Song and Dance Festival
Rigai 800

   Bruno Skulte's music           Latvian Societu House

CONCERT - BRUNO SKULTE'S MUSIC will take place in the Big Hall of the Latvian Society House on July 22, at 4:00 p.m.

BRUNO SKULTE (1905 - 1976)
Bruno Skulte is one of the most famous Latvian composers, maybe even the brightest of those who developed and perfected their creative achievements while living and working abroad. Having graduated from the Latvia State Conservatory, Bruno Skulte started to work at the Latvian Radio - at the beginning as a manager of program department, later on - as a conductor. Apart from the work in the radio, till 1944 when German occupation institutions transferred him to Germany, he conducted concerts in the Liepāja Opera. After the Second World War, Skulte lived in Oldenburg, where he founded and managed Latvian Opera. In 1949, the composer emigrated to USA, where he worked as an organ player in the Latvian parish in New York, as well as conducted several choirs. There were even five choirs under his guidance at times. 

There is no other conductor in the history of Latvian choirs abroad, who has managed to fascinate and "electrify" choir as Bruno Skulte did. Thanks to this peculiarity, he became the most loved chief conductor of Latvian Song Festivals in USA and Canada. 

His songs and cantatas received undivided responsiveness from choir singers and from public exactly for this easy to understand musical language. Almost every Skulte's song was repeated in concerts, especially if it was performed by the author himself. 

In 1971, when his health became worse, Skulte stopped working with choirs, but kept working as an organist in the Latvian parish till the end of his life. 

Bruno Skulte deserves that his many-sided musical heritage, which plays significant role in the culture of Latvian choir music, is popularised also in Latvia, where his music is for the time being known rather little. 

Music played in the concert will also be recorded in a CD. This project is not only dedication to the composer, but also a present to Riga on its 800th anniversary. 

The programme includes compositions:
Daugava, symphonic poem with lyrics by Rainis for narrator, soloists, choir and symphony orchestra (1960)
Ganiņš biju (I was a Shepherd), rhapsody on Latvian shepherd songs for choir, soloists, pipes and kokles (Latvian string instrument) (1965)
Balāde nezināmam kareivim (Ballad to Unknown Soldier) for symphony orchestra (1935)

Bruno Skulte's music will be performed by the New York Latvian Choir, youth choir BALSIS, choir class of the Riga 4th Music School, soloists Dita Kalniņa (soprano), Antra Bigača (mezzo-soprano), Viesturs Jansons (tenor), Samsons Izjumovs (baritone), Lelde Vikmane (narrator), Latvia National Symphony Orchestra, conductor Andrejs Jansons. 

Translated by Nanete Neimane