Riga Jurmala Academy

This February, the Rīga Jūrmala Music Festival announced a new education initiative: the Rīga Jūrmala Academy. During the Festival, it was hoped that the Academy would hold international masterclasses for various musical instrument groups, giving rising talents the chance to learn new skills from world-famous artists.

Adapting to the situation caused by COVID-19, the festival’s organisers have created the opportunity for the Rīga Jūrmala Academy to continue online.

Twenty masterclasses have already taken place, with participants including leading musicians from the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra—Natalie Schwaabe (piccolo), Lionel Cottet (cello), Julita Smoleń (violin), Tobias Steymans (violin), Jehye Lee (violin) and Bettina Faiss (clarinet)—as well as famous Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and music students from the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, Emīls Dārziņš Music Secondary School, London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama, as well as Lithuania and Estonia’s leading music institutions.

“Performances by many excellent musicians were planned for this August as part of the Rīga Jūrmala Festival, which were to have been combined with in-person masterclasses for the young students; however, adapting to this situation, we have created a high-quality, alternative online solution to give students the chance to meet the artist, ask questions that interest them and learn new skills during the masterclass,” explains Toms Ostrovskis, Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music Associate Professor and Rīga Jūrmala Music Education Project Manager. “Bearing in mind the response from students and teachers, we plan on continuing the masterclasses all summer, giving them the chance to gain skills on different instruments.”

Toms Ostrovskis / Director of Riga Jurmala Academy

“I believe that all festivals should aim for both entertainment and education. For the wider public and classical music lovers, this might be in the form of pre-concert talks or more detailed notes by musicologists on the concert programmes. For young artists who, we hope, will soon be performing on the stage of this and other festivals, masterclasses by world-famous artists are a unique opportunity. It is also a chance for festival attendees who are able to take part in these public masterclasse and watch the maestros’ dialogues with young talents. I am very proud that we have been able to implement this significant initiative already in the second year of the Rīga Jūrmala Festival.”

Martin T:son Engstroem / Artistic Director of Riga Jurmala Music Festival 

Watch the Riga Jurmala Academy masterclasses on Facebook:

Bearing in mind the circumstances caused by COVID-19, participation in the masterclasses is by invitation only!

Email address for questions and additional information: [email protected]

You can also contact us through Facebook @rigajurmalaacademy