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Dzintars Kļaviņš

07 Klavins

Dzintars Kļaviņš (born 18 May 1928 in Valmiera – died 23 June 2007 in Riga) – musicologist, researcher of the Livonian cultural history and musical heritage, conductor of the Livonian singing group “Līvlist”. In the monthly “Līvli” in July 1993 Tõnu Karma, Estonian, researcher of the Livonian language and culture, and bibliographer, published an article congratulating D. Kļaviņš on his 65th birthday and compared his contribution to that made by Johann Gottfried Herder in the Latvian culture.

Dzintars Kļaviņš first turned to the Livonian musical heritage when he was getting ready for the 1957 World Youth and Student Festival in Moscow. The young music teacher established Ventini and Livonian singing group in Ventspils; in co-operation with Alfreds Ruja they learned also dances, for example “Sārabumbal”. Materials were written down in Kolka and other villages from tellers, and he met the Livonian Sunday school teacher of the 1920s-1930s Mārtiņs Lepste.

On 8 January 1972, the newly established Livonian singing group “Līvlist” had their first practice in Riga with the teachers they chose by themselves– Dzintars and his spouse Dzidra Kļaviņa.

The first repertoire in Riga was created in co-operation with Pēteris Dambergs, who had a good knowledge of the Livonian verbal and music folklore.

Dzintars Kļaviņš arranged Livonian melodies, wrote original songs, staged productions such as “Livonian Wedding in 19th Century” (1977-1979), “Winter Time Meti” (1982), suites “Livonian Children Songs” (1994) and “Livonian Play Songs” (1996); “Livonian Mass” that was composed by Dzintars Kļaviņš was performed in Bolderaja church on his 75th birthday.
Three-song cycle for mixed voices choir “Līvõ triptih” (Livonian tryptich) by Dzintars Kļaviņs should be noted as a successful piece of music.

Dzintars Kļaviņš made an effort to ensure that the singing group would always have a conductor, so that singers would not lose joy in practices and many concerts, and so that they would always have songs that they and the audience would like and understand, because above all there was the main task – the Livonian language.

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