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History of JVLMA

JVLMA, previously Latvian Conservatoire, was founded at the end of 1919. Its first rector till 1944 was Latvian composer Jāzeps Vītols. With the exception of 1935-37 when rector was Pauls Jozuus. Following rectors were composers and conductors Alfrēds Kalniņš (1944-1948), Jēkabs Mediņš (1948-1950), Jānis Ozoliņš (1951-1977). Latvian State Conservatoire obtained international recognition during Imants Kokars` rectorship (1977-1990). His policies were continued by Juris Karlsons (1990-2007) and by present rector, saxophonist Artis Sīmanis.

Latvian Conservatoire was founded as classic type music education establishment following ancient traditions of the famous St.Petersburg Conservatoire where Jāzeps Vītols was teaching for 30 years. Main tasks formulated by the programme of the new educational institution were significant and extensive: - "development of the inner culture in Latvia, broadening of possibilities for perception of the art and furthering and promotion of real talents in achievements of higher levels of musical maturity and virtuosity" . The main purpose of Jāzeps Vītols and his colleagues was development of music culture in Latvia and organic combination of professional education with the mission of enlightenment. Network of good music teachers, choir and orchestra conductors gradually spreading in all the country was considered as the first real success of the Conservatoire. In 20-ies and 30-ies of the 20th century it was graduated by many talented singers, performers, composers, organists and conductors. Jāzeps Vītols invited to teach famous musicians representing various national musical cultures - Latvian, German and Russian. It helped the new national culture to avoid provincialism and naturally integrate into the European culture.

After the World War II the Conservatoire was incorporated into the Soviet system of music education sharing its achievements and deficiencies. Several new departments were established - Choir conducting (1944), Musicology (1947), Music education (1966). In 1960-ies along with the political "thaw" and loosening of restrictions on international contacts information about the new music, music materials and recordings became more accessible in Latvia. New possibilities opened up for students and teaching staff - among the Latvian musicians appeared first winners of international competitions, "old Europe" more and more often cheered Latvian soloists, choirs and conductors.

By the beginning of 90-ies together with political transformation - regaining of state independence - the scale of international contacts rapidly increased. Our students study abroad, foreign students more often can be seen at JVLMA. Mutual contacts are furthered by participation in international competitions, festivals, masterclasses and joint projects.

As a result we can see rapid development of classic music education programmes offered by the Academy, as well as introduction of the new ones: wind orchestra conducting, accordion, classic guitarre; considerable attention is paid presently to the early music interpretation problems, development of jazz and ethnomusic study programmes, improvement of music education study programmes.

last modified: 05.10.2011 10:48