Most significant events in classical music of 2014

Most significant events in classical music of 2014
Publicity image . Concert of conductor Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra on 7 November – one of the most significant events in classical music in 2014
On 17 January, 2014, the programme for Riga as the European Capital for Culture will be officially opened, offering a vast selection of culture that features a variety of events of different genres, also including classical music. In order to not get lost in the programme, website “Rīga 2014” offers a selection of the biggest events in classical music.

*Concert “Rīga dimd!” (Rīga resounds!)

On 18 January, 2014, the Rīga 2014 opening event will take place at arena “Riga”.

The concert will feature Latvia’s most prominent classical, folk, and pop music artists, choirs and orchestras. The concert’s message is a testament to Rīga’s historical and contemporary charm and diversity. It will also be broadcast live in Lithuania and Estonia. Rīga’s visual symbols and signs, which vibrantly relate the city’s story to ourselves and to our visitors. Places, feelings, and the people in whom we have pride. Rīga, sung about and cherished in folk songs and contemporary poetry, in front of the listener’s eyes will become Rīga – the birth place of European thinkers and artists, throughout the history till modern days. The Rīga of Richard Wagner, Sergei Eisenstein, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gidon Kremer and Alvis Hermanis. 

With memorable musical compositions from Richard Wagner, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Emīls Dārziņš, Marģeris Zariņš, Imants Kalniņš, Raimonds Pauls, Artūrs Maskats, Ēriks Ešenvalds and Jānis Lūsēns, Rīga in concert address its audience as a contemporary city of culture and the arts.


* Chamber opera "Lysistrata”

On 14 and 15 February, at 19.00 pm, at the Railroad Museum, and on 16 February, at 19.00 pm, at the Liepāja Theatre, as well as from 23 October till 2 November, 2014, in productions in the Swiss cities of Basel, Zurich, Kura and Lucerne, with an international team of artists working together, two one-act chamber operas or a diptych will be produced, focusing on the theme – „Woman and War”. The drama will be created by composer J. Nīmanis, libretto by I. Zandere, conductor C. Cyris (Switzerland), and the comedy – by composer K. Evald (Switzerland), conductor Zane Kreicberga. 

Main cast: soprano J. Hirzel (Switzerland), baritone R. Koller (Switzerland), and soprano K. Gailīte (Latvia).Scenographer – K. Jurjāne, light design – M. Feldmanis, conductor N. Dreģis. Also taking part on the stage will be vocal bands „Putni” and ”X”, as well as musicians from Switzerland, Latvia and Germany. Artistic Director – A. Dreģe.

Thematical division “Freedom Street”


* Concert of Gidon Kremer and chamber orchestra “Kremerata Baltica”

As part of the concert series “Born in Riga”, on 7 March of 2014, at the culture castle “Ziemeļblāzma”, the concert of Gidon Kremer and the chamber orchestra “Kremerata Baltica” will be held. The creative work of Augusts Dombrovskis, who was a violin maker, a wood tradesman, as well as a patron of the arts, served as a source of inspiration for the concert. He worked tirelessly and unselfishly for the common good.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean”

Tickets available at “Biļešu serviss” box offices and on-line.


* 329th jubilee of Bach

On 31 March, at the Big Guild, as part of the project “Windstream 2014 under the sign of Bach”, a concert in honour of the anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach will be held.

Professional brass orchestra “Rīga”, conducted by Mārtiņš Ozoliņš, will perform arrangements of Bach for wind instruments, commissioned to Latvian composers. Bach dance suites and instrumental music will come to the forefront in this concert, where musicians will aim at creating modern sound of brass orchestra and the rhythmic design to align it with the XXI century.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean”

Tickets available at “Biļešu paradize” box offices and on-line.


* Passions of Mark and Luke

On 4 April, as part of the concert series „Bach. Passion. Riga.”, Bach’s lesser known Passion of Mark will be played at the Riga Dome, as well as the premiere of the novel work, dedicated to this event – Passion of Luke by Ēriks Ešenvalds, will be held also. 

