Hit a hundred. Interview with Valdis Tomsons, conductor of the mixed choir “Juventus” at the University of Latvia: We are / LR3 / / Latvijas Radio 3

The mixed choir of the University of Latvia will be celebrated with a delay, but finally on May 21 at the concert and the recording of the album “New Beginning”. Juventus 100th anniversary.

Artistic director of the choir Valdis Tomsons is the guest of “Springs” this morning …

Liene Jakovleva: Valdi, you have a long day ahead of you, because there is a concert at the end of it. At the same time, it will be a new beginning – the beginning of a whole collection of new records. Juventus could have celebrated its centenary two years ago. Does this mean that this new beginning could have been two years ago? Was something similar planned two years ago when we were not allowed to celebrate anything?

Valdis Tomsons: It was even planned to be a little wider than it will be tonight, because we will have 12 miniatures, 12 new works tonight. But our initial idea was that the second concert would feature a large-format piece written by Rihards Zaļupe for percussion, piano, flute, soloists and also the choir. But due to the pandemic that prevented us from singing, we will not be playing this big piece this season. We will only have miniatures. We will play a large-format piece in the new season.

Is it for purely practical reasons?

Yes, because there was not that much time. We would not have been able to prepare it.

Does the number “12” have any meaning, or is it just such a good timing?

Exactly! This is a good timing.

And probably the presence of no composer on this list is accidental.

No, it really isn’t accidental. When we, the artistic direction of the choir, came together three years ago, we had a list of, if not all, most of the contemporary Latvian composers who write music for the choir. And then, with such a deduction method, we came to 12 composers who, in my opinion, would best suit our choir, the sound of our choir, the individuality of our choir. The second factor was how these compositions glue together, how the common drama is formed. And I think we’ve hit the hundred.

Has there been any collaboration with all the composers before?

The cooperation was with Andris Dzenitis and also Jānis Ķirs, with whom the cooperation was very, very successful. We look forward to working with you further.

And the other ten?

And the other ten were still unsung composers, but now we’ve all gotten to know and love their music very closely.

And so they are Jēkabs Jančevskis, Arturs Maskats, Valts Pūce, Ārijs Šķepasts, Irina Mihailovska, Andris Sējāns, Kaspars Zemītis, Laura Jēkabsone, Jēkabs Nīmanis and Jānis Ozoliņš.

More – in the record.

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