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

Sinfonietta Rīga at The Stars Festival

On Thursday, 14 March at 8 p.m., Liepāja Concert Hall “GREAT AMBER” will host Chamber Orchestra “Sinfonietta Riga” and its principal conductor Normunds Šnē presenting their latest concert programme. The virtuoso orchestra will continue the 27th Liepāja International Stars Festival by performing the music by German Romantic composer Richard Strauss as well as the works by contemporary composers Ruta Paidere and Sebastian Fagerlund. The soloist in Fagerlund’s Clarinet concerto will be Guntis Kuzma, a nominee for the Great Music Award.

In his brief description of the contextually saturated concert programme, Normunds Šnē says that it is one of the richest that the orchestra has ever presented. The orchestra will open the concert with “Metamorphosen” by Richard Strauss – a timeless piece of symphonic scope, written in the war-scorched Europe. The composer wrote his masterpiece for 23 string instruments during the last years of his life; he started it in the summer of 1944 and completed at the end of winter in 1945, after the bombing of Dresden and the destruction of Dresden Opera House – the music temple where many of Richard Strauss’ works had premiered. The music is a reflection of those events, it conveys frustration, pain and looking back at the composer’s long and full-fledged life.

The programme continues with a recently composed music by a Latvian composer residing in Germany Ruta Paidere – chamber symphony “and nothing more” – written under the influence of the narrative poem “The Crow” by American writer Edgar Allan Poe.

The programme closes with the Clarinet Concerto by Finnish composer Sebastian Fagerlund – a master of largescale orchestral works. Fagerlund has established himself as one of the most prominent composers of his generation in Europe. His works have been performed by numerous world orchestras, including BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra and others. The Clarinet Concerto is dedicated to Fagerlund’s friend and colleague Christopher Sandkvist. The work conveys the melody of the instrument in all its beauty and endless technical possibilities.

In Liepāja, Guntis Kuzma will have the honour to be the soloist of Fagerlund’s Concerto. He is one of the rear clarinet performers who dares to play the composition besides the Swedish virtuoso Sandkvist. This opus is one of the pieces for the performance of which Guntis Kuzmas this year was nominated for The Latvian Great Music Award in the category “For outstanding interpretation”.

Guntis Kuzma tells about Fagerlund’s composition: “It is an extremely inspiring, dynamic and perfectly written work! Though it has been written for clarinet and its virtuosity is in the forefront, it is also a rare clarinet concerto where the orchestra has an important role. The general structure of the composition, author’s inventiveness and texture of the score gives an impression of a wonderful clarinet symphony!”

The performance of Chamber Orchestra “Sinfonietta Riga” has received the highest award of academic music in Latvia – The Latvian Great Music Award. The Orchestra has also received the prestigious Grammy Award for participation in recording the album of Estonian composer Arvo Part. The Orchestra has youthful enthusiasm, joy of investigation and wish to discover new horizons. Normunds Šnē has been its artistic director and conductor since its foundation in 2006. The musicians of “Sinfonietta Riga” are young, erudite and full of creative ideas. They persistently continue investigating the heritage of Vienna Classicism School I and II, present to their audience the musical phenomena and trends of styles of the 20th century, seek for outstanding personalities of the contemporary music.

The 27th Liepāja International Stars Festival, founded by Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, will take place from 9‒16 March at the orchestra residency – Liepāja Concert Hall “GREAT AMBER”. During two weekends there will be five excellent concerts featuring the performances of Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, world famous cellist Mischa Maisky, talented pianist Vestards Šimkus, outstanding Estonian conductor Risto Joost, Chamber Orchestra “Sinfonietta Riga”, State Choir “Latvija”, as well as many other stars.

The Festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, Latvian Cultural Capital Foundation, Liepāja City Council, Cultural Department of Liepāja City Council, “Latvenergo” Ltd., Embassy of Denmark in Latvia and Danish Cultural Institute. Tickets to the festival concerts can be purchased at all Box Offices of “Biļešu paradīze” and at www.bilesuparadize.lv.

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