Find out what do people think of the past year 2004.
"2004 was a very tough and a very beautiful year at the same time. And when it was the toughest, back in June, I dug in with 12 bottles of wine in a very secret place. So that I could remember my most beautiful days are still ahead."
Stengrevica, editor in chief Latvian Cosmopolitan
"They say: life is life. And so this year was a sad and comparatively empty one. We tragically lost our friend and bass player Mumins. Although we had a new DVD come out, had an amazing collaboration with the Russian band Bi-2, re-released our first album "Veronika" and prepared for our next album, not forgetting the many good and bad times had with friends and family. Love from Riga and Jelgava."
Renars Kaupers, lead singer with BrainStorm
"I don't know. I have to really strain myself to place the few events I would or would not like to think about within the limits of one year. What is certain is that I met a few interesting people, much more interesting than my problems, Donald S. Lopez Jr. among them. Also, I was happy in Georgia and saw fragments of Yuri Norstein's animation works "The Overcoat" and "A Winter Day." But possibly it all occurred in another year."
Uldis Tirons, writer, philosopher, editor Rigas laiks magazine
"2004 is gone, but slow food is here to stay, and like the tortoise, will outpace and outlast our current obsession with fast food - the hare. Thank the culinary gods and common sense - and look out McWhat's your name! Highlights included: a trip to Brussels where I cooked for a week at the kitchen of the European Commission: being present at the 'handing over of the baton' to Mariss Jansons at Amsterdam's Concertgebauw Hall: writing the introduction for the European Cookery book, which was presented at The Hague, and the May issue of the German gourmet magazine Feinshmecker hailed Vincents as the best restaurant in the Baltics. Because we care, we will strive to be the best again, in 2005! And that hare? We know exactly what to do with it."
Martins Ritins, owner Vincents restaurant in Riga
"A very good year, though I don't remember everything. I had a very good disk come out in Finland, my second symphony. My disc won the Cannes Festival 2004 classical record of the year. I had another good disc come out in Sweden, where a Swedish group preformed my music. I had a beautiful adventure in Stavanger. This was a very good year for me personally. My music was heard around the world, and it was very fortunate that I was able to create a new composition."
Peteris Vasks, Latvian Grammy-winning composer
"2004 was a significant year for me because I finally came to terms with how utterly untalented, useless, ridiculous and idiotic I am. I like to think it can only get better from there."
The Baltic exile
"The most important events were related to my work. There have been too many concerts to mention them all. This year I finished my fifth symphony, and this made 2004 significant for me. It is a piece for a jazz band, a symphony orchestra and one rock guitar player. The Stuttgart Radio commissioned the symphony and it will first be performed there in February. I spent most of this year working on it, and it is definitely a new thing for me because I have never used such a combination of three different musical traditions before."
Erki-Sven Tuur, Estonian composer
"It's been a very fascinating year, full of work. We played here and there, went on tour, too. I've done several projects, the most interesting being the collaboration with the Estonian Dream Big Band. They made cover versions of my songs, which was interesting and totally new. It will most probably be released in the first half of 2005. The Smilers' first compilation album was also released this year."
Hendrik Sal-Saller, leadsinger/songwriter of Smilers
"I wrote two short stories this year, two short stories with a biographical background. I have also started with the second volume of [the memoir] Kallid Kaastoolised ("Dear Colleagues"). That is a huge job and we'll see if I will be able to cope with it."
Jaan Kross, writer
"Well, it had 365 days, which means as many opportunities. I was lucky to release my first album in the U.K. - "The Monckton Album" - which has received very good reviews around the world. More light classical music to follow, as well as the ultimate 1930s dance music album - "Five Fifteen" - which will be released internationally early next year and is already being played on the BBC. A book I wrote a few years ago - "Z, the Terminal Letter" - will be published by Christmas. And I composed my first big scale stage work - a musical fantasy "The Vaudevillains." Well done, old me!"
Mart Sander, actor, jazz composer
"I would say that 2004 was a year of turns but I prefer changes to stagnancy. All of a sudden I started writing poems (could I be returning to my teens?), I published a children's book with my own illustrations, wrote a film script for a movie that will be shot next year. I was even briefly involved in politics when I actively participated in President Valdas Adamkus' election campaign. I am glad that Lithuania became a member of the EU and NATO, which, I hope, will help us get rid of some xenophobia and homophobia. The biggest disappointment of 2004 was the fact that Bush was re-elected."
Jurga Ivanauskaite, writer
"This year was different. I was working more with other theaters and foreign projects than at home. I rediscovered opera and so at the beginning of the year staged three contemporary operas. I am delighted to have established creative relations with the Klaipeda Theater, yet at the same time disappointed that the National Drama Theater canceled Dostoyevsky. We ended up without a big play. However, we found comfort in the Lithuanian public. The international theater festival Sirens was very successful and we had many tours around Lithuania. We also visited France, the U.S.A., the Netherlands, and most Eastern Europe countries. I have also established creative plans with the Moscow theater Et Cetera."
Oskaras Korsunovas, theater director at the OKT.
"The year was more than fantastic! Most of my dreams finally came true. First, I became the only shareholder in my company. A true owner! The Jouzas Statkevicius perfume project was successfully accomplished in Paris, and is now sold in Lithuania and Moscow and has hit the top five in sales. I visited every fashion week in New York, London, Paris and Moscow, and twice showed my collection in the U.S.A. My show rooms in Paris and New York are successful. Stars such as Bjork, Kyra Sadgwick, Cameron Diaz, Renee Zallweger and Charlize Theron wear my clothes. Our clothes are also sold in Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Britain and Canada. I can't say everything but I am very happy and I know that if you work really hard, your dreams become reality. I am sure 2005 will be the best! I hope to put Lithuania on a pedestal!"
Juozas Statkevicius, fashion designer
"2004 was a year of creativity and travel for us. We played in Austria and London for the first time. We went to Ireland to demo songs for our new album "Reach," which was great as we got involved in the music scene there, playing a number of concerts and getting our name out. We recorded the album in London with some wonderful people. In the autumn we released "Reach" in Lithuania and promptly embarked on our first U.S. visit and tour. We played Boston, Chicago, New York, Washington, L.A. and San Francisco. It was an amazing trip. We got to see both coasts and saw how different N.Y.C. and California are from the rest of the country. Now we're back and settled, for the time being, but next year there'll be a European and Baltic tour before returning to L.A. to work with producer Oliver Leiber, who produced The Corrs' "Talk on Corners" album."
Erica Jennings, Skamp