Autumn Season of Concerts and Events in Riga

Autumn Season of Concerts and Events in Riga
Publicity photo . One of the greatest events this autumn will be the concert by Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra at the LNO on the 7th of November
The new concert season is about to begin as the summer is drawing to a close, featuring a large number of “Riga 2014” Programme events. Below is a list of the main concerts and shows in the “Riga 2014” Programme for the autumn.

* “The Amber Road”

The 16th of September, Latvian National Library

Concert “The Amber Road”, part of the annual Latvian Poetry Days, will bring together prominent European poets and Latvian composers in Riga to help the creation of new globally-resonant vocal music compositions. Participants: State Choir “Latvija”, Māris Sirmais, twelve Latvia composers and twelve European poets.

Admission free of charge.

More information is available here.


* “Organ Music Under the Aegis of Bach” Closing Concert

7 p.m. on the 26th of September, Riga Dom

Programme: Latvian Trilogy for Organ (world premiere). Rihards Dubra – Jūrmala Partita (dedication to Jūrmala), Jānis Lūsēns – Urban Fantasy with BACH (dedication to Liepāja), and Ēriks Ešenvalds – the Voice of the Ocean (dedication to Riga).

Participants: organists Iveta Apkalna, Kristīne Adamaite and Tālivaldis Deksnis, Dita Krenberga (flute), Raimonds Ozols (violin), Ieva Upatniece (cello), Elīna Endzele (percussion), Matīss Čudars (guitar), Ieva Šablovska (harp), Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. Conductor – Andris Poga. 

More information about the project is available here.

* The Rise and Fall of the Schengen Area

October 2014 at the Latvian National Theatre

During the 2014/2015 season, the Latvian National Theatre in collaboration with “Riga 2014” will implement the international project “The Rise and Fall of the Schengen Area” – four performances staged by four young directors from several countries. The four performances are: “To Catch RABIT” staged by Julian Hetzel (Germany), “Rise and Fall” directed by Márcia Lança (Portugal), “Euro Vision” by Vidas Bareikis (Lithuania), and “Republic” staged by the association “Kviss búmm bang” (Iceland).

* The performance “To Catch RABIT” (the 1st of October) will analyse how immigrants are kept out of Europe at the southern borders of the continent on a daily basis. Motivated by curiosity and fear, German performance artist Julian Hetzel is working on a documentary fiction for two performers (Arturs Krūzkops, Toms Liepājnieks) and one unmanned helicopter, which will attempt to combine the opposites – by making that which is unanimous personal and making the invisible seen.

* “Rise and Fall” (the 8th of October) is an interactive musical performance urging the viewers to take part in a game to find out what it takes to be a citizen of the European Union. The Portuguese choreographer Márcia Lança’s project involves people of various backgrounds who meet in an unusual place, and all kinds of misunderstandings these meetings lead to. Cast: Lolita Cauka, Daiga Gaismiņa, Marta Ančevska, Katrīna Albuže, Kaspars Aniņš, Artis Drozdovs, Kristaps Ķeselis, Voldemārs Šoriņš.

* The dramatic composition of Lithuanian stage director Vidas Bareikis’ performance “Euro Vision” (the 22nd of October) is based on the Eurovision song contest. Latvia has won the Eurovision, and will have to organise the next competition. The task for the participant countries is to present some major political problems they are trying to solve. Let the show of political songs begin! Cast: Zane Dombrovska, Sanita Pušpure, Raimonds Celms, Kristians Kareļins, Kārlis Krūmiņš, Jānis Vimba.

* “Republic” (the 27th–29th of October) is a performance at the Latvian National Theatre that recreates the founding ceremony for a new Republic, and all the preparatory events for the ceremony to take place. The public is heavily involved in the work on the programme of the ceremony: they write poems and songs, create a new flag, decorate the room, write speeches, rehearse various performances to make sure that everything is ready for the new republic to be proclaimed. The actual ceremony is held a couple days later, with everybody coming together to sign the independence proclamation declaration and celebrate. Directed by “KvissBummBang”.

More information about the project is available here and at the website of the Latvian National Theatre.

Tickets to the performances are available from “Biļešu paradīze” outlets.


* Festival of Adventurous Music “Skaņu mežs”

The 10th and 11th of October, Venue TBA

Following the “Riga 2014” thematic line “Thirst for the Ocean”, “Skaņu mežs 2014” is seeking an answer to the question, “How not to drown in the oversaturated ocean of music?” Solutions will be provided by balancing out electronic music with acoustic performances, ambient music with rhythmic music, genre purity with post-modernist experiments and interdisciplinary programming, thus achieving an equilibrium that will help Riga’s sound aficionados and enthusiasts to stay on course in the endless waters of contemporary music.

More information about the project is available here.


* Concert “Fairy Tale”

The 16th of October, St. Peter’s Church

“Fairy Tale”, the first concert in the “Tenso Days” series featuring Sigvards Kļava’s Latvian Radio Choir, will take the listeners to the fairy-tale worlds of Kārlis Skalbe, Hans Christian Andersen and Brothers Grimm. The programme includes American composer David Lang’s “The Little Match Girl’s Passion” and premieres of the fairy-tale worlds created by composers Ēriks Ešenvalds and Līga Celma. Video projections by director Roberts Rubīns will add an extra value to the concert, making it a contemporary art experience.

* Brightness. The Series

9 p.m. on the 17th of October, 3 p.m. on the 18th of October, Venue TBA

Tenso Europe Chamber Choir’s workshops in Riga will close with the multimedia performance “Brightness. The Series”, which explores media manipulation – a process where art is also involved. The authors of the production are Tenso Europe Chamber Choir’s Artistic Director, conductor Kaspars Putniņš, composer Kristaps Pētersons, stage director Zane Kreicberga, guitarist Kaspars Zemītis and DJ Monsta (Uldis Cīrulis).

