About the competition :: Jazeps Vitols International Choral Conductors Competition ::

About the competition

The Jāzeps Vītols 5th International Choral Conductors Competition is held in 2014 when the Department of Choir Conducting marks its 70th anniversary. Since the foundation of the department and establishment of professional choir conducting school, remarkable success has been achieved and more than 670 choir conductors have graduated from Jāzeps Vītols Latvian State Conservatory and JVLMA. Latvian choral art and conducting school have gained wide international recognition in choir and choral conducting competitions and festivals. The Latvian Radio Choir, The State Choir Latvija, Riga Chamber Choir Ave Sol alongside with several leading Latvian amateur choirs, participate in concerts organized by professional music producers and agencies all over the world. Generations of outstanding professional choir conductors such as Teodors Kalniņš, Imants Kokars, Ausma Derkēvica, Edgars Račevskis, Sigvards Kļava, Kaspars Putniņš, Andris Veismanis, Māris Sirmais, Mārtiņš Ozoliņš, Ainārs Rubiķis, Kaspars Ādamsons, Jānis Liepiņš, etc. have favoured the continuity and development of the Latvian Song Celebration tradition, as well as their own world-wide identity with artistically magnificent programs.

To continue the tradition of the Baltic States choral conductors competition which originated in the 1970s and to mark the 70th anniversary of the Department of Choir Conducting, JVLMA, the Jāzeps Vītols 5th International Choral Conductors Competition testifies to the high standards of Latvian choir culture and the global achievements of Latvian choral conductors. Triumphant success at different international choir and symphony orchestra conductors’ competitions during the last years (Mārtiņš Ozoliņš, Ainārs Rubiķis, Jānis Liepiņš, etc.) is a top-quality proof of the professional work of the department.

The aim of the Jāzeps Vītols 5th International Choral Conductors Competition is to promote the culture of Latvian choral singing and the tradition of the Song Celebration worldwide, to strengthen the continuity of the Latvian and European choir conducting tradition and the prestige of the profession. The Song Celebration tradition has developed into the most significant modern Latvian national brand. It was largely possible due to the approved high professional criteria and their appropriate implementation ever since the foundation of the Department of Choir Conducting in 1944.

The professional level of the conductors lies at the basis of the Song Celebration tradition, i.e. to ensure a multi-voiced a cappella choir singing. The prestige and development is only possible by setting up high professional standards in general and particularly in music education. The role of choir conductors and music teachers in the Latvian culture environment is inestimable as they bring world-wide recognition to Latvian culture and music.

The Jāzeps Vītols 5th International Choral Conductors Competition will be held in cooperation with three professional choirs – the State Choir Latvija, the Latvian Radio Choir and Riga Chamber Choir Ave Sol.

The mixed choir and symphony orchestra of JVLMA will also take part in the competition program. The international professional experience and success of the academic staff of the Department of Choir Conducting together with its practical experience in holding previous choir conductors competitions followed by further artistic achievements of their winners will qualify the competition as an event of high artistic value to fit in the Latvian culture calendar in 2014 when Riga is the European Capital of Culture.


Associated professor, Mg. Art. Aira Birziņa