Digital organ launched in RSU Great Hall
On 6 March, the RSU Great Hall hosted a long-awaited event: the opening ceremony of the largest digital organ in the Baltic countries. Together with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Guntis Kuzma, the titular organist, holder of the Latvian Great Music Award and twofold winner of the prestigious ECHO Klassik music award, Iveta Apkalna, performed compositions by J. S. Bach and Francis Poulenc, as well as national composers Lūcija Garūta, Aivars Kalējs and Ēriks Ešenvalds.
In his opening speech, RSU rector Professor Jānis Gardovskis noted that "the organ harmonically complements the acoustics of RSU Great Hall and the solemnity and monumental magnificence of its sound perfectly fits our academic events. Thanks to the donations, this is our contribution to Latvian organ music which, just like Riga Stradiņš University, has expressly demonstrated exportability in recent years”.
RSU Great Hall, which also functions as a concert hall, was opened in 2009. Since then, there have been plans to install an organ there, however due to lack of resources this desire remained unfulfilled. Thanks to the commitment of RSU staff, students and graduates and the financial possibilities of the University, we succeeded to raise the necessary funding and the digital organ Ecclesia D450, manufactured by the Dutch company Johannus, was installed and launched earlier this year.
The new RSU organ has 54 stops, a double audio system, low frequency loudspeakers and a specially-tailored façade. Thanks to its qualities, the organ has multiple applications – it is equally suitable for baroque music performances as well as traditional symphonic compositions. The audio system of the digital organ is installed in both sides of the hall with 24 loudspeakers, each at a 45 degree angle. The pipes are not merely a decorative element; they contribute to sound formulation from speakers that are located behind them.