RPIVA Visit and Balta Performance
Here are links from my recent lecture “Music Education Around the World” in Latvia at the Riga Teaching Training and Educational Management Academy (RPIVA), as well as a seminar in which I was advising the university’s PhD students in music:
RPIVA is a very stimulating environment, with a lot of research activity, and Riga is a pleasant city bustling with music. During my residency I had a chance to see a stunning performance by the institution’s extraordinary women’s choir Balta, and to perform with musicians in Riga’s fine jazz scene, attend a final doctoral defense (disputation), and meet with various music scholars.
Balta truly seems to be one of the most outstanding women’s choirs in the world today. I look forward to seeing them perform again. Here is some information about Balta from the RPIVA website:
"BALTA is founded in 1999. Artistic director and conductor of the choir is Prof. Dr. Mara Marnauza. Pianist – Laimrota Kriumane. Students of Music teacher program, other programs and students and graduates from other universities are the members of the choir. Choir BALTA has participated with a great success in 4 International competitions.
• Choir took the 1st prize in female choir category and Grand prix in X International choir competition in Budapest (Hungary) in 2005.
• BALTA took the 1st prize in Female choir category, the 3rd place in Folk music category and the special prize of jury for bright interpretation of J.Tamulonis “The Sea” in International competition for Universities' choirs in Pardubice (Czech Republic) in 2002.
• Choir took the 3rd prize in International choir competition of Franz Schubert in Vienna (Austria) in 2000.
• BALTA took the 3rd place in International choir competition in Klaipeda (Lithuania) in 1999.
The choir has improved vocal and artistic master hood in several master-classes of famous conductors such as English conductor and composer Bob Chilcot and Czech conductor Alexander Vacek and American composer and conductor Arthur Maud. BALTA has successfully toured coming to the front and acquiring the acknowledgement from professional musicians and reviewers as well as from the public in Latvia and abroad (Germany, Norway, Austria, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Poland, Spain, Germany etc.). There are original pieces of Latvian classical and modern composers, Latvian folk music, music of various styles and periods by different world composers – from renaissance to jazz - in the repertoire of BALTA. First CD of BALTA “Sparks of Light” is recorded in 2003 in Riga 's Sound record studio. In the future BALTA is looking forward to new programs, joining highly professional singing, stage choreography and direction."