The conference is organized by the University of Latvia in collaboration with the Latvian Academy of Sciences and other institutions. The Ex-President of the Republic of Latvia, Her Excellency Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga expressed her consent to become the patroness of this international conference. The conference is one of the key events dedicated to the UNESCO year of the 150th anniversary of Rainis and Aspazija. The conference will be of special importance in the light of the Latvia’s presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2015.
Anna Maria Jopek is a classically trained Polish pianist and singer who has chosen jazz over Mozart. With 14 albums of her own, Anna Maria Jopek has performed and recorded with the best Polish musicians, as well as internationally renowned jazz stars, such as Joe Lovano, Bobby McFerrin and Chris Botti. Although she often plays open-air gigs for thousands of fans, Anna prefers an intimate setting. Anna performs about 100 concerts each year from Toronto and Los Angeles to Vienna, London and Berlin.
In the 12th episode of #mindpower, the British composer Gabriel Jackson and Latvian singer Goran Gora, who impersonates the poet Rainis, interpret the poem “Three Lessons” from the “The Twilight of Soul” (1904) poetry collection by Aspazija. Although the overall mood of this collection is melancholic and resigned, this poem has a positive message about the necessity to rise over mundaneness with a clear soul.
In the 11th episode of the #mindpower project, the Director of the Danish Cultural Institute, Michael Metz Mørch, reads an excerpt from Aspazija’s poem “Creative Spirit” from the poetry collection “The Wings Spread Wide” (1920). The Latvian musician Goran Gora, for his part, plays the poet Rainis and reads his poem “New Era” from the collection “The Sowing of the Storm” (1905).
In the 10th episode of #mindpower, François Valentiny interprets the poem “Creative Spirit” by Aspazija, which is included in the poetry collection “The Wings Spread Wide”. The episode is based on the idea of creativity, the power of gifted people and the links between art and reality.
Ioan Holender was born 1935 in a family of Jewish origin in Romania. In 1992, he became the director of the Vienna State Opera and served in this position until 2010, thus becoming the longest-serving general director in the history of this Opera. At present, Holender is the advisor of the Metropolitan Opera New York and the Spring Festival Tokyo, and the artistic director of the George Enescu Festival Bucharest. He is a lecturer at the University of Vienna and a jury member for several international singing competitions.
How can a woman warm the world – with her gentleness or with her fire?
Helena Kalinić is a Croatian actress with a diverse experience acting in both theater and film. Due to her specific and pleasantly deep voice, Helena has participated in dubbing of several animated movies. She also works as a radio actress and has starred in various Croatian television series. Helena likes to practice yoga and dance, and she also masters a very special skill – swordplay.
Latvian poets Rainis and Aspazija sent 2499 letters to each other written in Latvian, Russian and German. Their correspondence covers a chronologically long period of time (1887–1927) and reveal their role in the implementation of European ideas in Latvian society and in creation of the concept of Latvia’s independence. The correspondence of Rainis and Aspazija is included in the Latvian National Register of UNESCO Memory of the World programme.
Zlatko (Zlatan Čordič) is a well-known Slovenian hip-hop artist. He has released seven music albums and is one of the most followed celebrities on social media in Slovenia. In his songs, he talks about political and social issues and also highlights the importance of respecting yourself and others. Although the topics he covers in the songs are serious, the overall mood of his music is very positive. He is extremely popular among the young audience, thus he often gets invited to schools to talk to students.