RIGA CATHEDRAL GIRLS’ CHOIR TIARA
Conductor and artistic director Aira Birzina
Riga Cathedral Girls’ Choir TIARA is one of the most prominent and most attractive participants on the Latvian concert stage. The winners of several international choir competitions and a creative laboratory for many composers and new musical ideas, they are an ensemble of beautiful voices and bright eyes that are noticed and loved among many other choir singers all over the world.
TIARA participates in all most significant events in Latvia – the Song and Dance Festival, concerts of public holidays, various international events and world premieres of Latvian choral music. No festivity can be imagined without the silver sound of TIARA. In September 2018, their voices resounded at the Riga Cathedral during the ecumenical service celebrated by Pope Francis.
Since the Riga Cathedral Choir School was founded, TIARA has grown and changed a lot from an ensemble of a few girls to a choir of ninety singers of beautiful voices, huge capacity and unique energy. Rehearsals, concerts, performances, competitions – TIARA’s life is an everyday creativity workshop, strength and ability test, proof of knowledge, and parade of human qualities and personalities. Every day and every time, the girls of the Riga Cathedral Choir School are mobile, lively, open, and full of joy and light. The choir was founded in 1997 and was conducted by Gunta Birziņa. Now all the girls from the 3rd to 9th grade of the Riga Cathedral Choir School are singers of TIARA. Since 2000, the conductor of the choir has been Aira Birziņa.
The repertoire of the choir is wide and diverse. In their concert programmes, there is always a place for Latvian folk music, church music, early music, classical, romantic and contemporary pieces –everything from the 13th to the 21st century. However, the new Latvian choir music is one of the most important interests and main missions of TIARA. In cooperation with Latvian composers such as Pauls Dambis, Selga Mence, Valts Pūce, Raimonds Pauls, Aivars Kalējs, Evija Skuķe, Valdis Zilveris, Jānis Lūsēns, Mārtiņš Brauns, Uģis Prauliņš, Juris Kulakovs, Rihards Dubra, Renāte Stivriņa, Juris Vaivods, Andris Sējāns, Līga Celma-Kursiete, and Lolita Ritmane among others, new pieces for the choir are written every year, and the Latvian music life becomes more and more rich and sophisticated.
The concert performances and the original programmes of the choir always take the audiences to a creative, exciting, and surprising musical journey that everybody looks forward to very much. Their performance repertoire includes Feel A Bit Like Pulling Pranks, a collection of Latvian animation songs in contemporary arrangements, as well as the Potato Opera with the libretto of Inese Zandere and music of six Latvian composers, Juris Kulakovs’ dramatic cantata The Red Train, Rihards Dubra’s Te Deum, Karl Jenkins’ Adiemus. Songs of Sanctuary, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Uģis Prauliņš’ The Tree of Life, and many other compositions. Children’s opera “The Nightingale” by Imant Raminsh was premiered in Riga Great Guild hall in December 2018. “The Nightingale” was nominated for The Grand Music Award 2018 in category “Performance of the Year”.
The choir TIARA is crowned with audience’s love in Latvia and all over the world. Their many prizes at international competitions, such as the 1st Prize at the European Broadcasting Union and BBC Radio 3 competition Let the Peoples Sing in 2003, and four prizes including Grand Prix at the Kutxa 41st Tolosa Choir Competition in 2009, are proof of their talent and skills.
In December 2018 and January 2019, CDs “Winter Songs” and “I walked through a silver grove” came out with Latvian composers’ folk songs and original songs, many of them – as a special dedication to the choir TIARA.