15 000 singers on stage in Riga Mežaparks ©Riga 2014/Kaspars Garda
European Choir Games 2017

Latvia – The Singing Nation

Singing is a fascinating part of the country’s national identity

Every nation has a cultural identity, and it’s not overconfident to say that Latvia has one of the most beautiful: Singing. It’s a huge part of the Latvian identity and singing is what most Latvians just do. During the “Singing Revolution” it was the country’s most important unifying force and it kept being a great cultural phenomenon until today. Every five years the famous Latvian Song & Dance Festival attracts people from all ages and from all over the country, thousands of them gather in Riga’s Mezaparks at the Grand Stage which holds over 10 000 singers as well as space for more than 40 000 spectators. The 10 000 voices concert is a national event every time and still a great example of what’s possible when people get together to sing.

Singing in Latvia is everywhere. Choral singing is part of music education in schools for generations, the country has a great treasure of national folk songs everybody knows, appreciates and likes to sing whenever there’s the opportunity to do it.

A great example was The Great Celebration Concerts of the World Choir Games 2014 where 10 000 Latvian Voices performed at the Open Air Stage in Mežaparks together with international choirs. They rehearsed the whole day for the evening concert and the also the whole day it was raining cats and dogs. Latvians were all dressed in national costumes, which became evermore heavier due to the water falling from the sky. But who cares? Not the Latvian singers. “They’re fine, they can sing,” people said and were right – the concert was one of the musical and emotional highlights of the World Choir Games 2014 despite bad weather, which also aired on Latvian National Television. Get an impression of the concert here: 

Following a fantastic World Choir Games edition in 2014 there’s no better host for the upcoming Grand Prix of Nations & 3rd European Choir Games 2017. Welcome to Riga, welcome to Latvia, the country of singers. Let’s sing in Riga, again!

More information regarding participation and registration can be found here.