About

The Latvian-Finnish choir “Ziemeļmeita” was born in Helsinki in 2012. From the very beginning, the choir has been led by the talented conductor Ilmārs Millers, who comes to see his singers from Latvia every week. Since the very beginning, at the first five years the choir was looking for right direction and the best way to express ourselves. We had high hopes, and we felt uncertain about the future at the same time, and we were looking for praise. We are in the next stage now. The choir is growing and developing.  The quality of the performance has improved, and it has also been appreciated by professionals: “Ziemeļmeita” has won high places in the contest between Latvian choir groups from overseas.  The artistic level of the choir has risen and the number of choir concerts has also increased.  It leads to the recognition of “Ziemeļmeita” in the Latvian society at Latvia and in Latvians around the world, as well it has increased interest in Finnish-speaking choir music lovers. The choir is about to reach the teenage.  Nobody know how many impossible things we are going to do in the future. But now the choir “Ziemeļmeita” actively participates in diaspora choir events organized by the European Latvian Association ELA, such as the European Latvian Culture Festival in Brussels in 2015 and in Dublin in 2019.  “Ziemeļmeita” has taken part in the most significant choir events in Latvia, the General Latvian Song Festival 2 times and was a part of Nation Choir in a grand performance of the rock opera “Lāčplēsis” at the Arena Riga, dedicated to the centenary of Latvia. The choir is performing artistic activities and working with social activities among Finnish Latvians. The belonging to your nation and keeping that feeling alive is one of the most important issues of the people living out of the lands of origins. Since 2016, Rihards Zarinš has been the second conductor of the choir “Ziemeļmeita”. The choir cooperates regularly with guest conductor Karol Kisiel from Poland.

Since the middle of August 2021, after ten months break, choir Ziemeļmeita has rehearsals again. It is so touching to create the music together and enjoy meeting friends in the choir. It is already the second year, when choir is singing in the bigger premises in Helsinki German school. We are thankful for the financial support to the Latvian Ministry of Culture, World Federation of Free Latvians and Helsinki German school.

Conductor and artistic director

Ilmars Millers (1982) have conducted chorus Ziemelmeita from the very beginning, from the time he was finalising his Bachelor’s theses at Conducting Department in Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in 2012/13. The performing quality of chorus have grown a lot from persistent work of Ilmārs. Ziemelmeita have become both messenger of traditions of Latvian choir music in Finland and a significant part of Latvian choir’s society overseas or at Latvian diaspora. The members of chorus Ziemelmeita are very proud of their conductor Ilmars Millers, because he has been invited to be part of creation and implementation team of largest Latvian diaspora happenings, like European Festival of Latvian Culture ELKS 2015 at Brussel and Festival for 70 Years since first Latvian Song Festival at Esslingen at 2017. Chorus Ziemelmeita is appreciating a lot that talented conductor Ilmars Millers, is willing to share his time and energy every week for traveling and conducting in Helsinki as well he is leading Siguldas mixed chorus Atvars in Latvia and The Chamber Choir of Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia. What we would do without him? Is there somebody else in Finland who would understands the essence of the main activities of Latvian choir life, like yearly contests and the grand national song and dance festivals arranged every fourth year as well could lead us through the jungles of complicated Latvian choir music?

Concerts and festivals

2024

Workshop in Siikaniemi educational center

The Latvian-Finnish choir “Ziemeļmeita” and the Latvian choir in Copenhagen “In corde meo” spent three unforgettable, workshop-filled days from April 12th to 14th, 2024 at the Siikaniemi educational center, on the still-frozen shore of lake Vesijervi in the pristine nature of Finland. The choirs worked on polishing the program for the May 4th grand concert, the song cycle “Daugava” by Mārtiņš Brauns under the direction of conductor Āris Ādamsons, and learned the practical secrets of choral magic in the safe hands of vocal pedagogue Viktorija Majora, as well as under the supervision of conductors Rihards Zariņš and Karol Kisiels. After three days of work, Āris Ādamsons shared his impressions: “I got to know the Latvian diaspora singers better. They surprised me with their high level of preparation in mastering the sheet music and convincing vocal sound, which allowed us to immediately focus on technical nuances.” The choirs express their gratitude to the author of the workshop idea and the main organizer, the conductor of Ziemeļmeita, Ilmārs Millers! The workshop was financially supported by the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture.

