The task is to stop the outflow of young musicians from Latvia
The first meetings of representatives of LPMKA with the responsible officials of the industry have taken place
The Association of Latvian Professional Music Collectives (ALPMC), which was founded at the end of May this year, has started active work on representing the interests of the Latvian professional music industry, including updating the actual state of the industry and issues of collective remuneration, as well as the issue of the outflow of young Latvian musicians abroad. Representatives of ALPMC have met with officials of the Ministry of Culture and members of the Saeima's Education and Cultural Science Committee, presenting their vision for the development of the industry and the issues that need to be solved urgently.
"The result of our work is quite simple - to play concerts. The listeners have the opportunity to enjoy music in high quality, without even thinking about what it requires from the musician to achieve such a level of performance", says Latvian violist Santa Vižine, who has received international recognition.
Describing the work and creative workload of an orchestra musician, as well as the differences in financial stability between her current orchestra position in the Netherlands and the situation in Latvian professional orchestras, Vižine states:
“I work at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. I have one job that allows me to live comfortably in an expensive country. I feel that my employers appreciate my contribution to the orchestra, and therefore I have the desire and also enough time to maintain my professional skills at the highest level. Contrary to my successful career abroad, I cannot name a single musician in Latvia who has only one job. Most of my friends, classmates and former colleagues work long hours at multiple jobs without days off. People are constantly living on the brink of burnout just to pay the monthly bills.”
The story of Vižine's experience fully reflects the current situation in Latvian orchestras - society expects the highest artistic dedication and internationally recognized performance from musicians, but its maintenance is essentially based on enthusiasm or conditions that can be described as a dead end situation.
The representatives of ALPMC, have met with the Minister of Culture Nauris Puntulis (The National Alliance) and agreed on urgent measures to improve the current situation and the need to solve issue of remuneration of professional music collective employees - musicians and ballet artists already next year, as well as outlined the tasks of the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Music Academy (JVLMA ) for operational support.
On May 6, at the initiative of ALPMC, a meeting was also held with the members of the Saeima's Education, Culture and Science Committee. The situation in the industry was explained to the deputies and the need to foresee strategic investments in the state budget for the faster development of the academic music industry was argued. ALPMC points out that the professional music industry, including the JVLMA as a forge of the industry's new professionals, shows general signs of stagnation and a lack of a unified development perspective. This is largely determined by the amount of funding allocated to the industry so far. The representatives of ALPMC express their satisfaction with the general responsiveness of the members of the parliaments members in the vision expressed by the association's representatives.
ALPMC will continue active lobbying of industry interests, including regularly inviting representatives of responsible institutions to meetings and informing society about the vital importance of these goals, including the long-term positive impact of an well-organized professional music industry on the national economy.
The goal of ALPMC is to create an internationally competitive working and educational environment in order to experience a positive development scenario in the foreseeable future - the return of our outstanding artists, or, perhaps above all, the retention of young talents in Latvia. In the view of ALPMC, it is necessary to identify and solve the issues of musicians' working conditions and remuneration, as well as initiate changes in the professional music education system, strengthening the talent forge - JVLMA.
The founding document of the association was signed by the following professional collectives and institutions: Jāzeps Vītols Academy of Music of Latvia, "Kremerata Baltica", three collectives represented by SLLC "Latvijas koncerti" - State Chamber Orchestra "Sinfonietta Rīga", Latvian Radio Choir and Latvian Radio Big Band, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Latvian National Opera and Ballet (representing orchestra, choir, ballet troupe and soloists), Liepāja Symphony Orchestra and State Academic Choir "Latvija".