In honor of the outstanding theatre director Oļģerts Kroders, an art object “Kroder’s apple tree” created by artists Aivars Vilipsōns and Ivars Miķelsons has been installed near the Valmiera Theater. It was created in cooperation with The Kroder’s Foundation with the support of the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation and other contributors.
The art object was unveiled on August 9, 2020 – on the 99th birthday of the eminent theatre director within the framework of the Valmiera Summer Theater Festival.
“We made the decision to support this beautiful project already in 2017, visiting Valmiera and listening to the intentions of the Kroder’s Foundation. It is a great pleasure that we have been able to implement it together. I am convinced that Boris would be pleased to see the embodiment of this idea in the beautiful work of art,” says philanthropist Ināra Tetereva.
"Until the bronze apple tree was put in the right place, I didn't believe it really happened. We started dreaming about creating a theatre director's memorial site in Valmiera in 2014. We argued, listened to what the art object should look like, what would be the most appropriate for the director's spirit. Aivars Vilipsōns offered his version of Kroder as a fruit tree and this is how the Kroder’s Prize appeared, the visualization of which in the urban environment is now Kroder's apple tree on Ziloņu Street.
We understood that this could not be done with individual donors, so our project got stuck. And then in 2017 we were lucky enough to meet the wonderful philanthropists Boris and Ināra Teterev. Without them, this would not have been possible,” Evita Sniedze, the director of the Valmiera Theater and a member of the Kroder’s Foundation, does not hide her happiness.
The bronze apple tree with apples is a visual representation of the Kroder’s Prize in the urban environment. The award is given to the most challenging and outstanding artistic contribution of the year in professional theater. So far, it has been received by theatre director Viesturs Kairišs, actress Guna Zariņa, set designer and costume artist Monika Pormale and actress Indra Briķe.
The place where the art object was placed – nearby The Valmiera Theatre – is significant, as here he spent the two most fruitful periods of his life, as well as his last years, embodying the dream of a theatre of the like-minded (1964-1974 and 2001-2012).
Oļģerts Kroders (August 9, 1921, Riga - October 10, 2012, Valmiera) - theatre director, worked in almost all the theatre houses in Latvia, staged 136 plays, was a movie and theatre actor. Experienced deportation to the Far North (1941-1956). His intellectual sophistication and inner independence allowed Olģerts Kroders to turn against mental and physical violence, cliched aesthetic canons both in art, and in life by emphasizing in his productions the significance of spiritual activities, responsibility, and personal freedom of humans as intellectual beings. This might be the reason he staged William Shakespeare's tragedy “Hamlet” four times, in three different theatres. Kroders was buried in Valmiera, in Dīvala cemetery.