2 euro coin features Zemgale coat of arms

As the final entry in the four coin series of the historical regions of Latvia, the Bank of Latvia has released a special circulation 2 euro coin for the region of Zemgale.

The previous coins in the series were Vidzeme (released in 2016), as well as Kurzeme and Latgale (released in 2017).

The coin, struck by Staatliche Münzen Baden-Württemberg (in Germany), features the coat of arms of Zemgale on the national side. The coin’s artists are Laimonis Šēnbergs (graphic design) and Jānis Strupulis (plaster model).

According to the Bank of Latvia, the coat of arms of Zemgale, a silver elk, symbolizing the richness of nature, on a blue background, is based on the coat of arms of the Duchy of Semigallia (which existed in the 16th – 18th centuries).

The bank has also released a collector’s set of all four coins in a special package.

For further information, please visit the Bank of Latvia’s coin collector’s website .

 

 

Egils Kaljo is an American-born Latvian from the New York area who lives in Rīga, Latvia. When not working in the information technology field, he sings in the Latvian Academy of Culture mixed choir Sõla, does occasional translation work, and has been known to sing and play guitar at the Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs in Old Rīga. Kaljo began listening to Latvian music as soon as he was able to put a record on a record player, and still has old Bellacord 78 rpm records lying around somewhere.

New collector’s coin entitled “Mana Latvija” released

As part of the Latvian centennial celebrations, and to find a drawing for a new collector’s coin, the Bank of Latvia initiated a children’s drawing competition.

Among 10,000 submitted drawings, the winner of the competition was Elizabete Kandere, and her drawing appears on the new collector’s coin entitled ‘Mana Latvija’ (My Latvia).

The silver coin has a mintage of 4000 and was minted by the Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt in the Netherlands. The design of the coin was prepared by artist Sandra Krastiņa and the plastic model was created by Jānis Strupulis.

For further information, please visit the Bank of Latvia’s collectors’ coin website.

 

Egils Kaljo is an American-born Latvian from the New York area who lives in Rīga, Latvia. When not working in the information technology field, he sings in the Latvian Academy of Culture mixed choir Sõla, does occasional translation work, and has been known to sing and play guitar at the Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs in Old Rīga. Kaljo began listening to Latvian music as soon as he was able to put a record on a record player, and still has old Bellacord 78 rpm records lying around somewhere.

Second volume of history of Latvian LP recordings published

Author and LP collector Atis Gunivaldis Bērtiņš has released the second volume in his history of Latvian LP recordings, Latviešu skaņuplašu vesture (SIA Vesta-LK, 2017, ISBN 978-9934-511-26-4, 327 pages). The first volume, published in 2015, covered the years up until 1945, and this volume continues until the present day.

This volume offers an extensive history and discography, and covers both records released in Latvia, as well as internationally by diaspora communities during that time.

There are brief biographies of notable composers such as Raimonds Pauls, Uldis Stabulnieks and Zigmārs Liepiņš and artists such as Jānis Zābers, Jānis Sproģis and Andrejs Lihtenbergs.

The section on diaspora artists and groups is extensively researched. Besides including well-known groups such as Čikāgas piecīši and Trīs no Pārdaugavas, there are also sections on, for example, the Daugavas vanagi men’s choir in Canada, the men’s double quartet Tēvija, Australian singer Velta Skujiņa, the Hamilton dance group Runči, among many, many others.

The book also has interesting anecdotes and stories. The book also mentions the ongoing controversy about who is the true author of the popular song ‘Vecpiebalga’ – is it Alberts Legzdiņš or Eduards Rozenštrauhs. The author, while not being able to present a conclusion, does note that Rozenštrauhs registered the song in 1968, while Legdziņš recorded it in 1969…

There is also information about the many different diaspora record labels, with the most prolific producer of records being ‘Latvian Music’ in Sweden, who released 55 long playing records and 19 extended play records.

Egils Kaljo is an American-born Latvian from the New York area who lives in Rīga, Latvia. When not working in the information technology field, he sings in the Latvian Academy of Culture mixed choir Sõla, does occasional translation work, and has been known to sing and play guitar at the Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs in Old Rīga. Kaljo began listening to Latvian music as soon as he was able to put a record on a record player, and still has old Bellacord 78 rpm records lying around somewhere.