“In his memoirs, the prominent Latvian cultural figure Mariss Vētra wrote the words which have become legendary: “It seemed that with the foundation of the University of Latvia, the formation of the Latvian state was also completed.” Last year, we celebrated Latvia’s centenary of statehood, but this year marks the 100th anniversary of the University of Latvia, our Alma Mater, the cradle of the Latvian higher education system and an intellectual hotspot. Therefore, its birthday is a cause for a nation-wide celebration, where everyone is welcome to participate,” says prof. Ina Druviete, Vice-rector of the UL.
The Night of the Century at Arena Riga will begin with a grand concert from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., followed by a ball from 9.30 p.m to 2 a.m., with the actor Artūrs Skrastiņš as Master of Ceremony. The concert programme will feature performances by Aija Vītoliņa, Ance Krauze, Marija Naumova, Daumants Kalniņš, Zigfrīds Muktupāvels and Jānis Aišpurs accompanied by Kristaps Krievkalns’ Instrumental Band and over 500 participants of the various UL singing and dancing ensembles and choirs: women’s choirs Latve, Balta and Minjona, men’s choir Dziedonis and men’s vocal ensemble Dancis, mixed choirs Jubilate, Dziesmuvara, Juventus and the choir of the Faculty of Physics, Mathematics and Optometry, Aura, Presidium Convent Male Choir, chamber choir DeCoro, as well as the UL Wind Orchestra and Early music ensemble Canto, the dance groups and ensembles Pērle, Dandari, Dancītis and Dancis, and the UL Student Theatre. At the ball, musical entertainment will be provided by Intars Busulis and Abonementa orķestris, as well as the band, Labvēlīgais tips.
The concert repertoire will include the most remarkable Latvian songs and dances of various periods, from the 1900s onwards, marking a century of significant events in the history of the University and the Latvian nation. Song lyrics will be displayed on a screen throughout the concert to encourage guests to sing along the popular tunes.
Tickets to the Night of the Century can be obtained online www.bilesuparadize.lv, at the University’s main building on 18 Raiņa Boulevard (Room 125) and at the UL Science House Library on 3 Jelgavas Street. Ticket prices: 10 euros for the UL students (a valid UL student ID card must be presented at the entrance), 20 euros for other guests and 50 euros for a place at a table (a glass of wine and light refreshments included). Guests are welcome to make donations to the UL Centenarian Scholarship to support the most talented UL students, through the UL charitable foundation platform www.ziedot.lu.lv.
Everyone who feels connected to the UL and the values it represents – excellence, academic freedom, openness and responsibility – is kindly invited to join the celebration. Guests and visitors from all around the world are welcome, too, as the Night of the Century takes place only once in a hundred years.
More about the UL centenary celebrations: www.lu.lv