2023

Christmas church service

On December 21st, Choir Ziemelmeita performed at the church service in  Old Helsinki Church. During the concert, we sang the most beautiful Christmas songs.

Concert "Sweet Bells of Christmas"

The concert “Sweet Bells of Christmas” made the Christmas story resound in Tapiola Church in Espoo on December 1. The Latvian-Finnish choir Ziemeļmeita and the Vantaa Chamber Choir sang Christmas carols from different times and by different nations.
The concert was supported by the Ministry of Culture of  Latvia, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia from the funds of the diaspora support project program, The World Federation of Free Latvians  and the Union of European Latvians , the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, the Embassy of Latvia in Finland, the culture department of the city of Espoo and the adult education center of the city of Vantaa.

Celebration of Latvia's 105th anniversary in Tallinn

On November 18, the choir “Ziemeļmeita” performed a beautiful concert in Tallinn, in the Teacher’s House, which is located in the heart of the Old Town. The musical repertoire included the favourite and most patriotic songs of Latvians.

105th anniversary of the Proclamation Day of the Republic of Latvia in Helsinki

On November 16, the 105th anniversary of the Proclamation Day of the Republic of Latvia was celebrated at the Latvian Embassy in Finland. Choir “Ziemeļmeita” delighted the guests with a musical performance.

XXVII General Latvian Song and XVII Dance Celebration

On May 28, the Latvian-Finnish choir “Ziemeļmeita” ended the spring season with a performance at the Pentecost service in Leppävaara church in Espoo city. The Latvian-Finnish choir “Ziemeļmeita” has given away all its physical and emotional strength and regained it threefold at the XXVll General Latvian Song Festival on the Mežapark’s huge outdoor stage Sidraba Birzs (Silver Grove). We spent an unforgettable holiday week, soaked in the rain and heated by the sun, and undoubtedly the highest points of this week were the concerts “Tīrums” and “Kopā augšup”.

Pentecost service

On May 28, the Latvian-Finnish choir Ziemeļmeita ended the spring season with a performance at the Pentecost service in Leppävaara church in Espoo city.

Latvian choirs contest

The choir “Ziemeļmeita participated in the choirs’ qualification rounds (“koru skates”) with dignity and success. With 43.56 points, the choir won first place in the whole B group and got the highest rating in the “diaspora” (Latvian choirs from abroad) choirs’ group. Thanks to our great conductor Ilmārs Millers! You can familiarize yourself with the ratings of Latvian choirs from the “diaspora”   on the LNKC website:

https://www.lnkc.gov.lv/lv/media/23852/download?attachment

Northern Europe rehearsal camp

On February 17, the choir “Ziemeļmeita” arrived in Denmark for the joint regional rehearsal camp of Northern Europe to prepare for the Latvian Song Festival. The other participants of the joint rehearsal were the Latvian choir of Copenhagen “In corde meo”, the Latvian choir of Southern Sweden “Skåne”, the Latvian choir from Estonia ” Ziemeļu balsis” , as well as Latvian choir “Rietumvējš” from Denmark. The chief conductors Agita Rimševiča, Jānis Baltiņš, and Kaspars Ādamsons worked with the choir singers at the camp. We can sing our greetings to the Latvian National Cultural Center for this event! The joint rehearsal camp was three days long, and it took place from February 17 to 19.

2022

104th anniversary of the Proclamation Day of the Republic of Latvia

On November 15, Latvian Embassy in Finland celebrated the 104th anniversary of the Proclamation Day of the Republic of Latvia. The choir “Ziemeļmeita”  engaged the guests with a musical performance.

Concert “Uguns upe”

The big concert “Uguns upe” (“The river of fire”) united two choirs in songs – the choir “Ziemeļmeita” and the teachers’ choir “Atzele” of the Alūksne region Culture Center (Latvia).The performance included compositions from the program of the XXVII General Latvian Song Festival, and the concerts were held in Loima and Helsinki on November 11 and 12.

