In the build up to the first edition of Eurovision Choir of the Year, Ieva Rozentāle of LTV has revealed the origins of the contest.
Ieva Rozentāle in an interview with LR1 has revealed that the idea for Eurovision Choir of the Year was born three years ago. The concept was discussed following LTV producing “Born in Riga” in 2014, the concept was a dual production between the Latvian national broadcaster and ARTE Europe’s largest international cultural broadcaster.
Ms Rozentāle explained that following the concert, which received praise from a number of broadcasters, LTV began looking at how to showcase Latvian choral music to a wider audience. The concept was pitched to a number of international organisations including the EBU and Interkultur.
Eurovision Choir of the Year is the first new competitive Eurovision format to be produced by the European Broadcasting Union since the Eurovision Dance Contest. The Eurovision Dance Contest which was held in 2007 and 2008, combined the Eurovision Song Contest and Dancing With the Stars. The contest was however dropped by the EBU due to the financial crisis which lead to low broadcaster interest.
Eurovision Choir of the Year will be held for the first time on July 22 in Riga, Latvia as part of the European Choir Games. The European Broadcasting Union has partnered with Interkultur to create this latest Eurovision family event. It is hoped that the contest will become an annual event following Latvia hosting this years show.
Competing in the contest are:
- Austria (ORF) – Hard-Chor Linz
- Belgium (RTBF) – Les Pastoureaux
- Denmark (DR) – Academic Choir of Aarhus
- Estonia (ERR) – Estonian TV Girls’ Choir
- Germany (WDR) – Jazzchor Freiburg
- Latvia (LTV) – Spīgo
- Slovenia (RTVSLO) – Carmen Manet
- Hungary (MTVA) – Bela Bartok Male Choir
- Wales (S4C) – Côr Merched Sir Gâr
The Choirs competing in the contest will perform once for up to 6 minutes. The performance can include one or several works, of any genre, and “should in part reflect national or regional character in some way”. The winner will be decided by a three member jury, on the jury are; Elīna Garanča (Latvia – Mezzo-Soprano), John Rutter (United Kingdom – Composer) and Nicolas Fink (Switzerland – Conductor).