Estonian minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps awarded 19 medals of appreciation tonight at the 18th Student Song and Dance Festival Gaudeamus in Tartu. Medals were awarded to important Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian cultural figures who have been connected to Gaudeamus festivals for many decades at the ministers reception in the Estonian National Museum.
Reps said that awarding the medals is a great honor. „Today, I am honoured to award medals of appreciation to people who have long contributed to organising the Gaudeamus festival. You - choirmasters, callers and conductors - have nurtured and carried the Gaudeamus tradition - there would be no Gaudeamus without you,“ she stressed in her appreciation speech.
„I am truly thankful to everyone who helped organise this year’s Gaudeamus - it is your creation! Yesterday’s opening event offered some beautiful music and a magnificent show. I can hardly wait to see the dance performance tonight and the song festival tomorrow,“ Reps added.
The medals of appreciation were designed by artist Kalle Toompere.
Reps hosted Baltic delegations, artistic leaders of the festival and members of the organising team today in the Estonian National Museum. Heads of universities from all three Baltic countries and several ambassadors were also present at the reception.
Estonian medals of appreciation were awarded to:
• Alo Ritsing – connected to Gaudeamus since the first festival in 1956 until this day. Member, conductor and head conductor of the Tartu Academic Male Choir until 2017. Artistic leader and head conductor of the 12th and 15th Gaudeamus festivals in Estonia.
• Vaike Uibopuu – Conductor and head conductor of the Academic Women’s Choir of the University of Tartu from 1963 to 2005, conductor at the 5th-13th and 15th Gaudeamus festivals.
• Olavi Pihlamägi – Organiser of Gaudeamus festivals since 1967.
• Jaan Laidmets – Organiser of Gaudeamus festivals since 2004.
• Ene Raid – Organiser of Gaudeamus festivals since 1999, executive coordinator of the 13th and 15th Gaudeamus festivals.
Latvian medals of appreciation were awarded to:
• Agra Bērziņa - Executive Director of Gaudeamus.
• Māra Katvare - national co-ordinator and member of Latvian Organizing Committee since 1981.
• Uldis Šteins - Participant of all Gaudeamus festivals since 1956 (as dancer, artistic leader of FDA Vektors, chief choreographer of Latvian programme).
• Juris Kļaviņš - Participant of Gaudeamus festvals as conductor of mixed choir Juventus since 1967 and Chief Conductor of Latvian choirs since 1999.
• Rolands Juraševskis - Participant of Gaudeamys festvals as dancer and artistic leader of FDA Dancis since 1967 and Chief Choreagrapher of Latvian folk dance groups since 1991.
• Edīte Simanoviča - University of Latvia, Coordinator since 1973.
• Asja Visocka - Riga Technical University, Participant of Gaudeamus festvals as dancer and coordinator since 1972.
• Anita Prūse - Latvian University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Coordinator since 1979 .
• Modris Reķis – Male choir “Ozols” of the Latvian University of Life Sciences and Technologies, participant of all Gaudeamus festvals since 1956.
Lithuanian medals of appreciation were awarded to:
• Saulius Liausa – Chief Manager and Coordinator of the Lithuanian Delegation
• Gražina Kasparavičiūtė – Coordinator of Lithuanian Delegation
• Prof. Vidmantas Mačiulskis – Artistic Director and Chief Ballet Master
• Prof. Dainius Puišys – Artistic Director and Chief Conductor
• Jolanta Kisielytė-Sadauskienė – Artistic Director of the Folk Music Ensembles Concert.