The concert supporters were the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, the World Federation of Free Latvians, and the European Latvian Association.

Cavalcade of choirs

Choir “Ziemeļmeita” took part in a cavalcade of choirs on October 8, in Helsinki, Musiikkitalo. The choir performed three Latvian songs.

XXVII General Latvian Song and XVII Dance Festival “Kopā Augšup”

On September 17, a joint rehearsal/modeling of the closing concert of the XXVII General Latvian Song and XVII Dance Festival Kopā Augšup (“Up Together”) was arranged on the Mežaparks’ Great Open-Air Stage (Riga).  The choir “Ziemeļmeita” also participated in this event.

Esslingen song festival

Just a week later, from June 16 – 19, the choir went to Esslingen in Germany. The Esslingen song festival has its own significant page in the history of the famous Latvian Song Festivals. The event in Germany had a diverse program, and its main events were a festive parade and the grand final concert.

Sulasolin Laulu- ja soittojuhlat

From June 10 to 12, Ziemeļmeita participated in the song festival in Jyväskylä organized by the Finnish Choir Association SULASOL. The choir participated in the festive parade and in the final joint choir concert, as well as performed in local taverns and in a church.

Concert "Voices of Spring"

On June 1st, the concert “Voices of Spring” was held at the Merikartano seniors’ home in Espoo. The concert program was chosen and prepared especially for this performance, and it was filled with songs of birds and sunlight! The cultural department of the city of Espoo was the concert’s supporter.

Concert ''Voices of Spring''

Choir Ziemelmeita organized the concert “Voices of Spring” on May 14th. Participants of the concert were also the Helsinki Traffic department’s male choir and Vantaa Chamber Choir. Three choirs united their singing powers and performed the most beautiful songs from the 2022 festival of the Finnish choral association “Sulasol” and the XVII Latvian Song festival. Conductor of Latvian-Finnish choir Ziemelmeita – Ilmars Millers, pianist – Laura Balabane-Verhushkina. Conductor of the Helsinki Traffic department’s male choir – Anita Lehtonen, pianist – Tapio Lehtonen. Conductor of Vantaa Chamber Choir – Ilona Korhonen.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and Embassy of Latvia in Helsinki were supporting this concert.

2021

Advent church service

Choir Ziemeļmeita performed at church service in Leppävaara church on 5.12.2021. Choir Ziemeļmeita was sharing with the audience a joy and songs, such as an American Christmas song from 19th century ‘Away in a manger’ and Christmas coral ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’/’Adeste Fideles’.

Concert "Dancing to the Northern Lights"

Choir Zielmeita performed at dance group Aurora 5th years anniversary concert ‘Dancing to the Northern Lights’ on 4.12.2021. Choir was able to fulfill its mission – to perform to the audience, which not that self-evident nor easy these days. Closing song of the concert performed by the choir was “Pilni vižņu mani mati”, all the participants-dancers were dancing together accompanied by our song.

Workshop in August 2021

At the last weekend of August choir Ziemeļmeita had three days workshop working mainly with repertoire of the next Latvian Singing Festival. Workshop was led by two conductors – Ilmārs Millers and Karol Kisiel. During the workshop we were seaking for the answers – can the singing skills lost during the one and a half year be retrieved during one weekend? How is choir waking up after the pandemic?

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Embassy of Latvia in Helsinki and Helsinki German School were supporting this project.

2019

Good Times Express stopped at Apollo Live Club in Helsinki, on Saturday, December 14th at 8 p.m.

Good Times Express was an exciting musical journey through times, continents, musical styles, and a passionate love story. We started with early jazz standards and finished with iconic hits of modern popular music.

Good Times Express featured three spectacular soloists, Adriana Tšupova, Kristīne Baltiņa, and Mark Vaino, the first Baltic female saxophone quartet Next Move (Inga Meijere, Baiba Kuzmina, Katrīna Kivleniece Anete Levica) with the accompanying band (Āris Ozols, Matīss Žilinskis, Ansis Klucis, Valters Gotlaufs), as well as the Latvian-Finnish choir Ziemeļmeita and the Chamber Choir of Tallinn University of Technology. The conductor of the concert was Ilmārs Millers.

