The unique amber sound of the Orchestra has originated in a unique place at the Baltic Sea – in Liepāja.
On Friday, 15 March at 8 p.m. Liepāja International Stars Festival invites to a solo concert of Vestards Šimkus. The programme comprises nine Chorale Preludes by Johann Sebastian Bach and Shimkus’ own composition “Dream Images. Nine Etudes for the Piano.”
“I have played this concert programme to the audiences in Paris, Berlin, Munich, Luzern and a number of other places in Europe. It is with great interest that I am looking forward to this concert, when playing Bach and my own “Dream Images” I will have a chance to hear the acoustics of the Chamber Hall of “GREAT AMBER”. The music of this programme is pianistically ambitious, imaginative and mystical,” tells Vestards Šimkus about the concert programme.
In the first part the pianist will play nine Chorale Preludes by the 18th century Baroque genius Johann Sebastian Bach, the original versions of which were written for organ and then in the end of the 19th century arranged for the piano by the legendary and amazing virtuoso ‒ Italian pianist and composer Ferruccio Busoni. It is a sacral Christian music – a kind of religious revelation. The second part of the concert will feature “Dream Images. Nine Etudes for the Piano” composed by Šimkus.
“In “Dream Images” I have tried to reflect my most colourful dreams in music in order not to forget them. Dreams are the art work of our subconsciousness. It is an unexplainable and mystical experience, like the religious experience in Bach’s Chorale Preludes, therefore this programme is the meeting place of both,” explains Šimkus.
Pianist Vestards Šimkus has been characterized as “phenomenal” (conductor Paavo Järvi), “inspiring” (by BBC), “an accomplished pianist” (American Record Guide), as well as “one of the outstanding pianists of young generation” (Piano News). Being the 1st-prize-winner of several competitions, including the Maria Canals International Piano Competition, he began to gain an international recognition after his performances with BBC Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre National de France as well as after performing at Lucerne, Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau, Kissinger Sommer, Bergen and Lockenhaus festivals. The pianist has received numerous awards, among them are the highest national awards of Poland and Estonia, and has been nominated for the International Classical Music Award. Šimkus has also proven himself as a composer, a number of his works has been published by the prestigious publisher “SCHOTT”.
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.