“Inside the Aperol Spritz”: The Great Amber Hall in Liepāja
“Now I know how it feels to be inside the Aperol Spritz” was the comment of a visitor in the multifunction and concert hall of Liepāja, as the colour of the tilted transparent panels of the cone-shaped hall symbolizes “Amber” does look, well, similar to the drink! Amber from the Sea — chosen as a name and as the iconic panel colour points out the location of the city of Liepāja and the hall.
Amber Hall was opened in 2015 and serves as a concert hall and cultural centre for Liepāja and the country. Latvian people love to go to concerts of all kinds, so they do not mind travelling for 2 hours on a bus to get to Liepāja for example from Riga to see a special artist or performance. The pretty city is situated on the Western Coast of Latvia and is accessible by air. Air Baltic connects from Riga Airport, but also travelling by car or bus it is not a big distance.
The venue can conveniently be used for meetings, ideally for a size up to 150 delegates, in the Chamber Hall. Own catering and kitchen are available and it can very easily and flexibly change into a meeting room.
The local community benefits in many ways from the new hall — Great Amber has brought educational, musical and cultural benefits for Liepāja and also a new cultural identity.
Hotel and restaurant business have picked up a lot since the opening of the hall. For concerts and festivals, the hotels can be fully booked. In total the tourism offer has grown and regional tourist data show increases in domestic and international visitors of 39 and 24 % respectively, with Lithuania, Germany and Russia being the main countries of origin.
The hall is used for meetings by local businesses and companies, with the strongest local industry being the textile industry and is open to receive international corporate meetings.
“The TEXTILE INDUSTRY is an important part of Latvian industry, combining the best of traditional know-how with industrial and technological knowledge. This expertise has led to the creation of high value-added products such as silver and amber threads.
Around 11 160 people are employed in more than 2 000 Latvian textile companies, mostly small and medium. In 2017 the sector’s contribution to total manufacturing output is 3.3 %. The main textile industry sub-sectors are lingerie manufacturing, sewing, weaving, technical textile manufacturing, and artisan textile production. The competitive advantages for cooperation with Latvian textile companies are numerous, including short lead times, small and diversified production volumes, as well as price and quality ratio. Reliability and long-term mutually beneficial partnerships have allowed the sector to maintain its positions in the currently highly volatile market.
The GORS Concert Hall in the city of Rēzekne in Latgale region
A modern and futuristic spaceship on what was an empty space before in an undeveloped city in the East of Latvia and a brave political step to build this spacious concert and culture hall there, this is the first modern acoustic concert hall in Latvia, 240 km from the capital city of Riga, in Rēzekne in the province of Latgale.
The Latgale GORS Concert Hall was purpose-built as a hall with perfect acoustics, tiered seating, high-quality lights and fine in-house technical equipment.
Funded by 80 % European and 20 % local money, the 20 Mio Euro investment created one of the Latvian Magnets, acting as a hub for development in Latgale. Created by mainly Latvian architects and companies, it was made sure that also 80 % of the construction materials are of Latvian origin.
The hall emphasizes the openness of the region and wants all visitors and guests to feel comfortable and welcome. It was built in 2013 and designed by architect Uldis Balodis, who says: “The character of GORS reflects the impression of the artistic nature and practical approach that is characteristic among Latgalians. It is like a kiln in which the flames of the creative spirit are manifested. The flames attract and warm up a traveller during a winter night, and GORS is a place to experience art that is always welcoming and true irrespective of whether it is large or small.”
Cēsis Concert Hall
The Cēsis Concert Hall opened its doors in May 2014, and it features concerts by top-level musicians, professional theatrical performances, art exhibitions and film screenings. It has welcomed universally renowned musicians such as Gideon Kremer, Martha Argerich, Nicolas Alstaedt, Didier Lockwood and Marko Ylonen to appear at the centre. The hall is a multifunctional building that also houses a music high school, premises for groups of hobbyists, and offices for the regional culture and tourism administration.
A specific aspect of the hall is that it was built with local materials — wood and ceramics, but in a modern way. The Great Auditorium can boast a unique one-of-a-kind balcony that encircles the whole auditorium and the stage, forming a complete oval. Decorative light wood shields give the auditorium a special character and ambience. It can host concerts, theatre and dance performances, as well as conferences and social events and comfortably seats 805: 504 in the stalls and 301 in the balcony, but the number of seats can be changed and adjusted to suit the character of the event.
The stalls feature a conveniently and quickly configurable floor: transforming it from terraced rows of seats to a completely level floor will take only 30 minutes. The latter type of configuration will ideally suit banquets and balls and the orchestra pit can also be used.
A unique multi-functional cultural centre of national and regional significance, the Cēsis Concert Hall is situated in Cēsis, one of the most beautiful cities in Latvia. The visual image of the concert hall was created by restoring the old Cēsis Community Building and adding some contemporary architectural forms to it.
Historical elements co-exist harmoniously with contemporary ones in the new concert hall. The building also features a café and a wine bar.
The schedule at the concert hall is quite busy and features appearances by top-level musicians, performances of professional theatre companies, art exhibitions and film screenings; the concert hall is available to host regional and international conferences, seminars and meetings. It has already welcomed and co-hosted a number of international forums and conferences.
The new “Latvia” Hall in Ventspils
The most recent ad-on to Latvia’s music and entertainment ecosystem is the new “Latvia” Hall in Ventspils. Ventspils is located on the Western Coast of Latvia, in the region of Kurzeme, not very far from Liepaja. The new concert hall and music school opened its doors in July 2019 and is a gift to the people to celebrate Latvia’s centenary birthday.
One of the most ambitious cultural projects of recent years will unite the acoustic concert hall “Latvija” with the Great and Small Hall, Ventspils Music High School and Children’s Music School, as well as the Music Library and sound recording studio.
On July 27, a solo concert on the pipe organ was performed by the famous Latvian organist Iveta Apkalna — as the concert hall is particularly proud of two world-class unique musical instruments — a manual acoustic concert organ and vertical concert piano. The concert organ was created in the company “Johannes Klais Orgelbau GmbH & Co. KG” in Germany. Whereas the second is currently the world’s largest vertical concert piano “470i”, made in the company “Klavins Piano Manufaktura Kft” by piano builder David Klavins who is of Latvian origin.
The Great Hall features 578 seats for spectators. The Small Hall has a special significance as well, it is built according to the so-called “black box” principle, which is meant for chamber music events and can be transformed in summer — one of the facades of the building opens as a gate and an open-air stage is created, which is easy for visitors to watch from the spectator slope or from the seats set up if necessary in the Big Square.
The author of Ventspils Big Square and the concert hall project is the office of German architects “Haascookzemmrich Studio 2050” and David Cook. Thinking about the building’s maintenance and green solutions, 13 different energy-efficient technologies were used. The construction works began in February 2017, and concluded in this year’s July. See images and details under
and the architects’ website
For any requests you have or help that you require for putting together a MICE program for your clients, contact:
Ieva Gredzena, LIAA (Investment and Development Agency of Latvia) email: Ieva.Gredzena@liaa.gov.lv
Aigars Smiltans of MeetRiga, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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