The unique amber sound of the Orchestra has originated in a unique place at the Baltic Sea – in Liepāja.
Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, which is the oldest orchestra in the Baltic States, will start their 140th anniversary season at the concert hall Great Amber in Liepāja on 19 September at 6 p.m. with two voluminous and iconic compositions – The Symphony No. 10 by Dmitri Shostakovich and Piano Concerto No. 1 by Frederic Chopin. At the conductors’ desk, for the fourth concert season in a row, we will see the outstanding chief conductor Gintaras Rinkevičius.
“We are planning our 140th concert season with certain uncertainty, and it reminds us of the Orchestra’s honourable history, which is rich with adventures and challenges and where even the most extraordinary times have always been overcome thanks to the enviable strength and faith in the future. In this anniversary season we will please our listeners with masterpieces by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Verdi, and Puccini, beloved all over the world. Our guest artists will be the brightest names from Latvia and our closest neighbours – Lithuania. To mention, Liepāja International Stars Festival will feature some truly distinguished soloists. This season we will also be honoured to witness several first performances of works by Latvian composers, we will rejoice at concerts performed by Maestro Raimonds Pauls, Imants Kalniņš, Jēkabs Ozoliņš, and the choir “Laiks”, and celebrations devoted to the concert hall Great Amber and the State of Latvia. In addition, we are also preparing some remarkable performances for our tour in Lithuania and Germany. The Orchestra has nothing but development in mind, so let us savour it together!” invites Uldis Lipskis, the Director of Liepāja Symphony Orchestra.
Special guest at the season opening concert will be Lukas Geniušas – one of the most exciting and original artists of his generation. The outstanding pianist was born in Moscow in 1990 in a very musical family: his father is the remarkable Lithuanian pianist Petras Geniušas, also mother Xenia Knorre is a pianist and a professor at Moscow State Conservatory, and even his grandmother was a prominent Russian pianist – Vera Gornostayeva. Given this situation, Lukas started playing piano at the age of five, participated in the first concerts a year later, and now, while just reaching the age of thirty, he has already played together with a number of best orchestras in the world, won numerous international competitions, and played at the most prestigious concert halls, like the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall in London, Louvre Auditorium in Paris, Frick Collection’s Music Room in New York, Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, and others.
Lukas Geniušas and Liepāja Symphony Orchestra will perform music by Frederic Chopin. The brilliant Polish composer and virtuoso pianist is known for his intimate, fragile, and distinctive musical talent. His best-known symphony pieces are two piano concertos, from which the Piano Concerto No. 1, which was written when the composer was only twenty years old, has been included in the Orchestra’s season opening concert. Piano Concerto No. 1 was first-performed by the composer himself in Warsaw in a parting concert shortly before leaving Poland. Just seven weeks later it was one of the first works played by the composer in Paris, and both times Piano Concerto No. 1 was received with adoration and reviews praising Chopin’s originality.
Dmitri Shostakovich, one of the most influential composers of 20th century, is best known for his 15 symphonies, concerts and chamber music pieces, many of which were created under the pressure of Soviet standards. The great composer has often been characterised as nervous perfectionist, frail and fragile, while also blunt, critical and very intellectual. Sharp directness, suspicion, and unworldly beauty also radiate from his Symphony No. 10. It was composer’s first symphony work after Stalin’s death in March 1953. While the composer admitted with satisfaction that no one had ever guessed what this symphony was actually about, it does not seem too hard to draw a parallel between the dictatorship and a fine soul trying to survive it. “I wanted to perform Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 at our gala concert last season. So now I can say you will hear it finally! Although Shostakovich lived in constant fear from Stalin’s repressions, his music is very anti-Stalinist. I hope that our listeners will sense and perceive both the beauty of this music and the composer’s brilliant anti-totalitarianism ideas,” reveals Gintaras Rinkevičius.
Tickets to the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra concerts can be purchased in all Box-Offices of “Biļešu paradise” and at www.bilesuparadize.lv.
The concert is supported by the Ministry of Culture and State Culture Capital Foundation of the Republic of Latvia.