|Apie Šiaurės ir Baltijos šalių chorų šventę 2002 (anglų kalba)|
NORDIC - BALTIC CHOIR FESTIVALS
ARE A JOYFUL HURDLE - MARATHONOn IV Nordic - Baltic Choir Festival to be held in Klaipeda, on June 27 - July 2, 2002Introduction: That Already Belongs to History
I Nordic - Baltic Choir Festival took place in Riga on July 12 - 16, 1995. 7 000 mixed choir singers from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Estonia took part in it. Latvian and Lithuanian representation was the most numerous (2 000 and 1 000 singers respectively).
II Festival took place in Visby, Gotland Island (Sweden), on June 25 - 29, 1997, with the participation of 2 500 choir singers.
III Festival took place in Skien, Norway, on June 27 - July 2, 2000, with the participation of over
3 000 choir singers.
Part I - why in Klaipeda?
The preparation for the IV Nordic - Baltic festival started even before the Norwegian Festival came to an end. In 2002, the city of Klaipeda will celebrate its 750th anniversary. But that is only one of many reasons why the international project should be implemented in Klaipeda. Eugenijus Gentvilas, Mayor of the City and Chair of the Organising Committee of the Festival supported the idea. Other reasons are presented by Nijole Laužikiene, Head of the Culture Department of the Klaipeda Municipality:
We are happy to be able to organise the Festival just because, to start with, the traditions of choral movement have always been very strong in the region of Klaipeda. In 1926, over 20 choirs were functioning in the region of Klaipeda, and in 1927, the first Klaipeda Song Festival, with over 600 singers and over 100 orchestra players, was held. After it, a powerful movement of choirs started that embraced all the towns and settlements of the region, all the strata of the society … and which survived till the present day.
Klaipeda is the only port in Lithuania. It is nice to visit and to stay in, that’s why it is frequented by people from all over the world - and we are known as a hospitable, free and democratic city which gladly hosts festivals and other events. There’s also another reason why we are willing to host the Festival. For 40 years now, we’ve been celebrating the Sea Festival that completely changes the daily routine of the city: for three days and nights various merry events take place, and the Castle Jazz Festival is getting more and more support and audience… In my opinion, such events form an attractive image of our city and present a good chance to introduce our visitors to our city, our culture and traditions.
And finally, the festival is an excellent possibility for people of different nations and with different cultural traditions to meet and mix. In my opinion, human contacts even at present, in the world of fast developing technology, stay as one of the most precious values. I am convinced Klaipeda is the most suitable place for the purpose, and the organisers of the Festival will do all they can so that its participants would leave the city with the best impressions.
Of course, lots of effort and enthusiasm, as well as the support from the Municipality of Klaipeda, the Ministry of Culture and other institutions will be required , so that after the last chords of the last Festival concert a promise to continue the tradition would sound from the podium, and there would be even more of those willing to take part in V Choir Festival in Finland.
Part II - new colours of the festival
In the autumn of 2000, a conference of the co-ordinating group of the Nordic - Baltic festival took place. Kare Hanken (Norway), Lars Nilsson and Olav Storgard (Sweden), Ulrik Hedegaard (Denmark), Reijo Kekkonen (Finland), Kaie Taner (Estonia), Imants Kokars and Aira Berzinia (Latvia), Aurelija Andrejauskaite (Lithuania) together with the future hosts of the Festival in Klaipeda discussed the issues of the preparation for the Festival in 2002 and analysed the strengths and weaknesses of the previous festivals. The group worked in a constructive and intensive way, therefore the landmarks of the IV Nordic - Baltic Choir Festival are already easy to see. Alfonsas Vildžiūnas, Artistic Director of the Festival, offers his comments on them:
Part III: Festival days like a joyful marathon
The greatest desire of the organisers of the festivals is to meet the needs and expectations of all the participants: of leaders - professional musicians, of amateur singers, of the motley audience. The range of expectations is so wide, and the days are few. Tradition is work. That’s why it is worthwhile to try and to pick our brains, to solve never ending problems and get over all hindrances.
June 28 - 29
The languages of the Festival will be English and music. The participants of the festival will be expected to deal with one another with the help of songs, without the hindrance of the language barrier. We plan to hold choir concerts where everybody could join in. In the evening, we’ll listen to jazz in Theatre Square (vocal jazz groups are expected from all countries), sing, dance and drink beer of the Klaipeda Švyturys brewery.
The countries will introduce themselves in the choir competition - marathon. The first event of this type that took place in Norway was not very attractive. After having decided to hold the competition once again, we’d like to invite at least two choirs from each country to participate in the competition. The rules are simple - a 15-minute- programme with one compulsory composition, and there will be enough prizes for all.