On 10 June, a free special concert of the international student song and dance festival Gaudeamus was held in Riga, where Latvian choirs and dancers performed a selection of song and dance arrangements from the festival programme.
On 22–24 June, the biggest student song and dance festival of the Baltic states Gaudeamus will be held in Tartu, joining light arts, music, choral music and dance in a spectacular show the likes of which have never been seen in Tartu.
“Since this time Gaudeamus is taking place during the Midsummer’s Day and since Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have created specially themed programmes for the occasion, we wanted to also perform this beautiful music to a Latvian audience,” commented Aija Melbārde from the Latvian part of the organising committee.
“With this warm-up concert, we introduced the theme of Midsummer’s through song and dance in a manner worthy of this special occasion. So already now the public got the chance to experience that wondrous and magical feeling that usually culminates with the celebration of Midsummer’s,” added Melbārde.
The performance included a selection of the dance performance “The Mystery of Midsummer Eve” programme, as well as the song festival programme “The Songs of Midsummer”.
The artistic director of this special concert was composer Ilze Valce. The choreographers of the dance performance were Rolands Juraševskis, Ilze Mažāne and Elita Treilone. The orchestra conductor was Maris Martinsons and the producer of the concert performance was Jānis Siliņš.
The traditions of the student festival Gaudeamus reach as far back as 1956, when the first festival was held in Tartu. After that, as a rule, the festivals have been held every 4 years, alternately in all Baltic States. The last Gaudeamus took place in 2014 in Daugavpils, Latvia, and the next big student festival will be held in Lithuania.
For more information about Midsummer’s Day and the Gaudeamus programme, dedicated to the Midsummer’s traditions of all three Baltic States, as well as the events, see: www.gaudeamus.ee/en/programme