Until Desember 15, 2014, choirs from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Faroe Islands are invited to apply for participation in the VIII Nordic - Baltic Choral Festival. The Nordic - Baltic Choral Festival will take place from 25 to 28 June 2015, in Riga and different regions of Latvia. In 2015 the Festival tradition celebrates its 20th anniversary – during this period of time these Festivals have been held in all the states involved in the tradition. In the anniversary year Latvia is entitled to organize it once again. ‘Latvia is a superpower of song. This is demonstrated by the Song Festival tradition with its more than 140-year long history during which Latvians have cultivated a capella choir singing at a very high level. And every five years, meeting in the Latvian Song and Dance Celebration, there is created one of the most sonorous united choirs in the world. The name of Latvia is regularly heard in the world in connection with the outstanding achievements of our choirs in various international competitions.
In summer of 2014 the World Choir Games took place in Latvia. Riga hosted 20,000 choir singers from all around the world. And also next year each member of the Festival will have the opportunity to experience the wonder created by thousands of voices in the united choir on the Grand Stage of Mežaparks‘ the organizers of the Festival invite. Taking into account the fact that during the period from January 1 to June 30, 2015 Latvia holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the final concert of the Festival on June 28 on Mežaparks’ Grand Stage will be the final event of the public diplomacy and Culture programme of the Presidency in Latvia.
Members of the Festival traditionally are about 8,000 singers from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Latvian diaspora choirs from Europe and other countries, as well as choirs from Italy (Presidency of the Council of the European Union before Latvia) and Luxembourg (Presidency of the Council of the European Union after Latvia) will also take part in the Festival of 2014.
The tradition of the Nordic - Baltic Choral Festival was established in 1995 with the aim of bringing together amateur choirs from Nordic and Baltic countries, cultivating the tradition of singing together that is characteristic of Song and Dance Festivals, including a cappella performance, which until then has been characteristic only of the Baltic countries. The author of the Festival idea is the distinguished conductor Imants Kokars. The first Nordic - Baltic Choral Festival took place in Latvia, in Riga. In the following years the Festivals were organized in Gotland, Sweden (1997), Skien, Norway (2000), Klaipeda, Lithuania (2002), Tartu, Estonia (2008), Reykjavik, Iceland (2010), and Helsinki, Finland (2012).
The preparation and organization of the VIII Nordic - Baltic Choral Festival is done by the Latvian Ministry of Culture and the National Centre for Culture in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Secretariat of the Latvian Presidency in the EU Council, Ministry of Interior, the State Police and the State Fire and Rescue Service, the Ministry of Health and Emergency Medical Services, Latvian local authorities, Latvian Television and Latvian Radio, non-governmental organizations, as well as the Nordic-Baltic organizations.
Application form available on the Festival website:
for Latvian choirs http://www.nordicbalticchoir.lv/dalibniekiem/pieteikties/
for foreign choirs www.nordicbalticchoir.lv/en/participants/apply/