Artistic videos made by Līva Vilnīte-Panteļējava enhanced live performance of professional musicians and two amateur choirs.

Before the concert professional musicians and choir singers participated in intensive workshops, led by Ilmārs Millers and Inga Meijere. The workshops were organized with the purpose to exchange experience amongst professional artists, as well as to provide high quality working environment and artistic challenge for amateur singers. The participants of the workshops and concert were mainly from three different countries of the Baltic Sea region, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland.

The Latvian Ministry of Culture and the Nordic Culture Point Mobility program were supporting this concert.

Concert "Make a song unite us!"

The teachers’ choir “Atzele” from Aluksne Culture Center with led conductors Jānis Baltiņš invited us to sing at the Aluksne City Festival on August 3rd. And we, the choir ”Ziemeļmeita” and our conductor Ilmārs Millers accepted it, with pleasure. We sang popular songs together with Aluksne’s folks.

II European Latvian Culture Festival,

The second Festival of European Latvian Culture was hold at Dublin, 13-16.6. The choir ”Ziemeļmeita” was among the participants and along with other choirs took part in Gala concert.

Concert "Take me out, to Kurzeme "

The concert took place on May 25th, in Balderi Hall. The Ziemeļmeita together with experienced Estonian choir Siller performed in the concert. There were – both old folk songs and contemporary compositions in three languages from nations living around of the Baltic Sea

Concert '' The house and the Song''

The Ziemeļmeita went to Mazirbe to celebrate the start of 80th anniversary of the  Livonian National House on May 4th. The choir performed a wide range of Latvian and Finnish songs conducted Ilmars Millers and Karol Kisiel

Concert '' A Touch of Spring ''

We performed the charity concert “A Touch of Spring” for the residents of the Merikatanon Senior House on the 24th of April. We sang Latvian and Finnish folk songs as well as more modern compositions there. It was sponsored by the Department of Culture of Espoo City. Ilmars Millers and Karol Kisiel (Poland) were conductors at that great spring conce

2018

Concert ''New friends''

The concert Jaunie draugi (New Friends) was performed by the Latvian National Guard Orchestra, the Big band of National Guard, the Latvian National Guard Choir Stars, the choir Ziemeļmeita at November 24th  at 15:00 on the stage of Ziedonis Hall in National Library of Latvia. The love to Latvia was the main theme of music there.

Rock-opera "Lāčplēsis''

The first and only time in Latvia’s history there has been presented story of national epos ”Lāčplēsis” as a Rock-opera performed by the best national singers,“Nation Choir ” and the symphony orchestra, conducted by Jānis Liepiņš, shortly before the actual centenary of independence of  Latvia’s state, at November 10th at multi-functional hall Arena Riga. The choir Ziemeļmeita had honor to take part in that grand show.

Art goes kapakka

On August 16 the choir “Ziemeļmeita”  opened an autumn season with the participation in the ‘’Art Goes Kappakka’’ festival. The event begins with a joint concert on the stairs at the Senate Square and continued in several Helsinki restaurants and bars.

XXVI General Latvian Song and XVI Dance Celebration

The choir “Ziemeļmeita” had an honor to participate to the Latvian Song and Dance Celebration, what was unique happening for the Latvian Centenary at the summer of 2018.  Songs were sung by 16 000 voices on the same stage, in the same time. They were drawing the path of Latvia through centuries at the Celebration’s gala concert Following the Starry Path. The choir “Ziemeļmeita” together with Latvian Choirs and Folklore groups from all over the world was creating a concert The Cycle of Life as a foreigner Latvians gift to Latvia. This concert started and ended by songs conducted by our conductor Ilmars Millers.

Latvian Cultural Day in Estonia - Latvia 100

On June 9, 2018, the choir “Ziemeļmeita” participated in the event “Latvian Culture Days in Estonia – Latvia 100”. There  was a specially organized concert with participation of the Estonian Latvian Choir “Ziemeļu Balsi” and the Tallinn Technical University Chamber Orchestra too. The happening was arranged by the Latvian diaspora in Estonia. The festival took place at the recently opened branch of the Estonian History Museum in Maarjamäe Palace Park.

