The countries of the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) have a long tradition of choral singing. Despite many historical, cultural and scenic similarities, each country is marked by its own musical history and artistic mentality. High emotionality, but also meditative calm and concentration characterise the choral music of the Baltic States, as well as its tendency towards melancholy and melancholy.
The mixed choir Balticoro was founded in 2009 by Gints Rācenis in Hamburg with the aim of making Baltic choral music known.
In addition to traditional folk song arrangements, which make up a significant part of Baltic choral music, the choir sings original works of the Romantic and contemporary periods.
Through Balticoro, the Baltic people living in Hamburg have the opportunity to sing in their native languages and to maintain this tradition. The composition of the choir is international. It consists of music-loving Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and German singers.
After Gints Rācenis regrettably gave up the musical direction of the choir in September 2021, the members of Balticoro reorganised themselves and set up a project for 2022, the participation in the Latvian Song Festival in Esslingen.
Currently, a choir weekend is held once a month under the direction of Ēriks Kravalis, a professional choir director from Riga (click here for dates), in order to be fit for participation in the Latvian Song Festival in Esslingen (16-19 June 2022). We are supported by the Latvian Association Hamburg, the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in the Federal Republic of Germany and the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
New singers are very welcome!
For many years Ēriks himself sang in professional choirs. From 1976 to 1980, for example, he was soloist in the Latvian State Academic Choir 'Latvija', a choir that gave concerts with leading European symphony orchestras, e.g. Verdi's 'Requiem' with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under Mariss Jansons.
Also in the chamber choir 'Ave Sol', an ensemble of music professors and students, representatives of Imants Kokars, the director of 'Ave Sol', demanded iron discipline from his singers with regard to rehearsals. This naturally included sight-singing, absolute presence and brilliant singing. This choir gave concerts in Latvia, Russia, the USA, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Austria.
As a singer in the choir of the Latvian National Opera, Eriks loves to sing in Bizet's opera 'Carmen', Puccini's 'Tosca' or Mozart's 'Marriage of Figaro'.
For 40 years, Ēriks has been directing Latvian amateur choirs with great passion and enthusiasm, including the 70-member girls' choir of a Riga high school, with which he has already been working for 20 years, giving concerts in Latvia as well as abroad, e.g. in Hamburg.
Ēriks is the artistic director of the mixed choir "Skaņupe", founded by Haralds Mednis in 1998. This choir has successfully participated in numerous Latvian song and dance festivals, choir competitions and choir competitions and also performs abroad.
The police men's choir 'lustus' has also benefited from Erik's professional work.
Now the singers of Balticoro are happy to have found a professional, competent, humorous choir director for their project "Esslingen 2022" in Ēriks Kravalis.