Folk Music in Latvia

For the past few days I have been enjoying the Nordtrad Borderlands conference of folk music in Riga, Latvia. On Monday I gave a presentation with Keld Hosbond for this conference on the new Nordic international-collaborative Master of Global Music (GLOMAS) program. I have been quite impressed here by the work done by Anda Beitane and her colleagues at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music to document and support the sustenance of Latvian traditional songs.

The following is an announcement of this conference from the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy website (http://www.jvlma.lv/english/news/19354.html):

NORDTRAD conference in Riga

Borderlands conference of teachers and students of the Nordtrad network of traditional music study programmes of Baltic and Nordic countries will take place from March 26 to 31 at Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music. The conference will feature three public performances, multitude of lectures, masterclasses and seminars for teachers, other musical performances as well as events for information and experience exchange.

Nordtrad network of traditional music study programmes unites 16 higher education institutions of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and since 2008 also includes the Ethnomusicology Class of Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music. Traditional music teachers and students of these countries each spring meet at a conference that in a short period of time through masterclasses, lectures, concerts, teachers’ seminars, ensemble musicianship and other activities provides an excellent opportunity to analyze the profiles of all institutions, strengths, novelties and current issues of the field. This year the conference will take place in Riga - during the previous conferences Latvian traditional music has generated substantial interest within the networking institutions. For Latvia it is a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the music education system of the Nordic countries and to demonstrate its own music in all its diversity.

Listeners are welcome to the three concerts of the conference!

* March 27th, 7PM at JVLMA Great Hall - concert of cross-institutional master’s level study programme Nordic Master students and Nordtrad students.
* March 28th, 7PM at JVLMA Great Hall – continuation of Nordtrad students’ concert.
* March 29th, 7PM at Spīķeri Concert Hall - concert of Nordtrad teachers.

Entrance to these events is free, donations are accepted.

The conference will also feature lectures by ethnomusicologists Mārtiņš Boiko (Latvia), Daiva Vyčinienė (Lithuania) and Timo Leisiö (Finland), as well as masterclasses in Haiti music (Sten Källman, Sweden), Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and Finnish traditional singing (Zane Šmite, Daiva Vyčinienė, Janika Oras, Celia Roose, Sirkka Kosonen), kokle performance (Valdis Muktupāvels), Latvian and Lithuanian traditional instrumental music performance (Gunārs Igaunis, Evaldas Vyčinas) as well as Finnish diatonic accordion performance (Antti Paalanen). In frames of the conference students from the participating institutions will form ensembles and study the borderlands repertoire of all involved countries. Teachers will lead seminars, sharing their experiences on issues of traditional singing and ensemble tuition as well as ethnomusicology education of the participating countries. New master’s level study programmes Nordic Master and Gloma will be presented.

Borderlands conference is supported by the State Culture Capital Fund.

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