Title of the Project: “Latvia - Norway. Discover Folk Tradition in Music”

Project nr.: EEZLV04/GSKA/2013/24

Project applicant: Sigulda School of Arts “Baltais Flīģelis”, Sigulda Youth Chamber Orchestra

Project partner: Nesttun String Orchestra, Bergen, Norway

Total planned expenses of the Project: 57 000.00 EUR

Sources of financing: EEA Finance instrument, Culture Ministry of Republic of Latvia, Sigulda District Council

The Project begins: 10.2014.

Duration of the Project: 15 months



 Collaboration project of Sigulda and Bergen young musicians is coming to end


Projects “Latvia - Norway. Discover Folk Tradition in Music” activities were finished with two wonderful concerts in Vidzeme concert hall “Cēsis” in October 8, 2015 and Sigulda concert hall “Baltais Flīģelis”, October 9, 2015. This project was an excellent opportunity for Sigulda and Bergen young musicians to get familiar with traditions and culture of another nation, to meet each other in music, to learn working in international environment and to bring joy and motivation to continuos studies of their music instruments.

In February, 2015, Sigulda Youth Chamber Orchestra and Sigulda Arts School “Baltais Flīģelis” choir visited Bergen in Norway, were a joint concert program together with Nesttun String Orchestra was performed in a famous Griegs hall. Also Bergen girls and boys choirs took part in the concert.

In October, 2015 two concerts in Latvia were prepared and performed participating the Nesttun String Orchestra, Sigulda Youth Chamber Orchestra, Sigulda Arts School choir and Cēsis Elementary school girls choir Con Anima ans Cēsis Secondary school choir Volante. Conductors - Ilga Šķendere, Solveiga Vītoliņa, Sarah Fertig Wang un Pēteris Plūme.

More than 200 young musicians from Norway and Latvia took part in the project. Compositions of famous Norwegian composer Edward Grieg were included in the program as well as Norwegian and Latvian national songs arranged for strings and voices. 13 new arrangements of Latvian national compositions were made by composers Emīls Zilberts and Imants Zemzaris especially for this project.

Pēteris Plūme, conductor of the Siguldas Youth Chamber Orchestra says: “The purpose of this musical project was discoveries. To discover who we are, where our roots are coming from. To discover it with music, songs, searching for the most meaningful pages in our histories and keep it in our memories.

It is essential for us to develop string instrument playing traditions in Sigulda because this is also a strong background of music traditions in Northen Europe and also Germany. This tradition is based on musician skills acquired in a hard work, and these skills let musicians to express themselves in the most complicated form of collaboration in music - a sypmhonic orchestra. We believe that with  such projects as we had with Nesttun String Orchestra, we can attract and motivate young people to deeper understanding of culture education and music”.

The project “Latvia - Norway. Discover Folk Tradition in Music” was realized under the program of the Ministry of Culture of The Republic of Latvia and EEZ  - "Conservation and Revitalisation of Cultural and Natural Heritage" small grants scheme "Cultural Exchange", co-financed by Sigulda City Council.

Project manager Ilva Urbanoviča


Project manager Øyvind Andersen 

Sigulda Youth Chamber Orchestra launches a cultural exchange program with Nesttun String Orchestra from Bergen in Norway


During the exchange program it is planned to prepare and perform a joint concert program for strings and voices that includes Norwegian and Latvian national music elements in a modern and understandable way for young people and children.

New, modern arrangements of Latvian national songs for string orchestra and choir are made specifically for this project by composers Imants Zemzaris un Emīls Zilberts. Also Norwegian national songs arranged for string orchestra and choir will be included in the concert program.

The concert program will be performed for bigger audiences in February, 2015, in Bergen, Norway and in two concerts in Latvia - Sigulda and Cēsis - in October, 2015. For a brighter and more colourfull sound, several youth choirs such as - Sigulda School of Arts “Baltais Flīģelis” 5-9 grade choir, Cēsis 1st Elementary School girls choir, Cēsis Alfrēds Kalniņš Music School choir, Bergen girls and boys choirs - will participate in the concert program. 

Besides the rehearsals and concerts other national tradition activities are planned to introduce young musicians to each other to national traditions. Masterclasses of a Hardanger fiddle, a Norwegian national instrument and a meeting with a Hardanger fiddle orchestra in Bergen is planned. And a common Solstice celebration will be organized in Latvia.


Project objective -  

To establish an intercultural connection for young musicians through the tradition of national music and culture.

To deepen the understanding and tolerance of other nationalities values, ​​to assess similarities and differences.

To improve the skills of common musicianship between young musicians, to learn to understand different conducting methods and schools.

To develop the international cooperation skills of the young musicians, improve their teamwork skills, to provide an additional motivation for continuous activities in music, set targets for better personal results.

To establish a longterm cooperation and friendship with Nesttun String Orchestra.

To give a big contribution in Latvian music library by making a new arrangements of Latvian national songs in the project.

To provide Latvian and Norwegian music teachers the opportunity for international exchange, to learn other country music teaching traditions.

To prepare and perform a unique Latvian and Norwegian concert program for 2 string orchestras and 2 choirs.



Norway, Bergen, Edward Griegs Hall - February 8, 2015

Latvia, Cēsis, Vidzeme Concert Hall - October 8, 2015

Latvia, Sigulda, concert hall “Baltais Flīģelis” - October 9, 2015



February 06-09, 2015 Sigulda Youth Chamber Orchestra and Sigulda Arts School “Baltais Flīģelis” choir visited Bergen, Norway, as a part of the project “Latvia – Norway. Discover Folk Tradition in Music” financed by European Economic Area Financial mechanism Programme LV04"Conservation and Revitalisation of Cultural and Natural heritage", Ministry of Culture of Republic of Latvia and Sigulda City Council. 

In Bergen Nesttun String Orchestra and Bergen Boys and Girls choirs welcomed Sigulda young musicians to spend together 3 days full of emotions, to know each other and get familiar with each others country and culture. Among rehearsals young musicians had a possibility to know Norwegian national instrument's Hardanger fiddle play and traditions, they visited Grieg's home and museum and lived through the life story of the famous Norwegian composer. Project participants enjoyed a nice evening in Bergen's centre of science and activities “Vilvite” exploring the greatest inventions of Norwegians as well as trying several kinds of sports and power of physics.

On Sunday, February 2 all participants of the project rehearsed and performed in two concerts in Grieg's hall in Bergen. There are worlds top artists from several ganres of music and arts performing in Grieg's hall daily. And that was a great pleasure and experience for project's young musicians to play in such an important place. 

In midday we represented our project to listeners and participants of “Vestlandsfestivalen”, the annual orchestra festival of West Norway. And the projects big concert was held in the evening. More than 700 listeners came to enjoy the Latvian and Norwegian traditional music. Latvian national food and traditions as well as video and stories were presented by Bergen's Latvian Society.  A reception after the concert was held in Grieg's hall to greet and than all participants of the project. 

Next activities of the project “Latvia – Norway. Discover Folk Traditions in Music” are planned in October 6-10, 2015, in Latvia. 

Project is financed by

EEZ, KM, Sigulda


Project in Latvia

Project in Norway