The audience will have the chance to enjoy these compositions in exquisite interpretations – conductor Sigvards Kļava and Latvian Radio Choir will collaborate with Sinfonietta Riga and the best European Baroque singers.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean”


* J.S. Bach. St. Matthew Passion

On 11 April, at the Church of St. Peter, the magnificent St. Matthew Passion by J.S. Bach will be revealed.

The concert of the project “Bach.Passion.Riga.” will be performed by an outstanding group of musicians: the Latvian Radio Choir will collaborate with foremost interprets of Baroque music in Europe – “Les Passions de l'Ame” orchestra (Switzerland), conductor and director of the International Bach Academy (Stuttgart, Germany) Hans-Christoph Rademan, as well as many prominent guest soloists.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean"


* J. S. Bach. St. John Passion

On 18 April, at the Church of St. John, as part of the Bach. Passion. Riga.” concert series, one of Bach’s most outstanding and dramatic opuses – St. John Passion - will be presented to the public and guests of Riga on Good Friday by the best European Baroque musicians – the orchestra “Concerto Copenhagen”, Danish conductor Lars Ulrik Mortensen and prominent guest soloists, who will collaborate with the Latvian Radio Choir.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean"



* Zigmars Liepiņš. Transcendental oratorio

On 26 April, at the Riga Dome, as part of the Riga Festival, the premiere of composer’s Zigmārs Liepiņš “Transcendental oratorio” will take place.

It’s a story based on real events that happened during the earthquake in Japan. A little boy who was covered by her dead monther’s body survived this nature disaster. The mother’s last message was: “If you survive this, remember I love you…” The mother, who sacrificed herself in order to save her son, is the main character in the oratorio.

Inga Šļubovska, Aleksandrs Antoņenko, State Choir „Latvija”, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Jānis Liepiņš will take part at the premiering performance.

Thematic division “Riga Carnival”

Tickets available at “Biļešu paradize” box offices and on-line


* Concert of singer Inga Kalna

On 17 May, at 19.00 pm, at the Latvian National Opera, as part of the concert series “Born in Riga”, the solo concert of the opera singer Inga Kalna will be held.

This season, the diva returns to the Latvian National Opera with a colourful solo concert, conducted by the renowned British conductor Julian Reynolds. The concert programme includes music by Giuseppe Verdi, Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti and others.

Riga-born soprano Inga Kalna is a globally renowned soloist, who has performed in Italy, France, England, Canada, the US, Israel, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and elsewhere. The programs of the soprano include almost all of the best lyrical soprano parties in the classical Western European repertoire.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean”

Tickets available on and


* Concert of London Symphony Orchestra

On 25 May, the London Symphony Orchestra will perform at the Latvian National Opera. 

Conducted by the orchestra’s head guest conductor Daniel Harding, two masterpieces of the romanticism period Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 – will be played.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean”

Tickets available on and


* XI “Kremerata Baltica” festival

From 3 till 6 July, in Riga, at the Big Guild, and in Sigulda, at the local concert hall, the XI “Kremerata Baltica” festival is set to take place, featuring the orchestra “Kremerata Baltica”, conducted by Gidon Kremer, and joined by other outstanding musicians from Latvia and abroad.



* Concert “Born in Riga”

On the evening of 6 July, in the middle of the Summer, in a festive concert on an specially built stage next to the Latvian National Opera, Riga-born classical music stars - Maija Kovaļevska, Inese Galante, Aleksandrs Antoņenko, Egils Siliņš, Gidon Kremer, Miša Maiskis, Baiba Skride, Iveta Apkalna, Vestards Šimkus, Raimonds Pauls and Laima Jansone, as well as choirs and orchestras, conducted by Andris Poga – will perform.  

Riga will transform into an open-air concert hall and performances will also be broadcast on screens, placed near the opera house.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean”


* Staging of songs “The Lost Son”

On 8 July, at 20.00 and 22.00 pm, at the Spīķeri courtyard, as part of the opening concert series of the Early Music Festival, the staging of song “The Lost Son”, will take place.

The concept is to renew and follow the event of the return of the lost son, which will unfold during the song staging, created by Burkards Valdiss in 1527. The story is about a turbulent time in Riga history during the Reformation.