Amber Bridge

Amber Bridge – a joint concert in Finland performed by Latvian-Finnish choir “Ziemeļmeita” and the Alūksne teachers’ choir “Atzele”.

The Latvian-Finnish Choir “Ziemeļmeita” conducted by Ilmārs Millers and Karol Kisiel and Alūksne teachers choir “Atzele” conducted by Jānis Baltiņš and Ina Perevertailo, will give a concert “Amber bridge” in Loimaa city in a Western part of Finland and in Helsinki at 9th and 10th February of 2018. The location of those two choirs from the opposite banks of the Baltic Sea is giving the name for the concert “Amber Bridge”. The choirs are meeting on an amber bridge.

2017

Song for Freedom

The concert Song for Freedom is a dedication for dignifying the centenary of Finland’s independence provided by Embassy of Latvian in Finland, Jaeger Battalion 27 Heritage Society, Latvian – Finnish chorus Ziemelmeita, the Big Band of Latvian National Guard and The male chorus of Finnish service officers Kaaderilaulajat. In the same time the concert preludes the centenary of Latvia too. It is a dedication for soldiers fought for the independence of Finland and Latvia. There is special dignity for Finnish service officers or Jaeger who took part in the fights for independence in both countries.

My roots Grow Deeper

The concert My Roots Grow Deeper is a result of the hard work. The choir Ziemelmeita and the newly established Rozentals Society’s folk dance group Aurora have almost doubled their rehearsals at the time of blizzard, thaw and the first spring sunlight, to get ready for the contests for the participation in the Nationwide Latvian Song and Dance Festival organized as a tribute to Latvia on its 100th anniversary. We are proud and happy to present the results of our work to our audiences and also to ourselves. Let us grow our roots deeper and stronger!

Latvian choirs contest

Latvian choirs contest have happened at Mach and April 2017 for getting ready for The XXVI Latvian Nation-wide Song and XVI Dance Celebration. This year it was the first time in the history when Latvian choirs from abroad took part in the evaluation process (done by commission of some top conductors of Latvia Romāns Vanags, Ivars Cinkuss, Mārtiņš Klišāns, Gints Ceplenieks un Jānis Baltiņš)

The Latvian-Finnish chorus Ziemelmeita had a debut at contests group A now at 2017 and got the highest achievements as 43 points out of 50, getting first level diploma of quality. It means that our chorus is the best Latvian chorus for abroad.

All results you can check out at LNKC web page: http://www.lnkc.gov.lv/jaunumi/latvijas-koru-skasu-rezultati/

This contest is important part in preparation process to final concert of The XXVI Latvian Nation-wide Song and XVI Dance Celebration. It helps recognize quality and quantity of singers; contributes choirs artistic grows and development.

We appreciate everybody who greeted, supported or is fan for us, for Ziemelmeita!

2016

One Step Closer

In the autumn of 2016 the Latvian-Finnish choir Ziemeļmeita (Northern Maiden) invites the Finnish choir Procantus to sing together. Christmas is getting closer, and our cooperation has resulted in a new concert programme ‘One Step Closer’. The programme includes both old folksongs and modern compositions. The creation of a real wonder is truly simple after all! We only have to move one step closer to each other! In this darkest time of the year, let’s take together one step towards the light!

Choir Ziemeļmeita, conductors Ilmārs Millers, Rihards Zariņš
Choir Procantus, conductor Sakari Ylivuori
Saturday, 10 December at 18:00, Leppävaara Church, Veräjäkallionkatu 2, Espoo

Latvian Cultural Days in Estonia

The choir Ziemeļmeita participated in the first Latvian Cultural Days in Estonia which took place on 11 June 2016 in Estonian Open Air Museum in Tallinn. Conductor Ilmārs Millers.

