural heritage, was held in Rīga during the summer of 1873. It involved 1,003 singers and 30 musicians. At its heart was Latvia’s tradition of choral singing—a combination of church music, folk songs and the growing output of Latvian poets. Despite world wars and foreign occupation, the Festival has continued and become one of the largest amateur choral events in the world and an important event in Latvian culture and social life.

2018 is the centenary of the Republic of Latvia, and this year in July the Song Festival brought together 16,500 singers to perform folk songs and classical choir songs. In recognition of this anniversary the Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus, conducted by Aldis Sils, will present a concert of works from more than 150 years of Latvian choral tradition.

The program will present choral works from the 1893 and 2018 festivals, favourites from composers in exile and new works by contemporary composers. The concert will begin with the Australian premiere of Victors Baštiks’ Rekviems, a work that combines biblical texts and Latvian poetry with Latvian folk music references to the fallen heroes of the war of Latvian Independence 1918–1923.

Also included is the Song Festival March, composed by Andrejs Jurjāns. The March was inspired by God Bless Latvia, the present day Latvian national anthem that he heard as a young choir singer in the first Latvian Song Festival in 1873.

The Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus will be joined by soloists Bethany Hill (soprano) and Alex Roose (bass). The Marryatville High School Symphony Orchestra will accompany the Chorus in Jāzeps Vītols’ heroic cantata The Bard of Beverin and play other Latvian orchestral works.