On 13 March, President of Latvia Egils Levits attended the 2020 Latvian Grand Music Award ceremony. This year’s show was broadcast live Latvian Television Channel 1 and Latvian Radio Channel 3. President presented the award to conductor Aivis Greters, who won the Best New Artist award in 2020.
Speech by the President of Latvia Egils Levits
Good evening, dear musicians, and viewers,
Today we celebrate Latvian music and our artists.
I hope this is the first and the only time ceremony goes on in a hall with empty seats. A vivid reminder of how important the audience and culture are. Culture is the force that lifts us up and gives us strength. Without culture there is no nation, and without nation there is no nation state.
The temperature of public debate here in Latvia and elsewhere in the world has significantly ‘heated up’. I would even say it has reached a piercing crescendo. Just imagine what angry social media comments would look like if we used music records instead. We would not only have more musicality around the world. People would find it much easier to communicate and find consensus because music unites people. Music gives strength. Music opens up channels for communicating with one another. Music cannot divide or distinguished who we are, it inspires and unites us.
It has become very clear that musicians are our source of energy today. And we also see that our state has achieved a lot in culture and music. I believe it is crucial to also have the support of musicians in these unusual times.
I am confident that the day when we will be able to sit in these chairs and enjoy musicians play, and for musicians to see the audience holding their breath, are not far away.
It is my pleasure to present the Best New Artist award tonight. We have a trio of exceptional musicians as nominees. The nomination itself is a recognition of the true talent of an upcoming artist.