Latvian National Symphony Orchestra (LNSO) supports the government’s decision to develop the National Concert Hall project at 2 Elizabetes Street, Kronvalda Park, the LNSO said in an open letter distributed on Friday, July 3.
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According to the representatives of the LNSO, the new concert hall will provide an opportunity to play symphonic, vocal, vocal symphonic and chamber music in various acoustic conditions – the music will finally have its own space and its own home. It will be the home of the LNSO, Latvian ensembles will play music regularly here, and it will be a place for high-quality guest concerts by foreign orchestras and other musicians in the country’s capital.
“Musicians in Riga have long deserved a place to prepare for concerts, hone their mastery and give concerts in suitable working conditions, thinking not about everyday things, such as the critical condition of the premises, but only about the essentials – music.
Equally important is the right of the public to listen to the quality concerts of Latvian musicians in Riga in conditions that meet the highest quality standards, “the LNSO said in a letter of support.
According to the orchestra, the public demand for classical and interdisciplinary music concerts has been growing in recent years. The statements made in the comments about the half-empty Grand Guild and concerts a few times a month do not correspond to the real situation.
“Our listeners are erudite, they also listen to concerts in foreign houses and know the amount of space and construction quality needed for classical music to sound,” the LNSO said in a letter.
Representatives of the LNSO write about the location of the concert hall: “The situation in Latvia is historically such that significant cultural buildings are located in the city center. They are within walking distance from the main tourist residences and easily accessible to residents and guests from other regions of Latvia.”
As one of the most important aspects of the Elizabetes Street 2 project, LNSO representatives mention the availability of state land: “All land plots potentially useful for the concert hall, owned by the municipality or private individuals, have not been resolved so far. This is the real situation – the state construction only on state-owned land. “
The LNSO team agrees that the counter-arguments expressed by architects should be analyzed and the best possible solutions should be discussed in a professional circle. However, the Minister of Culture has listened to the architects ‘comments and offered close co-operation in the further development of the project by holding an architects’ plein air. “We believe that the government and the architects will work together to find the best solution,” said the orchestra.
“After more than 30 years of negotiations, protracted indecisiveness and endless discussions, an important step has finally been taken to have a modern acoustic concert hall in Riga. An important agreement has been reached under the leadership of Minister of Culture Nauris Puntuulis,” the letter said.
The LNSO calls on the public to value the government’s decision-making as a significant contribution to the development of national culture and the creation of a much-needed cultural fabric for society.
The letter was signed on behalf of the LNSO – Indra Lukina, Andris Poga, on behalf of the State Academic Choir “Latvia” – Maris Sirmais, Maris Oslejs. The letter was also signed by Gunda Vaivode, musicologist, director of LR3 “Klasika”, Orest Silabriedis, editor-in-chief of the magazine “Mūzikas Saule”, composer Arturs Maskats, LNSO resident composer 2019/2020. Gundega Šmite, LNSO resident composer 2020/2021. Linda Leimane.
We remind you that on June 16 of this year the government decided to support the construction of the National Acoustic Concert Hall in Kronvalda Park. However, in order to vacate the place, it will be necessary to demolish the building of the former Central Committee, now the World Trade Center, built in 1974 by architects Jānis Vilciņš, Alfonsas Udris and Gunārs Asars. Several architects have objected to it, emphasizing the need to preserve the building as a bright monument of modernism. The architects also complain that the decision was made in a hurry without discussing it with the public. On June 17, architect Pēteris Bajārs started collecting signatures on the website “manabalss.lv” about the decision discussed by the public and professionals about the construction site of the concert hall and the preservation of the building at Elizabetes Street 2. To date, more than two thousand people have signed up to the initiative.