From 25 February to 11 March, the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra will invite its listeners to the Liepāja International Stars Festival for the 31st time already, offering them a diverse and outstanding journey into the world of music.
For the first time the Liepāja International Stars Festival will be opened by young stars – these will be the winners of Valdis Vikmanis’ Latvian Young Artist Competition, the brightest young musicians from Latvian music secondary schools, who will perform at the Concert Hall “Lielais dzintars” together with the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra.
On such a scale the competition is organized for the first time, however, Liepāja Symphony Orchestra's cooperation with the organizer of the competition, namely, Liepāja Music, Art and Design Secondary School, in developing the talent of young musicians goes back several decades.
The culmination of the opening concert of the Liepāja International Stars Festival will be the performance of the globally sought-after Latvian violinist Kristīne Balanas, who will perform Antonín Dvořák's Violin Concerto together with the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra under the direction of the chief conductor Guntis Kuzma.
Kristīne Balanas is one of the most brilliant musicians of her generation. The Times has described this Latvian violinist living in Great Britain as a “dazzlingly virtuoso” musician. She is one of the fastest thriving talents on world stages, winner of the prestigious Latvian Great Music Award in the category “Young Artist of the Year”.
“In modern academic music culture many contests are seen as some sort of an Everest, and for every talent climbing it means, first of all, building up a relationship with oneself and being disciplined, however, contests are not a must or a recommendation for every artist, since music is not a competition, but a high value opportunity to set new goals, seek inspiration, hear other participants and also get to know yourself as an artist through this experience,” says Kristīne Balanas, who will be the chairperson of the judges of the Young Artists Competition opening the Stars Festival.
The Violin Concerto in A minor, which will be played by Kristīne Balanas at the beginning of the Festival, is considered one of the masterpieces of Dvorak’s so-called Slavic period. It was written in close proximity to his first series of Slavonic Dances, the Czech Suite, the Slavonic Rhapsodies and Symphony No. 6 in D major, with which it shares its energetic melodies based on Czech folklore.
“This work with today's trending topics is very close to me. During these fragile times, it is important to maintain contact and close relations with your native land and your home. Dvořák fills his violin concerto with extremely emotional melodies as an open declaration of his feelings for his homeland and nation,” says Kristīne Balanas.
Conductor Guntis Kuzma is openly expressing his joy for the fact that Kristīne Balanas will perform at the laureates' concert along with the stars of the competition: “She is a shining example of the fact that dedicated work and constant striving for perfection pays off really well and opens the door to international success. Kristine's true professionalism in combination with scenic freedom and strong music concept will surely inspire young talents and delight the audience of the laureate concert.”
The 31st Liepāja International Stars Festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, the State Cultural Capital Foundation, Liepāja City and SEB bank.
Tickets for the Festival concerts can be purchased at “Biļešu paradīze” ticket offices.