- 07/07, 20:00
Peter Phillips is founder and conductor of the British ancient music ensemble The Tallis Scholars, and he is one of the most prominent ancient music researchers and musicologists in the world. Phillips will be visiting Rīga with a programme of Flemish, Italian, Spanish and British Renaissance music. Trained at Oxford, the conductor has spent most of his life studying the links and styles of Renaissance music. The Tallis Scholars have appeared in more than 1,600 concerts and recorded some 50 CDs.
- 08/07, 20:00
Coin du Roi is the only private opera company in Italy that focuses on operas from before the age of Romanticism. This is a repertoire that has been overshadowed in Italy by the great masters of Romanticism and Belcanto -- Verdi, Puccini, Bellini, and many, many other composers. The declared aim for Coin du Roi is to introduce the audience in Italy with less well-known music that is, in truth, rooted in that country's wealth of musical traditions. It stages valuable operas in locations that are carefully selected and imbued with special charm. Always seeking to respect the historical origins of operas and the intentions of their composers, Coin du Roi is also never afraid to experiment and be creative in seeking bridges between the old and the modern and between traditions and innovations. The goal is to restore the status of the operatic genre that it had in the 18th century, when Baroque-era theatres were among the central crossroads for various cultural events and their ongoing development.
- 09/07, 13:00
The Rundāle day of the Ancient Music Festival will begin with a concert performance for children – “Frog Into Princess.” The story will not take place in a royal castle, as you might think. Instead it will take place in a swamp, because something that is very important and belongs to the princess will accidently appear there. Thanks to the interesting discovering in the swamp, lots of creatures, including a frog, will want to become a princess.
- 09/07, 16:00
Nearly everyone has heard stories about Farinelli – the secretive singer with a heavenly voice. The man was actually called Carlo Maria Michelangelo Nicola Broschi, and he was one of the world’s greatest castratos, with a voice that covered three-and-a-half octaves and was unusual in timbre. Farinelli’s talent surprised audiences not just in Italy, but throughout Europe. Castrato arias today are sung by sopranos and countertenors whose voices are particularly appropriate for them. Our countertenor Sergejs Jēgers will perform the role of Farinelli at the White Hall of the Rundāle Castle.
- 09/07, 18:00
Like the L’Apreggiata ensemble, which released an album a few years ago which revealed the rich and close links between ancient Spanish and Latin American music to those who were unfamiliar with ancient music, one of today’s ancient music groups, the La Cetra d’Orfeo (“Lyre of Orpheus”) ensemble, which hails from the Francophone part of Belgium, has chosen for its first guest appearance in Latvia the temperamental, rhythmically diverse and passionately sensitive melodies of Latin American and Spanish music.
- 09/07, 20:00
On July 9, at the White Hall of the Rundāle Castle, conductor Christian Frattima and the Coin du Roi orchestra will present the concert programme “Baroque Masterpieces,” with several concertos, including Lute Concerto in D Major by the Baroque master Antonio Vivaldi, Harpsichord Concerto in D Minor by the genius Johann Sebastian Bach, and then three compositions from French composers – Jean-Marie Leclair’s Violin Concerto in A Minor, Michel Corrette’s bagpipe concerto Musette de cour, and the famous composition The Gallant Indian by the Rococo composer Jean-Philippe Rameau.
The concluding concert of the Ancient Music Festival this year will feature Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, which is a cycle of violin concertos and is one of the most popular opuses in the world of classical music. The composition has been recorded and interpreted endlessly and throughout the world. The four violin concertos were first published in 1725 under the title “A Competition Between Harmony and Imagination.” It is true that the music lacks no harmony or imagination, because Vivaldi was very happy to use scenes from nature and everyday life, recording these in the score in words.
Holders of subscriptions to the autumn season for Sinfonietta Rīga (September to December) will be able to enjoy five outstanding concert programmes which, as always, will offer lots of surprises and discoveries.
Latvian Concerts have ensured the continuation of the “Really Young Ones” concert series during the next concert season. There will be four concerts for our youngest listeners – preschool children. Outstanding instrumentalists, singers, dancers and actors will appear on stage, and there will be fragments from animated films. The musicians will be dressed in costumes that will be of interest to and familiar for the kids. For half an hour before and after each concert, children will have access to creative workshops.
Subscriptions cost just EUR 18. Visit www.bilesuparadize.lv.
