December 10, 2021

Riga Jurmala Music Festival Announces 2022 Programme

Described by the UK’s Daily Telegraph as one of the Top Ten Music Festivals, the Riga Jurmala Music Festival 2022 comprises four weekends each presenting a major international orchestra: the Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergiev; the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra with Michael Tilson Thomas, the Mariss Jansons Festival Orchestra with Klaus Mäkelä and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with Manfred Honeck.

RigaJurmala_Season2022_s-26

The Mariss Jansons Festival Orchestra was specially formed this summer by leading musicians from orchestras with whom the great Latvian conductor had a special relationship. In response to unforeseen circumstances caused by the Covid pandemic, these musicians were determined to honour Jansons by coming together for the Riga Jurmala Music Festival. Their performances under John Eliot Gardiner with soloists Yuja Wang and András Schiff were undoubtedly one of the highlights of the Festival in 2021, and their return in 2022 is eagerly awaited. In 2022, they will collaborate with one of the music world’s most stellar talents, Klaus Mäkelä, who at the ripe age of 25 years is already Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Oslo Philharmonic and Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris.

Klaus Mäkelä

Yuja Wang

The presence of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, under their Music Director, Manfred Honeck, marks a welcome return of American orchestras to the European festival scene after the cancellations imposed by the global pandemic. The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra returns for the first time since 2019 under the baton of one of America’s legendary conductors, Michael Tilson Thomas. The Mariinsky Orchestra, under the stewardship of Valery Gergiev, is one of Russia’s leading orchestras, both in the operatic and symphonic repertoire.

Manfred Honeck

Valery Gergiev

The 20 performances at the 2022 Riga Jurmala Music Festival feature over 30 world-renowned soloists including, as soloists in the orchestral concerts, pianists Behzod Abduraimov, Hélène Grimaud and Yuja Wang; violinists Joshua Bell and Janine Jansen, cellists Gautier Capuçon and Truls Mørk, and a quartet of singers: soprano Pretty Yende, mezzo-soprano Alice Coote, tenor Julian Prégardien and bass René Pape. In recital, featured will be pianists András Schiff, Daniil Trifonov and the sisters Katia and Marielle Labèque, as well as tenor Joseph Calleja. They’re joined for noon concerts during the Festival by outstanding talents worth discovering or re-discovering, including tenor sensation Freddie De Tommaso, violinists Kristóf Baráti and María Dueñas, pianists Alexandra Dovgan, Bruce Liu, Alexander Malofeev, and Nobuyuki Tsujii; and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason in duet with his sister Isata at the piano.  A variety of Latvian ensembles will be participating in next summer’s festivities: the Latvian National Opera Orchestra (with Joseph Calleja), the State Choir LATVIJA (with the Mariss Jansons Festival Orchestra) and Members of the Sinfonietta Riga (with Kristóf Baráti).

Daniil Trifonov

Katia and Marielle Labèque

“After programming three editions of the Riga Jurmala Music Festival, we are starting to see that our focus on building a relationship with Latvian audiences and the international artistic community is starting to bear fruit. It is wonderful to see some familiar artists and orchestras return, as one can never get enough of their talent, while it is also exciting to welcome several new faces, including the young talent you may discover during the noon concert series. Although its birth was by force majeure, the Mariss Jansons Festival Orchestra raises the Riga Jurmala Music Festival to another level altogether, as a proprietary orchestra adds a dimension we had never anticipated to materialize so early in the life of this wonderful project,” says Martin T: son Engstroem, Artistic Director of the Riga Jurmala Music Festival.

“There are many great reasons to look forward to the Festival’s 2022 season and I am very grateful to our artistic team who have yet again managed to put together an absolutely brilliant and unique programme. Next summer will be special for several reasons. First, we are thrilled to welcome back our beloved Mariss Jansons Festival Orchestra, which was born this year at the Riga Jurmala Music Festival under unique circumstances. Secondly, the whole Festival team is particularly happy to see the presence of more Latvian ensembles in this year’s programme. Finally – even in these uncertain times we have not only managed to maintain warm and loyal relationships with our partners and contributors but continue welcoming new partners and expanding our existing collaborations, including with such international reputable partners as Credit Suisse!” says Zane Čulkstēna, Executive Director of the Riga Jurmala Music Festival.

Each visiting orchestra gives two evening concerts, with the third evening of the weekend dedicated to a recital featuring a prominent soloist or soloists. The Riga Jurmala Music Festival’s dual location in Latvia’s historic capital city of Riga and the forested seaside resort of Jurmala add to the experience of visiting the Festival. Evening performances take place at the Latvian National Opera in Riga or the open-air Dzintari Concert Hall in Jurmala, while all noon concerts take place at the Small Guild in Riga.

In 2022 the Riga Jurmala Music Festival will continue its music education initiative, the Riga Jurmala Academy, organised in collaboration with the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, the country’s centre for excellence in classical music performance. The Riga Jurmala Academy will provide young and talented musicians from Latvia and abroad with unparalleled opportunities for artistic development and collegial interaction through masterclasses and workshops with selected soloists and orchestral musicians from the 2022 festival roster.