What is the Latvian Music Information Centre?
What are the Centre's activities?
How to find the LMIC?
The history of the building

LMIC staff and address

What is the Latvian Music Information Centre?

The LMIC is a non-governmental organisation founded in July 2002 by
  • The Latvian Composers’ Union,
  • The Latvian Academy of Music,
  • The National Library of Latvia,
  • The Latvian Concert Agency,
  • The Latvian Association of New Music.
    In 2003, music publisher Musica Baltica became a member of the Centre.

    The LMIC's focus of activity is Latvian contemporary and classical music, composers, performers, concert organisers and devotees.

    The Centre's goals are:
  • to popularise and promote Latvian music,
  • to collate and disseminate information about it, within and outside Latvia,
  • to coordinate Latvian music activities with all the organisations involved,
  • to facilitate Latvia's involvement in the international music scene,
  • to promote the performance and publishing of Latvian music.

    The Ministry of Culture has delegated its statutory function in music information to the Centre, and finances the Centre's activities.

    What are the Centre's activities?

    The LMIC provides information not only on Latvian composers and their works, but also on the Latvian music scene - concerts, festivals, competitions and music institutions. The Centre facilitates contacts between foreign and Latvian music institutions, composers, performing artists, music publishers and the media. The LMIC takes care of Latvia’s representation at international music exhibitions and fairs, publishes CDs and informative materials.

    How to find the LMIC?

    LMIC is situated in a building that evokes memories of a very rich and creative 200 year old past. The name of the street has changed from time to time (Lielā Ķēniņu, Komunālā), but it is nowadays named in honour of Richard Wagner, so you will find us at number 4, Riharda Vāgnera iela, in the very heart of Riga’s Old Town.

    The history of the building

    Built from 1781-82 in the style of Classicism (designed, it is believed, by Baltic German architect Christoph Haberland), the building housed the first regular City theatre in Riga, erected at the instigation of, and with the material support of Baron Otto Hermann von Vietinghoff, a State’s adviser for the Baltic province, and a patron of the arts. Until 1863, when the company moved to the newly built, and much bigger and grander City Theatre (now the Latvian National Opera), this building was home to all of Riga's major cultural events - both dramatic and musical.

    Despite the confined space (the hall was only 13.5m wide, 18m long and 8m high) and the simple layout, theatrical and musical events cohabited easily in the theatre. Only three days after the theatre's opening, Monsigny's opera "La belle Arsene" was staged. Seven decades of opera and ballet productions followed, both by Europe's best composers and some more modestly talented local musicians. Major highlights were the productions of four Mozart operas at the end of the 18th Century - Abduction from the Seraglio, Cosi fan tutte, The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni (in 1785, '96, '97 and '99 respectively). The outstanding productions of the first quarter of the 19th Century were Beethoven's Fidelio and Weber's Der Freischutz (in 1818 and 1822 respectively). Nevertheless, the theatre is considered to have reached its artistic peak during the so-called Wagner’s Riga Period (from 1837-1839).

    The young Richard Wagner had just turned 24 when he arrived in Riga to spend two seasons conducting the City Theatre orchestra and training singers for their roles. He commenced the composition of his first significant opera Rienzi then. It is possible that the concept for the Flying Dutchman was partly devised in Riga, or at least while departing it. The Flying Dutchman became part of the Riga City Theatre's repertoire only five months after its first staging at Dresden in 1843.

    But it was not only Wagner who forged the fame of the building and the street that now bears his name. During the first half of the 19th Century, many famous musicians performed here during their journey to Russia - Ole Bull, the so-called Paganini of the North, Franz Liszt, Clara Schumann, Anton Rubinstein, Wilhelmine Schroeder-Devrient and many, many others...

    Also, the social life of Riga’s German population centered around this building. From 1787, the Musse society (from the German Musse - the passing of leisure time) found its home there. Of the many and varied spaces utilised by Musse (reading rooms, studies, billiard halls, dining rooms), only the ballroom is today preserved in almost original form, and that is nowadays the Wagner Hall, where chamber music performances have been held since 1988. The building's original splendour is evoked by the cast iron stairs, and a few remaining original interior features, though the theatre itself no longer exists. Its design - seating in the form of an amphitheatre with a sunken orchestra pit - was highly regarded by Richard Wagner at the time, and he subsequently made use of it when constructing the Bayreuth Theatre.

    Formed with truly contemporary goals - to become part of the global process of information exchange, the Latvian Music Information Centre is proud to be a tenant of a building so rich with associations and traditions.

    The LMIC staff and address:

    Ināra Jakubone, director
    Mārīte Dombrovska, project manager
    Inese Oša, information manager
    Zanda Strumpe, accountant

    Tel. +371 7 226797
    Fax: +371 7 226798
    Address: R.Vāgnera 4 Rīga, LV-1050 Latvija