Educational lecture on music in contemporary Latvia

Educational lecture on music in contemporary Latvia

On Tuesday, 16 May at 18.00 we will conclude the series of educational lectures “Amber Musical Conversations Club”, organised by Liepāja Concert Hall “Great Amber”, which taught adults about the history of Latvian music. We welcome you to join us for the last session, both in person and online, where we will discuss the diverse Latvian music landscape in the 21st century. The lecture will be moderated by the series creator, Baiba Kurpniece, a lecturer at the Musicology Department of Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (JVLMA) and Artistic Producer of the “Sinfonietta Rīga”.

The lecture is open both in person, by attending the meeting in the Chamber Hall of the concert hall “Great Amber”, and by viewing it live from anywhere in the world on the digital platform Participation is free of charge.

The contemporary Latvian music landscape is diverse and fragmented, with several coexisting generations of composers. Pēteris Vasks, Juris Karlsons, Georgs Pelēcis, etc. Alongside them, there are also their former students, who add stylistically new colours to the bigger picture. The core of this generation are Andris Dzenītis, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Jānis Petraškevičs, Mārtiņš Viļums, Santa Ratniece, Gundega Šmite. The contribution of the younger generation – Platons Buravickis, Jēkabs Jančevskis, Krists Auznieks, Linda Leimane – is equally versatile.

“Composers have taken a range of approaches – neo-romanticism, new simplicity, new complexity, electronic music, and the search for new timbral possibilities, all of them describe Latvian music today as a colourful experimental field. The Latvian music life is also surprisingly rich and intense – the abundance of concerts, plenty of festivals and the public’s keen interest in music. We are open to the world and appreciated by it!” says Baiba Kurpniece, introducing the features of the modern age.

Baiba Kurpniece holds a Master of Arts degree in Musicology. Since 1997 she has been teaching at the JVLMA, leading the contemporary music studies course. From 1998 to 2007 she held the positions of Director of the “Rīgas kamermūziķi”, “Sinfonietta Rīga” and project “Riga Festival Orchestra”, whereas since 2008 she is the Artistic Producer of “Sinfonietta Rīga” and since 2010 the Artistic Director of the Autumn Chamber Music Festival organised by VSIA “Latvijas koncerti”. Along with composers Pēteris Vasks and Andris Dzenītis, conductors Normunds Šnē, Sigvards Kļava and Kaspars Putniņš, Baiba Kurpniece is one of the architects of the new music festival “Arena”.

Those who will be attending the lecture in person are invited to join a social gathering at the end of the evening to celebrate the end of the “Amber Musical Conversations Club”. Attendees having participated in at least 5 of the 8 lectures will receive a certificate of appreciation signed by the Rector of the JVLMA, Guntārs Prāns.

To promote an in-depth understanding of the history of music, the concert hall “Great Amber”, thanks to the support of the “Uniting” Foundation, launched this educational initiative in the autumn of 2021. In cooperation with the JVLMA, led by some of Latvia’s most eminent musicologists and practitioners, the first year of the project introduced the history of European and world music on a larger scale. The series continued from October 2022 to May 2023, bringing together music enthusiasts for eight joint conversations, discussions, and debates, focusing on the history of Latvian music at different points in time.

Some of the renowned speakers included Vēsma Lēvalde, Guntars Prānis, Māris Kupčs, Ilona Breģe, Ilze Šarkovska-Liepiņa, Ināra Jakubone, Jānis Kudiņš and Baiba Kurpniece. Altogether, about 400 registered participants and several dozen non-registered listeners have taken part in the lecture series both in person at the “Great Amber” Chamber Hall and online.

To register for the upcoming lecture in person, please contact the Information Centre of the Concert Hall by e-mail: or by phone: +37163424555. Public opening hours: 11.00-17.00, Sa.-Sun. 10.00-15.00.

Lecture duration: approx. 1 hour 30 minutes. The lecture series is organised by Liepāja Concert Hall “Great Amber” in collaboration with Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music. Supported by the “Uniting” Foundation, Liepāja Municipality and “Liepāja Concert Hall "Great Amber" Development Society”.