The new season for the Sinfonietta Rīga chamber orchestra will begin with the “Great” symphony by the sincere Austrian composer Franz Schubert and with Learning About Acoustics by the untamed Latvian experimenter Kristaps Pētersons. This is a chamber symphony that was composed for the unique and multi-layer architectural ensemble of the Spilve airport. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be represented with its concerto symphony, in which tense dramaturgy is merged with the unending virtuosity of an instrumental concerto. It balances the pain of the heart of the romantic composer and the soaring sounds of the master of acoustics. The soloists will be two outstanding chamber musicians from the Artemis string quarter from Berlin – violinist Vineta Sareika, who is always welcome in Latvia, and the violinist and violist Gregor Sigl, who trained at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
Pierre Colombet, violin
Gabriel Le Magadure, violin
Adrien Boisseau, viola
Raphaël Merlin, cello
Ludwig van Beethoven, Claude-Achille Debussy
The central voice of the royal Concertgebouw orchestra in Amsterdam, Alexei Ogrintchouk, has said that the oboe is the most physically complicated instrument in the world, and its complexity has put in the Guinness Book of World Records. Ogrintchouk learned his mastery and musical taste at the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music in Moscow and at the Paris Conservatory. He has also studied under some of the world’s most distinguished orchestral conductors, first and foremost Valeri Gergiyev and Mariss Jansons. Ogrintchouk says that he feels an artistic need to conduct music, because his amazing experience with chamber music has been wonderfully facilitated by music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Felix Mendelssohn. Vincenzo Bellini, in turn, composed only one instrumental concerto, and its beautiful melodies will be performed by Alexei Ogrintchouk and his lyrical oboe.
Inga Kalna, soprano
Diāna Ketlere, piano
Music by Richard Strauss, Alfrēds Kalniņš, Jānis Mediņš
Marta Sudraba, cello
Ieva Oša, piano
Ludwig van Beethoven, Claude-Achille Debussy, Zoltán Kodály, César Franck and Andris Dzenītis (new composition)
Matīss Čudars, electric guitar
Latvian Radio Choir group
Conductor Kaspars Putniņš
Karlheinz Stockhausen, Matīss Čudars (premiere of a new composition)
Egīls Šēfers, clarinet
Juris Žvikovs, piano
The percussion ensemble Perpetuum Ritmnico
Music by Steve Reich, John Cage, Julia Wolfe, David Lang and Niko Muhly, as well as arrangements of Radiohead songs
Johann Wolfgang Goethe first encountered Ludwig van Beethoven when the composer was a young man, later writing that the unusual personality of the composer was far less amazing that his unusual spark of talent. The debut of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony in December 1813 fired up the patriotism of many Viennese residents who were tired of the wars of Napoleon. Something similar can be said of this year’s birthday boy, Pēteris Vasks, whose musical prayers for peace have inspired people all around the world. It is delightful that during his jubilee year, his new opuses come home like birds from overseas so that they can be premiered in Latvia. Among them is the long-awaited Alto Concerto, which was debuted in May this year and was composed for the exciting Grammy nominee Maxim Rysanov, a violist who has the strings of Giya Kancheli’s music in his heart.
Tel Aviv-born Ariel Zuckermann spent several years as a flutist for some of Europe’s most outstanding orchestras, but he quite soon replaced his brilliant instrument with the baton of a conductor, learning the finesse of orchestral conduction from the prominent Finnish master Jorma Panula.
Returning to the Sinfonietta Rīga podium, Zuckermann has brought along St Petersburg-born cellist Alexey Stadler, who won the major young talent competition TONALi in Hamburg and whose performance of the original version of Variations on a Rococo Theme will particularly delight the fans of Pyotr Tchaikovsky and his music. Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony replaces the composer’s characteristic pathos with pastoral delight. China-born Qigang Chen, who lives and works in Paris and was the last student of Olivier Messiaen, offers fiery rhythms in his opuses, refreshing the typical irony of Dmitry Shostakovich’s music and melding it with traditional Chinese melodies.
The Bremen German Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by the distinguished Estonian conductor Paavo Järvi, is often called the most outstanding chamber orchestra in the world. It has visited Rīga several times, but now the rich experience of this brilliant ensemble will be presented by the holder of its first chair in the violin section, Florian Donderer. He studied violin in Berlin and London and has held first chair in the violin section since 1999. If he wasn’t a violinist, he would certainly own a bicycle store, because Donderer loves to ride his bike and always tries to do so when he appears at European musical festivals. Nuanced and refined musicality, the desire to always be in movement, and elegant and modern interpretations – these are the characteristics of the man who has chosen for this concert Haydn’s Clock symphony, which was composed in London, and the spicily eastern Concerto for Violin and Orchestra by Mozart, which was composed in Salzburg.
Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, like the great composer’s Easter concertos, has become an automatic element of holiday traditions in European concert halls and churches. Though the story of Christ’s birth does not change, and the beats of the oratorio are easy to remember, Bach’s monumental opus always brings peace, happiness and sparkling joy in to the hearts and minds of its listeners. Bach composed the oratorio sometime around Christmas 1734, and he hoped that it would be performed over the course of six evenings between Christmas and the Epiphany. Bach never heard his major opus in full, but the fragments that have been arranged by the conductor Kaspars Putniņš will allow the audience to experience the story of the Christ child and the unrepeatable magic of Bach’s music.