About the Festival

The Riga Jurmala Music Festival held its first season in summer 2019. After a successful first year, the festival was included in British newspaper The Telegraph’s top 10 summer festivals, in addition to gaining a prestigious EFFE Label from the European Festivals Association.

Every summer during the festival, the world’s leading symphony orchestras and conductors visit Riga and Jurmala to allow people to enjoy symphonic, chamber and solo concerts, and to listen to star classical musicians and emerging talents, with 20 concerts offered over a four-week period.

Festival concerts take place at the architectural gems of Riga and Jurmala: the Latvian National Opera, Great Guild Hall and the most in-demand location of the summer season, the Dzintari Concert Hall.


Festival History

The Riga Jurmala Music Festival is based on the traditions of the Baltic Musical Seasons concert series, which aimed to introduce Latvian and international music lovers to the world’s best classical musicians. The concert series was founded under the initiative of several Latvian business owners.


Four world-class orchestras had been planned for the second season of the festival: the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra with their new Artistic Director Lahav Shani; the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Manfred Honeck; the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and its long-serving Artistic Director Yuri Temirkanov; and the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy. For its second season, the festival began a new initiative: music masterclasses in collaboration with the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music in which emerging talents from Latvia and abroad could develop their skills under the tutelage of world-famous performers. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the festival season was postponed to the following year, while the educational programme gained a new format, offering Latvian and Baltic students online masterclasses. Meanwhile, audiences could listen to the programmes which had been planned to be performed, played during the festival’s specially-organised Musical Soirees.


The new, world-class Riga Jurmala Music Festival took place for the first time in Latvia with performances by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as the top current soloists: Vadim Repin (violin), Yuja Wang (piano), Julian Rachlin (violin), Mischa Maisky (cello), Seong-Jin Cho (piano), Jan Lisiecki (piano), Rudolf Buchbinder (piano) and others. The festival was visited by 15,500 audience members from 50 different countries. The festival was included in British newspaper The Telegraph’s top 10 summer festivals, in addition to gaining a prestigious EFFE Label from the European Festivals Association.


The Dzintari Concert Hall presented concerts by world-class stars. Actor John Malkovich, tenor Juan Diego Flórez, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with Elīna Garanča, cellist Mischa Maisky, Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia, and pianist Denis Matsuev all performed in Jurmala.


The Dzintari Concert Hall was visited by world-famous conductor Riccardo Muti and his Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini, opera singers Elīna Garanča and Hibla Gerzmava, Denis Matsuev, Lawrence Brownlee, Sarah Coburn, Kristīne Opolais, Pavel Černoch, Joshua Bell and Chris Botti. The Artistic Director of Baltic Musical Seasons was Andrejs Žagars.