Thematical division “Riga Carnival”

Tickets available at “Biļešu paradize” box offices and on-line


* Vivaldi opera “Orlando Furioso”

On 10 and 11 July, at 20.00 pm, at the Latvian National Theater, the Early Music Festival will invite audience to the first evening performance of „Orlando Furioso” – the lost opera of Antonio Vivaldi, which came to be unearthed in 2012. Created in 1727, it was not found until 270 years after the death of the author. 

Music-vise it is similar to the author’s “The Four Seasons”, but content-vise, it is completely different – it is a story about lovers, magic and sorcery. The opera will be produced in Riga, its artistic director is Māris Kupčs. Soloists and the baroque orchestra "Collegium Musicum Rīga” will participate in the performance.

Thematical division “Riga Carnival”


* Concerts “The Years of Wandering”

On 8 August, at the Dzintari Concert Hall in the city of Jūrmala, the concert “The Years of Wandering” will take place; the range of the concert is vast and it will invite to take a creative approach.

“Kremerata Baltica”, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Ksenija Sidorova (accordion), Gidon Kremer (violin), Elīna Bukša (violin), Ramon Jaffe (cello), Inga Kalna (soprano), Egil Siliņš (bass), Andrey Osokin (piano) and others will take part in the concert.

Thematical division “Riga Carnival”


* Requiem – prayer for the Baltic Sea

On 11 August, at the opening of the 10th jubilee festival “Summertime – Inese Galante presents”, the special honour to Riga 2014, Mozart’s “Requiem” - prayer for the Baltic Sea, will be played.

Inese Galante (soprano, Latvia), tenor Andreas Schager (bass, Austria), Egils Siliņš (bass, Latvia), mezzo-soprano Ann Hallenber (Sweden) and Evelino Pido (Italy), as well as the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, will take part in the performance.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean”


* Concert “Fairy-tale”

On 16 October, at the Church of St. Peter, in the first concert "Fairy-tale” of the “Tenso Days”, the Latvian Radio Choir, conducted by Sigvards Kļava, will take its audience to the fairy-tale worlds of Kārlis Skalbe, Hans Christian Andersen and brothers Grimm, as American composer David Lang’s “Girl with Matches” will be premiered together with the first presentations of Ēriks Ešenvalds and Līga Celma’s musical mystique. Video projections and visual production by director Roberts Rubīns will add an extra value to the mystical sound art mood. Therefore, it will become a complete contemporary art experience.

Thematic division “Amber Vein”



* “Tenso Days” gala concert

On 22 October, at the Riga Dome, at the gala concert of the “Tenso Days” in Riga, examples of French and Flemish baroque polyphony will be presented, as well as Norwegian folk songs, music composed by Pēteris Vasks and Arvo Pärt, and the new original compositions made at the sound laboratory of the Latvian Radio Choir – Latvian Byzantine singings. Sigvards Kļava will be the creative director of this concert who will transform those early-age singings into a brand new musical art form together with composer Andrejs Selickis. “Nederlands Kamerkoor” (the Netherlands), “Musicatreize” (France), “Det Norske Solistkor” (Norway), the Latvian Radio Choir and the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and soloists will also take part in the concert.

Thematic division “Amber Vein”


* Concert of Mariss Jansons and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

On 7 November, at 19.00 pm, Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra will perform a concert in honour of the anniversary of conductor Arvīds Jansons.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean”


* Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. „Elijah”

On 13 December, at 19.00 pm, at the Big Guild, Mendelssohn’s oratorio „Elijah” will be performed. Oratorio „Elijah” composed by Mendelssohn was first performed at the premiere concert in Birmingham on 18 August, 1846. However, the composer never got the chance to merge both „Elijah” and „St. Paul” oratorios in a trilogy, because the third part „Christus” was never finished. Mendelssohn thought that the characters from the Old Testament should act lively, but composer's main task is to create a whole picture of sound. Bass-baritone Egils Siliņš and other solo artists will take part at the concert together with the State Choir „Latvija” and Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. Other artists are to be announced.

Thematic division “Riga Carnival”


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