Stage Rehearsal in Arena Riga © INTERKULTUR

Thanks for a fantastic festival week

Grand Prix of Nations Riga 2017 & 3rd European Choir Games come to a festive close

European Choir Games 2017

“Why do all good things come to end….?” is a question also asked by many choral singers who attended the Grand Prix of Nations Riga 2017 & 3rd European Choir Games. But before the grand finale all choral music lovers gathered on July 23d, 2017 at the Arena Riga to celebrate one last time the sounds of choir music.

The Closing Ceremony was opened with a traditional Latvian Song Kas dziedaja janu nakti which was performed by the Festival Stage Choir and the Orchestra and directed by Latvian conductor Romans Vanags. After a short emotional overview of the past days Uldis Marhilevičs presented the official song of the event once more: Crossing the Bridges. Then the entry of the nations started with a fanfare and the presentation of the flags.

Afterwards Günter Titsch called John Rutter on stage: The British composer was announced Honorary Artistic President of INTERKULTUR in March this year and was now awarded the official certificate of appointment. John Rutter’s piece “For the Beauty of the Earth”, conducted by the composer himself, was a fantastic addition to this ceremony.

After a presentation of Tshwane as the next host city of the World Choir Games, a body percussion of an African Rainstorm and the song Africa by David Paich was performed by the Festival Stage Choir and the orchestra, directed by South African conductor Marvin Kernelle, and gave the choral community an idea of what to expect musically in 2018.

The Festival Stage Choir, consisting of app. 800 international singers, concluded the show with a medley from the world famous Swedish group “ABBA”, directed by Swedish conductor Fred Sjöberg. A wonderful homage to the upcoming host of the Grand Prix of Nations & European Choir Games in 2019: Gothenburg, Sweden!

The Fanfare of the Games by Zigmars Liepinš officially closed the ceremony and sent the singers off home with new impressions, new friendships and new songs from an inspiring choral week in Riga.

For more impressions from the past festival week in Riga, check out the official event page on Facebook.