* Choirs: Symphonies

The 18th of October, the Great Guild Hall

“Tenso Days” bring together various periods in the history of music and choirs from different countries, choral music novelties and traditional singing techniques, generating synthesis of vocal music innovations and other contemporary art forms. The concert presents one of the most complicated and greatest opuses of the 20th century, Igor Stravinsky’s “Symphony of Psalms”, performed by RIAS “Kammerchor” (Germany), “Eric Ericsons Kammarkör” (Sweden), Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kaspars Putniņš.

* Gala Concert

The 22nd of October, Riga Dom

The programme of the Gala Concert of “Tenso Days” includes examples of French and Flemish baroque polyphony, traditional Norwegian songs, Pēteris Vasks and Arvo Pärt’s music, and new compositions created in the sound laboratory of the Latvian Radio Choir – Latvian/Byzantine songs – a composition breathing new life into early Byzantine chants, created by Artistic Director Sigvards Kļava and Byzantine music expert, composer Andrejs Selickis.  Participants: “Nederlands Kamerkoor” (the Netherlands), “Musicatreize” (France), “Det Norske Solistkor” (Norway), Latvian Radio Choir, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, and soloists.

More information about the Tenso Chamber Choir project is available here.



* “Potato Opera”

7 p.m. on the 24th of October, Venue TBA

The “Potato Opera” will be an unusual, fun and witty opera for an entire family, about the way the potato made its way from South America to Latvia, and how the vegetable settled in Latvia. The libretto is by Inese Zandere, conductor – Aira Birziņa. Cast: the Riga Dom Girls’ Choir, a chamber orchestra, singers, dancers and soloists. Andrejs Hansons is the person who proposed the idea for the new opera, he is also the opera’s godfather.

More information about the project is available here.


* Euroradio Concert Series “European Capital of Culture, Riga”

The 27th of October to the 2nd of November at the Great Guild Hall, Latvian National Opera, St. John’s Church, Latvian Radio Studio No. 1, Riga Dom, Spīķeri Concert Hall

The goal of the Euroradio concert series “European Capital of Culture, Riga” is to bring the vibrant music scene of Latvia into the limelight in all of the 78 Euroradio member countries, giving the audiences a chance to enjoy some of the multiple concerts in Riga.

The Euroradio project will continue for one week, when eight concerts by Latvia’s leading professional ensembles will be broadcast on the radio, presenting a variety of musical performances in Latvia. Participants in the project are soloists, chamber orchestras “Kremerata Baltica” and “Sinfonietta Rīga”, Latvian Radio Choir, State Choir “Latvija”, Latvian Radio Big Band, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, and Latvian National Opera with the production of a new Latvian opera.

* Concert by Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

At 8 p.m. on the 7th of November, Latvian National Opera

The outstanding Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra will perform a concert at the Latvian National Opera on the 7th of November. The concert, part of the “Riga 2014”, is dedicated to Mariss Jansons’ father, the magnificent conductor Arvīds Jansons on his 100th anniversary.

Programme: Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 in D minor.

* “Mare Balticum”

At 7 p.m. on the 27th of November, Riga Congress Centre

Mare Balticum is a brand new international music project featuring the Big Band of the Latvian Radio. The programme of the concert includes Latvian songs about the sea.

During the project, the Big Band has been working with traditional Latvian music – popular songs that have been completely rearranged for the concert. The Big Band will perform together with the Australian trumpeter James Morrison. The compositions, which have their roots in Latvian traditions and values, will all have their premiere at the concert.
Multi-instrumentalist James Morrison plays a great variety of instruments, but he is mostly known as a jazz trumpeter. He was recently appointed as Artistic Director of the Queensland Music Festival, he was inducted into the Graeme Bell Hall of Fame 2013 at the Australian Jazz Bell Awards. In July 2013 Morrison conducted the World's Largest Orchestra, comprising 7,224 musicians.

“Colourful Australian multi-instrumentalist known for his humorous daredevil antics and spirited interpretations of standard repertoire.” –

More information about the project is available here.

Tickets available from “Biļešu serviss” outlets and online shop.


* Arturs Maskats’ Opera “Valentīna”

Premiere at 7 p.m. on the 5th of December, Latvian National Opera

The creative team behind the opera (composer Arturs Maskats, librettist Liāna Langa, stage director Viesturs Kairišs, set designer Ieva Jurjāne, and sopranos Inga Kalna and Evija Martinsone who will perform the main role) has tried to reveal in the opera the dramatic and tragic period in the history of Latvia from 1939 to 1944. 

“Valentīna”, the first opera composed by Arturs Maskats, celebrates a cultural legend of Latvia – film historian Valentīna Freimane. She spent her childhood in Riga and Berlin, where her father worked as a lawyer at the UFA film studio and her mother was a notable socialite. When the intelligent Jewish family returned to Riga, it was completely unprepared for the Holocaust. Valentīna’s parents and young husband all died, whereas the young woman had to go into hiding up until the end of the war. At the moment, Valentīna Freimane lives and works in Berlin and Riga. 

“The story of Valentīna Freimane’s life is closely intertwined with the historical developments in Latvia and Europe, opening a panoramic view of the period in all its richness of colour and controversy. The most dramatic moments in Valentīna’s life fell on the key events in the history of the 20th century, including the loss of the independence of Latvia, and the enormous willpower and spirituality a person living at that time needed to have to survive, physically and morally. However, the opera is not only about politics: all the events are permeated with love and true feelings,” says Arturs Maskats.

More information about the project is available at the website of the Latvian National Opera.

Tickets to the opera are available from “Biļešu paradīze” outlets.


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