In 2016, the three leading symphony orchestras of the Baltic states revived the Baltic Symphony Festival, with all three orchestras performing in concert in Riga, Tallinn, and Vilnius.
Estonia’s representative in the festival is the Estonian State Symphony Orchestra, chief conductor Neeme Järvi. Latvia is represented by the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, led by its music director Andris Poga. Lithuania’s representative is the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, led by its chief conductor Gintaras Rinkevičius.
The festival emerged from the long-standing necessity for the Baltic orchestras to establish closer contacts so as to facilitate the exchange of information, musicians, and conductors. The Baltic Symphony Festival is envisioned to develop into a recurring international music forum; it will also be an important constituent of the three Baltic states’ centennial celebration.
19.00 / Saturday / Riga, The Great Guild
On 9 December at the Great Guild Hall, we will hear a new composition, the oratorio The Song of the Baltic by Arturs Maskats, who celebrates his 60th anniversary this year. The piece includes lyrics by Latvian poets Vizma Belševica and Ojārs Vācietis, Lithuanian poet Sigitas Geda, and Estonian poet Paul-Eerik Rummo. In the performance, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, led by Andris Poga, will be joined by the State Choir Latvija and soloists: Vida Miknevičiūtė from Lithuania, Mari Kalkun from Estonia, and Aleksandrs Antoņenko from Latvia. In addition to Maskats’ new work, in honour of Finland’s centenary, the programme also includes Jean Sibelius’ well-known, ingenious Symphony No. 2, which occasionally is attributed the role of a herald of national ideas.
Arturs Maskats The Song of the Baltics for solo singers, choir, and orchestra (new work)
Jean Sibelius Symphony no. 2
The festival programme also includes a discussion about the status quo of the classical music today and the experience of music circulation within the three Baltic states.
Arturs Maskats’ The Song of the Baltic is also an export product – it will be performed on 9 February, 2018, at the Vilnius Congress Hall.
Created and done by: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia / Latvian National Symphony orchestra
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