„…two and a half hours into the Gala concert, the final choir to perform was the youth choir BALSIS. Every moment of the choir’s performance was worth the wait. BALSIS was one of the most brilliant pearls of the 2011 Vaasa Choir Festival.”
Milla Virta, Pohjalainen, Vaasa, Finland, 22.05.2011.
Latvian youth choir BALSIS is audible proof of the idea that “Latvia is the land that sings!”. Founded in 1987 and currently led by Artistic Director Ints Teterovskis youth choir BALSIS is one of Latvia’s most accomplished choirs. The choir comprises singers from Riga, many of whom are students and others who have professional careers.
The choir’s repertoire includes music of many periods, from Early Music and Renaissance to the Romantic era, culminating in contemporary experimental works and Latvian folk song arrangements. The choir sings primarily a cappella, but every year, it also performs diverse repertoire with symphony orchestras.
BALSIS has toured extensively around the world – in Europe from Norway to Spain; in 2002, the choir performed in America; in 2006, BALSIS performed in Australia; and in the summer of 2009, the choir travelled to America and Canada.
BALSIS has won notable awards in international competitions: the BBC Choral Recordings Competition “Let the People Sing” (First Place – 1991); Neuchâtel, Switzerland (First Prize – 1992); Cantonigros, Spain (Grand Prix – 1995); Skien, Norway (First Prize – 2000); Tallin, Estonia (First Prize – 2001); Spittal an der Drau, Austria (First Prize – 2002); Tolosa, Spain (Grand Prix – 2003); Gorizia, Italy (Grand Prix – 2004); Torrevieja, Spain (Third Prize – 2004). In the summer of 2010, BALSIS participated as a smaller ensemble at the World Choir Games in Shaozing, where the group was awarded Gold in the folk music category and Silver in the chamber choir category. In October 2011, BALSIS won Third Place in the folk music category of the CITTOLOSA international choral competition in Tolosa, Spain.
The choir has won First Place in several of the Latvian National Song Festival Competitions (1990, 1998, 2003), and Third Place in 2008. BALSIS has developed a tradition of competing in the Emils Darzins Choral Competition in Latvia in the women’s and men’s choir categories, winning First Prize for both choirs in 2005 and Second Prize for both choirs in 2009. BALSIS was awarded a prize by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia in 2003 for active and original choral programming in 2002 and outstanding achievements in choral music in 2003.
The choir has recorded four Christmas CDs; several recordings of works by Latvian composers in exile, under the direction of Andrejs Jansons, conductor of the New York Latvian Choir; as well as recordings of Baltic composers’ works. In 2010, BALSIS released two CDs – Handel’s Messiah (excerpts) and a collection of the choristers’ favorite works by Latvian and international composers called “Sarkans”. All of these CDs can be purchased online at http://www.balticshop.com/.
In October 2010, BALSIS performed at the prestigious “Polyfollia World Showcase and Marketplace for Choral Singing” in France. www.polyfollia.org As a result of their appearance at this showcase, the choir was invited to perform at the Vaasa ChoirFestival in Finland in May 2011 and has been invited to perform at the inaugural Audi Youth Choir Festival in Ingolstadt, Germany in July 2012 and will be performing at the Lund Festival and touring Sweden in October 2012. Check here often for updates on additional tour engagements.
The Missa a cappella Project
In the fall of 2010, BALSIS launched a long-range commissioning and recording project called Missa a cappella. The project involves recording and producing a new CD every year which will be launched as part of an annual Missa a cappella concert series. The project’s primary goal is to facilitate the creation and recording of new a cappella Mass settings by well-known Latvian and international composers.
The first of these recordings was released in December 2011, featuring Latvian composer Uģis Prauliņš’ Missa Rigensis and Lithuanian composer Vytautas Miškinis’ Missa Brevis Es-dur. BALSIS was pleased to present the world premiere of Canadian composer Peter-Anthony Togni’s Missa Liberationis inRiga,Latvia in December 2011, with a recording due out later this year. Future commissions and recordings include works by Latvian composers Pēteris Vasks, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Rihards Dubra and Latvian-Canadian composer Imant Raminsh.
BALSIS is pleased to be joining Opening Day Entertainment Group for international distribution of the Missa a cappella project recordings. Music scores for the Missa a cappella project are published and distributed by Musica Baltica in Latvia.
Listen to “Balsis”
Watch “Balsis” on YouTube
Latvian folk song arrangements of “Bārenīte” and “Lokātiesi mežu gali”, conducted by Ints Teterovskis
Purchase “Balsis” CDs
The following “Balsis” CDs are also available for purchase through The Adlers Agency. Contact us to order your copies today! ($20 each, plus shipping)
SARKANS – (Image not available)