Rihards Zaļupe and conductor Jānis Ozols invites to wake up in Christmas

The award-winning youth choir “Maska” and its conductor Jānis Ozols together with soloists Annija Putniņa, Laura Jēkabsone, the vocal group Latvian Voices and Jānis Strazdiņš from the group Cosmos invites to experience the brightest concert of the year, with musical accompaniment of Kazanova orchestra on December 21st at 19:00, in Riga Dome Cathedral.

Every year Christmas arrives together with the joy of gift-giving, which often makes everyone struggle seeking tangible things to put under the Christmas tree, making people get lost in the supermarket crowds. Instead of all that Babite youth choir “Maska” and conductor Jānis Ozols calls to give oneself and beloved ones the most beautiful holiday experience of the year in the concert “Awake in Christmas”!

The concert will feature a variety of Christmas tunes, as well as the world premiere of the most affectionate and hearty of compositions by Rihards Zalupe “Awake in Christmas” – a lovely story about a teddy bear, who awakes from his brumal sleep right in the Christmas evening and sees…

After the spectacular victory in the international choir – singing competition in Spain, with unprecedented results in Latvian choir history, youth choir “Maska” continues its collaboration with the composer Rihards Zaļupe, giving listeners a festive atmosphere together with the Kazanova orchestra, conducted by Toms Rēķis.

“Maska” triumphs in Barcelona achieving the highest rating!

Youth choir “Maska” led by the conductors Janis Ozols and Laura Jekabsone represented Latvia by participating in the 13th international choir singing competition “Europe and its songs”, which took place in the city of Barcelona, Spain from September 21 th to 24th. For the first time in the 13 year history of the contest “Maska” recieved the maximum amount of 100 points from the jury and won the Grand Prix. “Maska” took part in three distinct categories where in each of these categories presented a completely different mixed, men and women choir programmes. The men won their category with the first place, whilst the girls took second and the mixed choir, not only won its category, but also attained the Grand Prix. Once again conductor Janis Ozols proved his talent and won the award of the best conductor of the contest, which is the fifth in his career.

After the return from Spain youth choir “Maska” is organizing an admission of new singers to all voice groups which will take place on October 3 at 18:00 Babite high school, Pinki. \”Europe and its songs\”

Conductor Jānis Ozols takes part in an international jury commission in Gorizia

After “Maska’s” successful participation in “Seghizzi” choir singing contest last year, where Janis Ozols was nominated as the best new conductor, he was invited to join the jury of the contest this year to judge the performance of the competing choirs alongside with well known professionals of vocal music, such as Simon Carrington – the founder and singer of the vocal group „King’s Singers”, Harald Jers choir conducting and musical acoustics research professor, Alessandro Kirschner – the promising Italian composer and others.

During the work in the jury Janis Ozols gave a presentation lecture on Latvian choir and “a capella” music and its present development, as well as introduced the listeners to creations of Latvian composer Rihards Zalupe. It is fitting here to mention that after the successful cooperation with Rihards Zalupe and “Xylem Trio” in 2010, choir “Maska” has expressed a wish to contionue to engage in new joint projects.

„Maska” still represents itself as one of the best choirs in Latvia!

On the Labor day – May 1 ”Maska” took part in Tukums region choir competition in order to take a step closer to the Riga 810th birthday and the nationwide Latvian Song and Dance Festival in 2013. Three women choirs and eight mixed choirs from Tukums, Kandava, Jaunpils, as well as from Babite district and Jurmala participated in the competition. Chief conductors Romāns Vanags, Ivars Cinkuss and Ārijs Šķepasts represented the jury.

Choir ”Maska” performed very well, gaining the highest score of the jury’s assessment – 46 out of 50 points and recieved special recognition from the chief conductors, thus ”Maska” represented itself as the best mixed choir in the competition. The performance of Tukums teachers choir ”Vanema”, which also is led by Jānis Ozols was rated high as well.

The work does not end with this achievement as ”Maska” will actively prepare for other events including the upcoming small towns and rural choir competition – festival in Mazsalaca which will take place on June 11.