The unique amber sound of the Orchestra has originated in a unique place at the Baltic Sea – in Liepāja.

Guntis Kuzma returns for a special concert

On 3 December at 7 p.m. at Concert Hall “GREAT AMBER” Liepāja Symphony Orchestra will give a concert featuring Guntis Kuzma as the soloist and conductor. Rihards Zaļupe’s concerto for three clarinets, electronics and strings “Sequence Transformed” will be performed in a new arrangement. 

Guntis Kuzma currently is an assistant to the principal conductor Andris Poga and the assistant conductor of Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. Previously he has been the principal clarinet with Chamber Orchestra “Sinfonietta Rīga” and Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. Guntis Kuzma is the winner of a number of international competitions, including the Young Artist Competition 2003 of International Clarinet Association in Salt Lake City (USA) where he won the 1st prize. Guntis Kuzma has close relations with Liepāja and, when still being a student in 2003 – 2007, he played with Liepāja Symphony Orchestra.

Orchestra manager Uldis Lipskis tells about the collaboration with Guntis Kuzma: “This time we are offering the programme “Concert for Conductor and Orchestra”, which will demonstrate Guntis Kuzma’s versatile talent.” The programme will include the Prelude from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suite No. 2, transcribed for bass clarinet and played by Guntis Kuzma. The special event of the programme will be the concerto for three different clarinets, electronics and strings “Sequence Transformed” composed by Rihards Zaļupe in 2014 especially for Guntis Kuzma. Previously the concerto has only been played by Chamber Orchestra “Sinfonietta Rīga”. On 3 December, Zaļupe’s virtuoso, wonderful and dynamic music will be played in a new arrangement by Liepāja Symphony Orchestra and Guntis Kuzma. The concert will conclude with Ludwig van Beethoven's Fourth Symphony with Guntis Kuzma as the conductor of Liepāja Symphony Orchestra.” “I decided to deviate from the classical concerto format – overture, soloist, symphony. This concerto does not have an expressive overture and maybe it is not required. Why don’t we pay more attention to the melody composed by the great Baroque master? The programme will then be continued by soloist and orchestra without conductor – I will try to manage on my own. It will end with a symphony, though, “Guntis Kuzma explains his concept.

Bach's Cello Suite No. 2 is one of the six Cello Suites which are the most frequently performed and recognizable solo compositions ever written for cello. Due to their technical demands, the cello suites were little known and rarely publicly performed until they were revived and recorded by Pablo Casals in the early 20th century. Since then, they have been performed and recorded by many renowned cellists, and transcribed for numerous other instruments, including clarinet. The Suites are considered amongst Bach's greatest musical achievements.

Rihards Zaļupe's opus “Sequence Transformed” surprises with sounds non-existent in nature and made with instruments never heard before. The audience will hear three different clarinets ‒ bass clarinet, E-flat clarinet and piccolo clarinet, as well as electronics and orchestra. It is an extremely colourful music. The composer asks the audience not to be afraid of his music as it is no avant-garde. It is not exactly dance music, however, there are passages which may make your feet move. Before the premiere of this piece conductor Normunds Šnē said: "Every composer has got his own style, his own handwriting. Rihards Zaļupe's characteristic style is rhythmic music since he comes from jazz music and, in a way, from popular music. There is quite a lot of electronics in the music – synthesizer, electrical drums. The piece is expressively rhythmic, there definitely are elements of groove and jazz in it. The clarinet part is extremely virtuoso."

When speaking about Beethoven's Symphony No. 4, Robert Schuman's saying comes to mind ‒ "like a slender Greek maiden between two Norse giants", when he compared it with Beethoven's majestic Third and Fifth Symphonies. The piece was commissioned by Count Franz von Oppersdorff and Beethoven was paid quite a great amount of money for it. The composer completed it in roughly a month, while working on the Fourth Piano Concerto and his opera Fidelio. Hector Berlioz was so enamoured of the Symphony's 2nd movement that he claimed it was the work of the Archangel Michael and not that of a human being.

Tickets to all the concerts organised by Liepāja Symphony Orchestra  can be purchased in box offices of “Biļešu paradīze” and at

"Concert for Conductor and Orchestra" is organised by Liepāja Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with Concert Hall “GREAT AMBER”.