World Choir Games in Latvia
Riga designated as host city
The European Capital of Culture 2014 welcomes choirs from all over the world to Latvia. After China in 2010 and the United States of America this year, the world's largest choral competition will be back in Europe. This has officially been announced at a press conference held in Riga last Wednesday.
On February 29, 2012 contracts designating Riga as host city of the 8th World Choir Games were officially signed in Riga. Another bridge of music has been built. Representatives from culture and economy from Latvian side confirmed the contract by signature, for INTERKULTUR it was signed by President Günter Titsch.
Žaneta Jaunzeme-Grende, Minister of Culture said in great anticipation of the largest international choral competition: “The Latvian people know the immense power and value of song; therefore the World Choir Games will be a very welcomed event, which will bring about not only positive emotions, but also a true artistic and professional interest.” Jaunzeme-Grende is convinced that the host country will be represented by a big number of singers and ends with the words: “and I will be among them!”
According to Daniels Pavļuts, Minister of Economics the World Choir Games 2014 is another great opportunity for Latvia to show its strong singing traditions and culture to the other nations all around the world and he continued that it would be a great success for Riga as the European Capital of Culture.
This was also confirmed by Nils Ušakovs, Chairman of the Rīga City Council and he emphasized: “We are glad for the wonderful opportunity to host the World Choir Games 2014 and I can assure that the city will do everything possible in order to make both the singers as well as listeners feel comfortable here and take the best memories from Riga!”
After the signing ceremony Günter Titsch said gladly: “INTERKULTUR and I personally are very proud to combine Latvian choral traditions with an international choral competition – the World Choir Games. More than 90 Latvian choirs have travelled to sing in past INTERKULTUR events. Now the competition will come to your country and bring voices of the world to sing together.”
Latvia has a strong tradition in singing. Since 1873 the unique “Song and Dance Festival” has been purposefully maintained and is included in the list of UNESCO Intagible Cultural Heritages.
The 8th World Choir Games will be organized in collaboration with, among others, the Riga 2014 Foundation. The foundation was established by the municipality of the city of Riga to provide for the development and running of the culture events of Riga as the European Capital of Culture 2014. Diana Čivle, Director of the Riga 2014 Foundation, praised the work of INTERKULTUR in bringing together different cultures of music. The World Choir Games helps people around the world to enjoy singing together and thus creating the atmosphere for cultural diversity in an Olympic spirit. “The World Choir Games strengthen human values and unity. Riga and our team are ready to start working on it.”
The World Choir Games involves amateur choirs, both adult and youth, competing in more than 20 categories including gospel, jazz, contemporary, folk, religious and popular choir music. It will be held from July 9 to 19, 2014 in the city of Riga, Latvia.
Riga, the 2014 European Capital of Culture has convinced when competing with e.g. Bali (Indonesia), Cape Town (South Africa), Melbourne (Australia) and Sotchi (Russian Federation).
Details on venues and more information will be published soon on our website. The 7th World Choir Games are taking place in Cincinnati USA this year. Also choirs from Latvia are expected to take part.