The President of Latvia hosts concert of the artists of Latvia in honour of NATO Leaders

On Monday, November 28, the President of Latvia will host a Gala Concert celebrating the art and artists of Latvia in honour of NATO Riga Summit 2006. The concert, “The Returning”, will be presented at Latvia’s National Opera in Riga for the Meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government and other guests of President Vaira Vike-Freiberga.

The concert is composed of music and dance from over the centuries to trace the thousand year journey of Latvia to the 21st Century. At the same time, specially conceived staging, video and visual art will trace the journey of a drop of water until it reaches the sea. The concert theme is inspired by Latvia’s beloved poet, Rainis, who wrote, “He who evolves, endures!”

The selections and artists are themselves considered cultural treasures of Latvia. Among them are the young, rising talent, pianist Vestards Šimkus; the renowned chamber orchestra “Kremerata Baltika” whose artists come from nearly every country edging the Baltic Sea; the international award-winning youth choir, “Kamer”; the large, revered national choir “Latvija” conducted by Māris Sirmais; the celebrated violinist Gidon Kremer, born and educated in Latvia; violincellist virtuoso, Misha Maiski; the sensational Latvian soprano, Kristine Opolais; the chamber music ensemble “Altera Veritas” whose musicians mix traditional Latvia instruments into a contemporary repertoire;  the Latvian National Opera Ballet and the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra conducted by Normunds Šnē.

The specially conceived production was designed and directed by Uģis Brikmanis; the musical programme was created by Gunda Vaivode and the stage designer of the Water Flow is Aigars Ozoliņš.

“The Returning” will be telecasted live on the satellite all over Europe with free downlink and technical details will be posted at NATO Riga Summit official webpage There will also be live coverage on the internet at


Ojārs Kalnins

"NATO couldn’t have picked a more favorable setting than Riga for a Summit on
transformation, modernization and open doors. All three are already a part
of Latvia’s success story."
- Ojārs Kalnins,
Latvian Institute Director, Former Latvia's Ambassador to the U.S.