The unique amber sound of the Orchestra has originated in a unique place at the Baltic Sea – in Liepāja.
The five concerts of the 28th Liepāja International Stars Festival, organised by Liepāja Symphony Orchestra and held from 7 to 14 March in Liepāja Concert Hall GREAT AMBER, will feature internationally acclaimed musicians from Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, France, Portugal, Lithuania and Latvia.
“For the 28th time the festival stars will shine in the concerts, treating the audience to unforgettable moments of classical, jazz, modern and vocal music in interpretation of outstanding musicians,” says Liepāja Symphony Orchestra manager Uldis Lipskis. “The festival programme will feature conductors Gintaras Rinkevicius, Atvars Lakstīgala and Andris Veismanis, Liepāja Symphony Orchestra and Latvian Radio Big Band, singers Maija Kovaļevska and Maria Mendes, virtuosos Michael Pipoquinha and Karel Dohnal, pianists Armands Ābols and Wilhem Latchoumia, as well as a premiere of Ēriks Ešenvalds’ Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra with soloist Oskars Petrauskis and the Riga Chamber Choir AVE SOL male group.”
At the opening concert on March 7 Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major conveying the sparkling vitality of the 20th century post-war Europe Liepāja Symphony Orchestra under the leadership of Lithuanian Maestro Gintaras Rinkevicius will perform with piano player form France Wilhelm Lachoumia. The French press write that fairies have put a spell on Lachoumia – so magical is his connection with audience. The concert will feature the world premiere of the Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra “Arctic Visions: Sea” written by Ēriks Ešenvalds’, who is renowned as a Latvian master of meditation and a virtuoso landscapist, where we will hear the beautiful solo played by Oskars Petrauskis.
On March 8 the audience will hear Portuguese and Brazilian music by Maria Mendes and Michael Pipoquinha. Maria is a Portuguese diva with a wide range of musical interests – she feels perfectly in jazz, tenderly sings popular music and can turn her clear strong voice into a melancholic one in fadu. All About Jazz writes: “Mendes clearly shows that she does not have to prove anything.” Michael already as a teenager charmed thousands of followers of his video channel around the world by his technical virtuosity. Presently the young musician is out for the world fame. Michael’s performance is rich in colourful Brazilian rhythms, unique slapping technique and ferocious grooves. The audience will enjoy also Latvian Radio Big Band’s programme Tribute to Jaco dedicated to the legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius.
March 12 will be chance to experience the unique piece “Harlekin” by inventive modernist Karlheinz Stockhausen. Czech clarinetist Karel Dohnal played this 45-minute piece – music, dance and improvisation – for the first time in 2011, in Czech Republic. Since then, he has toured the world with it. “Karel Dohnal’s performance of Stockhausen’s ‘Harlekin’ was the most striking 45 minutes of my life,” writes Keats Bruce in Scottish newspaper The Herald.
On March 13 the festival offers a salon music concert similar to the concerts in the 19th century - a cosy atmosphere with musicians performing close to the audience and having similar thoughts. Renowned Latvian soprano Maija Kovaļevska will sing beautiful and contemplative songs by Latvian composers. A Latvian virtuoso from Chile Armands Ābols will be at the piano in this programme. Armands will give a solo performance of Chopin’s popular nocturnes (night music) Opus 9, and a selection of Shumann’s “Children’s Scenes”. In turn, the Riga Chamber Choir AVE SOL male group will enrich the programme with Franz Shubert’s choir songs that are undeservedly rarely performed.
The Festival will close on March 14 with music by Beethoven, whose grand anniversary will be celebrated in 2020. The programme will start with the “Fidelio” Overture and continue with Piano Concerto No. 4. It is one of the most beautiful works of this genre of all times. Armands Ābols’ intelligent, manly, considerate and refined musical thinking is perfect for playing this brilliant concerto. Excerpts from world famous operas by Verdi, Puccini and Bizet will be performed by famous Latvian opera diva Maija Kovaļevska. At the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra conductor’s desk – Atvars Lakstīgala.
Tickets to the Festival concerts (from 10 EUR) can be purchased in all Box-Offices of “Biļešu paradise” and at www.bilesuparadize.lv. The 28th Liepāja International Stars Festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, the State Culture Capital Foundation and the city of Liepāja.