Christmas Joy in Latvia
Bruno Skulte (1905-1976), conductor, composer and organist, studied composition with Jāzeps Vītols and conducting with Janis Mediņš. He began his career as Associate Conductor of the Latvian Radio Orchestra and Music Director of the Liepāja Opera. In 1944 he sought refuge in Germany where he conducted Latvian opera performances in Oldenburg and was also guest conductor at the Opera House there. He later came to the USA where he directed several Latvian choirs and was organist at the New York Latvian Church. He was Conductor at Latvian Song Festivals in the USA and Canada. Orchestral and vocal-instrumental works form the heart of his extensive creative output, which includes over 100 choral works and some 50 solo songs. The CD Latvian Solstice by the New York Latvian Concert Choir presented Skulte's melodious cantata Spoža zvaigzne attecēja [Behold, a Bright Star]. This album offers his emotionally rich miniature Ziemassvētkos [At Christmas Time] written at the end of the 1960s for soprano and kokle.