International Choral Festival The London Sangerstevne 2016

In May 2016 the choir Ziemeļmeita travelled to London to take part in the international non-competitive choral music festival The London Sangerstevne 2016. The choir performed in the concert on 13 May 2016 in St Matthew’s Church and in the main festival concert on 14 May 2016 in the St Sepulchre Without Newgate. Accompanist Sintija Šteinkopfa. Conductor Ilmārs Millers.

Concert ‘The Touch of the Spring’

The Latvian-Finnish choir Ziemeļmeita presented a new concert programme ‘The Touch of the Spring’ in Espoo Cultural Centre on 7 May 2016. Accompanist Sintija Šteinkopfa. Conductor Ilmārs Millers.

Concert 'A Sky Full of Stars'

After two successful concerts in the autumn 2015 the choir decides to organize an extra ad hoc concert ‘A Sky Full of Stars’. Tickets to the concert in Caisa Cultural Centre in Helsinki on 20 February 2016 are quickly sold out.

Jaan-Eerik Aardam (guitar), Mart Nõmm (bass), Taniel Kuntu (piano), Karl-Heinrich Arro (percussion). Soloists Liina Joonas, Kristīne Baltiņa, Rihards Zariņš. Conductor Ilmārs Millers.

2015

Pop-music concert 'A Sky Full of Stars'

In the autumn season of 2015 choir Ziemeļmeita is performing two pop-music concerts ‘A Sky Full of Stars’: in Espoo Karatalo hall on 28 November, in Helsinki KOKO theatre on 5 December with the participation of Jaan-Eerik Aardam (guitar), Mart Nõmm (bass guitar), Taniel Kuntu (piano), Karl-Heinrich Arro (percussion), and soloists Liina Joonas, Kristīne Baltiņa and Rihards Zariņš. Conductor Ilmārs Millers.

European Festival of Latvian Culture (ELKS)

The choir Ziemeļmeita participated in the European Festival of Latvian Culture (ELKS) on 18-21 June 2015 in Brussels. Ilmārs Millers was the chief conductor of the united choir of the festival.

Concert 'With the power of sun'

The concert ‘With the power of sun’ took place on 24 May 2015 in the lobby of Espoo Cultural Centre. Conductor Ilmārs Millers. Accompanist Sintija Šteinkopfa.

2014

Christmas concerts 'Christmas lullabies'

Two Christmas concerts ‘Christmas lullabies’ were held on 13 December 2014 in the Seniors’ Center in Kauklahti and in Matinkylä Cultural Centre in Espoo with the participation of Rihards Zariņš (piano), Martiņš Vilnītis (percussion), Jānis Katinskis (bass), and Toms Žeikars (gitar). Conductor Ilmārs Millers.

latvija

Latvian Independence Day concert

The choir Ziemeļmeita participated in the Latvian Independence Day celebrations on 18 November 2014 in the Latvian Embassy of Finland. Conductor Ilmārs Millers. Accompanist Rihards Zariņš.

Concerts 'Tango Fever'

Two concerts ‘Tango Fever’ were held on 10 May 2014 in Tallinn and on 11 May 2014 in Helsinki with the participation of the Chamber Choir of Tallinn Technical University, the Latvian Choir of Estonia ‘Nordic Voices’, the Latvian-Finnish Choir of Finland ‘Ziemeļmeita’, Kristīne Baltiņa (soprano), Rita Bogdanova (piano), Natālija Meļņikoviča (accordion), Raimonds Melderis (violin), Oskars Upenieks (contrabass), and Mārcis Kalniņš (percussion). Conductors: Ksenija Grabova, Ieva Lavrinoviča, and Ilmārs Millers. In the programme: P.Butāns, L.McKennitt, A.Piazzolla, S.Robinovitch, etc.

2013

Brivibas piemineklis

Latvian Independence Day concert

Latvian Independence Day concert on 16 November 2013 in Ruskatalo hall, Espoo. Conductor Ilmārs Millers. Accompanist Ieva Lavrinoviča.

dziesmu svetki

XXV Latvian Nation-wide Song and Dance Celebration

The choir Ziemeļmeita participated in the XXV Latvian Nation-wide Song and Dance Celebration in Riga 30 June – 7 July 2013.

Supported by