On 17 May, the Permanent Representative of Latvia to the European Union H.E. Ilze Juhansone together with Latvian Radio 3 represented by Gita Lancere, donated the Latvian folk musical instrument kokle to the Musical Instruments Museum of Brussels.
“This is a special year for Latvia as it became the presiding country of the EU Council. For this occasion we thought that it would be fitting to give to Brussels and to share with Europe something that is close and important for Latvians – our musical culture heritage and this kokle as part of it”, said Ambassador Juhansone at the ceremony.
Before the instrument was donated to the museum, it was played by the outstanding Latvian kokle musician Laima Jansone at a studio recording session as well as at a concert to visitors of the museum. Gita Lancere, the expert on Latvian folk music and Latvian Radio 3 „Classics” program manager, provided a brief introduction on the instrument kokle and its place in Latvian cultural history.
Wim Bosmans, responsible for European national instruments at Musical Instruments Museum (MIM) was very pleased to receive the Latvian kokle in the MIM: “It is a particular pleasure to welcome it here in the MIM, as we only had one single Latvian instrument until very recently - a stabule-flute. Last Monday, two other Latvian instruments entered our collection, two pretty little ceramic bird whistles. There couldn’t possibly have been a nicer souvenir of the Latvian Presidency than this Latvian svilpaunieks whistle.”
The donated kokle was made by a yong, talanted crafter Jānis Rozenbergs who admits that making of this kokle was a huge responsibility. “With my skills and knowledge I had to put whole Latvian spirit in this instrument,” J.Rozenbergs admits.
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