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August 27, 2019

Five Excellent Concerts at Third Weekend of Riga Jurmala Music Festival

Five outstanding concerts took place over the third weekend of the Riga Jurmala Music Festival, which were centred around the highly anticipated performances of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta. Audiences were enthralled by soloists such as Yuja Wang, Jan Lisiecki, Denis Kozhukhin and Alexandra Conunova.

Twenty-six international media representatives from 13 countries were in attendance, including the British, German, Austrian, Swiss, Canadian, Spanish, Israeli, Lithuanian, Estonian, Russian and Belorussian press. The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra concert which took place on August 25th was broadcast both on Latvian Television and on an international channel: medici.tv.

“The Festival is coming to a close—the final five concerts will take place this week. We can see that the Latvian public, which has been so careful, sensitive and at the same time open, has enjoyed the artistic offering. The beautiful Latvian nature, musical cultural traditions and the arrival of a new event in Riga and Jūrmala this summer have already created an unforgettable experience. Soon we will publish our plans for next summer,” commented Artistic Director of the Festival Martin Engstroem.

“Today was a special day—the chance to enjoy the Israel Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta! Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Jan Lisiecki was like a spring day. This was followed by Mahler’s Symphony No. 1: that was truly enjoyable, each sound was like honey. Excellent orchestral musicians playing together perfectly. And Mehta himself—a miracle-worker!” wrote music critic and translator Olga Pētersone after the concert on the 23rd.

“Music is in our nature! Jūrmala suits excellebt classical music. How wonderful that the orchestra sounds natural, without unnatural sound engineering, which allowed Berlioz’s pastoral scene to be complemented by birdsong. How wonderful that Zubin Mehta came, and that Yuja Wang didn’t disappoint. Quite the opposite. And thank you to tonight’s audience! Another great concert from the RĪGA JŪRMALA Music Festival. We can truly feel happy,” wrote musicologist and KLASIKA radio director Gunda Vaivode.

“Judging by the musicians, this festival doesn’t fall far behind the Salzburg Festival!” added producer Alvis Hermanis.

“An amazing gift to us all—both music lovers and professionals not just in this country, but also neighbouring countries. When the Festival was announced, it set itself an ambitious goal: to present only the highest-level musicians. The Israeli orchestra demonstrated incredible quality alongside simplicity, depth and power!” shared musicologist Boris Avramets.

Photo credits: Reinis Oliņš

The festival will continue with the London Symphony Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda (30. and 31.08). The soloists form a constellation of the brightest stars: violinist Vadim Repin (31.08), pianist Seong-Jin Cho (30.08), soprano Ying Fang (31.08), cellist Edgar Moreau (01.09) and pianist Lucas Debargue (01.09).