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

Latvian premiere of the 21st century "Messiah" on Good Friday

On 14 April at 7 p. m. at Concert Hall “Great Amber” Liepāja Symphony Orchestra and State Choir Latvija under Māris Sirmais with soloists Elīna Šimkus, Laura Teivāne, Stanislav Leontiev, and Rihards Millers will perform oratorio “Messiah” by the world-famous Scandinavian composer Sven-David Sandström.

"This music is strikingly beautiful, in my opinion. Primarily, it is tonal with abundance of rich contrasts. Altogether the opus is truly impressive," comments the conductor of choir "Latvija" Māris Sirmais, who selected this piece as the first to be performed within the varied programme of the choir's 75th anniversary year."

The “Messiah” was commissioned by the prestigious Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart and the Oregon Bach Festival. According to the wish of these two institutions, the new oratorio is based on Charles Jennens’ English libretto just like the famous oratorio “Messiah” by Handel. Sven-David Sandström has written numerous homage pieces to the masters of Baroque music and describes his own 120 minutes long “Messiah” composed in 2008 as an “old fashion slide show”.The experience of listening to Charles Jennen’s text set to the new music could be similar to what audience felt 260 years ago listening to Handel’s “Messiah”.

This 21st century “Messiah” is a highly acclaimed masterpiece, characterized by great expressivity and orchestral colour. For according to Sandström’s artistic credo: “My music should be readily accessible to the listener and should speak to people; contemporary music and beauty of sound needn’t cancel each other out.”

Liepāja Symphony Orchestra and State Choir “Latvija” will be conducted by Māris Sirmais and will be joined by four opera soloists – the nominee of the Latvian Great Music Award in the category of “Young Musician of the Year” Laura Teivāne (soprano), the renowned singer and nominee for the Latvian Great Music Award for outstanding performance Elīna Šimkus (soprano), the young baritone Rihards Millers and the tenor from Russia Stanislav Leontiev.

On 20 April,Liepāja Symphony Orchestra and Choir “Latvija” will perform Sven-David Sandström’s “Messiah” in Šiauliai, Lithuania.

Listen to Sven-David Sandström talking about his oratorio. Experience the pre-premiere rehearsal here.

Tickets to LSO concerts can be purchased in all Box Offices of „Biļešu paradīze” and at The concert is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, Latvian Cultural Capital Foundation and Latvenergo.