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Latvian Vocal Ensemble Putni
to Perform at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: Nov. 8, 2006

Latvian women's vocal ensemble, PutniiEAU CLAIRE — Putni, a Latvian women's vocal ensemble that has received accolades both in Latvia and abroad, will perform at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire as part of a 14-concert tour of the United States. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, in the Davies Theatre.

Established in 1993 in Riga, Latvia, Putni is comprised of eight women who trained professionally in different choirs but came together to perform as part of the chamber choir Sindi Putnu Darzs from 1986 to 1993.

Over the years, Putni (which means birds in Latvian) has perfected an individual sound that has been enjoyed by audiences in Germany, Latvia, Sweden and Finland, where the ensemble has won a number of international choir competitions. The group's specialty is music of the 20th century, although they also perform classical pieces and Latvian folk music. The concert program is to include mostly Latvian music by composers such as Peteris Vasks, Maija Enfelde, Valts Puce, Anita Mieze, Juris Vaivods and others.

Well known for their bold experiments in performing contemporary avante-garde music, the members of Putni challenge composers to write music specifically for female voices that would break or expand the stereotypical image of a female vocal ensemble.

The ensemble has released four compact discs, the most recent of which is last year's "Hildegardes dziesmas," a recording of songs composed by Georgs Pelecis.

Putni's U.S. tour is sponsored by the cultural organization TILTS, a non-profit organization whose mission is to foster Latvian culture and education. The English translation of TILTS is "bridge," symbolizing the building of a bridge for cultural interaction and enrichment between Latvians in Latvia and those residing abroad. The tour will take the eight women from Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., to Ohio, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and then to New York. According to ensemble leader Antra Drege, five of the concerts will be in Latvian and American schools.

There is no admission charge for the concert, but freewill donations are encouraged. The performance at UW-Eau Claire is sponsored by the Baltic Student Organization and the Center for International Education. For more information, call 715-834-1874 or 715-836-4725.

-30-

NW

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