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The Singers of Sōla and Latvian Voices to be Ambassadors of Riga – European Capital of Culture at the World Choir Games in the USA

From July 4 – 14, Latvia will represented at the World Choir Games in Cincinnati, USA by Sōla, the mixed choir of the Latvian Academy of Culture, and the Latvian Voices a capella vocal group, as well as representatives of the Foundation Rīga|2014 team.

This year, over 15,000 singers from 75 countries will gather in Cincinnati. A total of 370 choirs will compete in 23 different categories. The Sōla choir and Latvian Voices will take part in competitions in several categories. The World Choir Games is the world’s largest choral singing event, bringing together choral music leaders from around the world to celebrate and promote the choral music traditions of each participating country.

To begin active preparation for the next Choir Games, which – as already reported – will take place in 2014 as part of Riga’s year as European Capital of Culture, a team from Foundation Rīga|2014 are also heading to Cincinatti. Its aim is to introduce Riga as the next venue of the World Choir Games, as well as to gain experience helpful for the organization of the Games in Riga, when the city will host over 20,000 singers from around the world, bringing joy to choral music fans throughout Latvia. The World Choir Games will be one of the most significant events on the European Capital of Culture programme, creating great international resonance.

During the Games, the Sōla choir and the a capella vocal group Latvian Voices will be ambassadors of Riga – European Capital of Culture 2014, taking part in events presenting Riga and Latvia to choir conductors and the council of the World Choir Games, made up of authorities on choral music from 80 countries. The representatives of Rīga|2014 will join the singers at a special Riga stand, created as a meeting place for choir singers from around the world – holding an improvised libary and showing films about Riga, Latvia, and the Song Festival tradition.

Latvian Minister of Culture Žaneta Jaunzeme-Grende and Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs will also visit the USA. They have a meeting planned with the Mayor of Cincinnati, Mark Mallroy, President of the German Interkultur (organizers of the World Choir Games) Günter Titsch, and media representatives.

The first World Choir Games took place in Linz, Austria in 2000, with the aim of promoting understanding and peace among nations through song, uniting both professional and amateur choirs from all over the world in a friendly competition, regardless of continent or musical genre. 10 years ago, maestro Imants Kokars was invited to the join the council of the World Choir games, and during his time he made a great effort to bring the Games to Latvia. Since 2008, his work on the council is continued by conductor Romāns Vanags, also joined since this year by Mārtiņš Klišāns. A number of choirs from Latvia have taken part in the World Choir Games – Balsis, Gaudeamus, Absolventi and others. In the World Choir Games in China in 2006, the Kamēr choir came in a strong first place.

Information prepared by -
Renāte Franke
Foundation Rīga|2014
World Choir Games public relations project manager 
Mob. +371 26232823
e-mail: renate.franke@riga2014.org


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