Egils Levits
Valsts prezidents pasniedz balvu par mūža ieguldījumu mūzikā komponistiem Maijai Einfeldei un Paulam Dambim
On 25 February, President of Latvia Egils Levits attended the 2019 Latvian Grand Music Award ceremony and presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to composers Maija Einfelde and Pauls Dambis.

Address of the President of Latvia, Egils Levits, at the 2019 Latvian Grand Music Award ceremony

Dear friends of music,

Dear Latvians,

Talent is natural. Talent urges one to perfect it.

This urge is felt by many, but only few can really perfect their talent. However, Latvia is definitely an exception in this sense. We have so many excellent Latvian musicians who have climbed the musical ‘Mount Olympus’ to the top. I think we have more musical talent than any other nation. We are a musical superpower!

According to Satversme (Constitution), state of Latvia must guarantee that Latvian nation, language and culture can exist. Latvian culture, including music, therefore, is a part of the foundation of Latvian state. That means that the state must support the culture. And there is a certain ‘debt’ that comes to mind here. A debt of the state of Latvia to musicians, culture and the whole nation of Latvia. You all know what I am talking about. It is the concert hall.

I suppose that we have found the way to get this project off the ground and at the next year’s Grand Music Award ceremony we will be able to say, ‘The new concert hall is underway.’

Maija Einfelde and Pauls Dambis belong to a generation of extremely talented composers whose contribution to Latvian music has been invaluable and will be forever ingrained in the history of Latvian national culture in all their glory.

Life has taken you along very different paths, but your journey has led you to the same destination – a huge musical and cultural legacy that you have given Latvia. Although different, the scale of your legacies is equally impressive.

I would like to thank you, Madam Einfelde, and you, Mister Dambis, for dedicating your life to all of us, all Latvians, to all the music lovers. Our musical world would be a lot different without your music.

Thank you!

25.02.2020. Valsts prezidents Egils Levits ar dzīvesbiedri Andru Leviti piedalās “Lielās mūzikas balvas” pasniegšanas ceremonijā