September 9, 2021

Riga Jurmala Music Festival Concludes 2021 Season

The Riga Jurmala Music Festival has come to a close with two grand concerts by the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and famous Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons, as well as performances from virtuoso artists Mao Fujita and Marc Bouchkov. Over four weekends, 329 musicians from around the world, three of the world’s best orchestras conducted by Andris Nelsons, John Elliot Gardiner and Daniel Harding, and top-class soloists of different generations visited Riga and Jūrmala.

The festival featured 21 symphony and chamber music concerts which were attended by more than 15,100 visitors from 30 countries, including Germany, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Lithuania, Estonia, Norway and others.

Under the leadership of John Eliot Gardiner and with performances by pianists Yuja Wang and András Schiff, the 2021 summer season was opened by the newly-formed Mariss Jansons Festival Orchestra, which united leading musicians from the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The musicians joined forces to replace the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and honour the memory of Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons. That weekend also saw special daytime concerts by British vocal group The King’s Singers, Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson, and baritone Matthias Goerne.


Legendary Russian pianist and composer Mikhail Pletnev performed on the second weekend with a unique concert programme in Riga and Jūrmala, as well as an additional concert in Liepāja in collaboration with festival partner Uniting History. He also gave concerts with violinist Daniel Lozakovich and cellist Mischa Maisky. Pianists Yoav Levanon and Arcadi Volodos delighted audiences with their daytime and evening concerts. During the third weekend, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and conductor Daniel Harding performed with soloists Yefim Bronfman (piano) and prominent American opera singer Renée Fleming, in addition to performances by pianists Alexandre Kantorow and Daumants Liepiņš. The third weekend was closed with a concert by soprano Kristīne Opolais and pianist Agnese Egliņa.

To close the festival, the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, famous Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons and soloists Christine Goerke, Klaus Florian Vogt and Günther Groissböck gave two grand concerts featuring fragments from the operas of Wagner, to standing ovations. These were joined by daytime and evening concerts by the virtuoso violinist Marc Bouchkov and Japanese pianist Mao Fujita.

Continuing the Riga Jurmala Festival’s academic development work, in-person masterclasses were organised in partnership with the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music. The masterclasses featured young, talented musicians and were led by pianist András Schiff, cellist Mischa Maisky, soprano Renée Fleming, and pianists Leif Ove Andsnes and Yefim Bronfman. Over the course of the season, 104 students from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia took part in our online masterclasses.

In addition, the festival partnered with Latvijas Radio 3 Klasika to offer audiences the chance to enjoy special musical picnics in the parks of Riga.

“This summer has been moving and full of emotions. Despite the planned and unplanned changes to the festival programme, this season has not only been extremely successful with excellent results, but has led to the creation of new and, hopefully, permanent initiatives. One of these is the Mariss Jansons Festival Orchestra, which was formed at the initiative of the orchestra musicians in memory of the legendary Latvian conductor and in high regard of the festival’s work,” explains Zane Čulkstēna, Executive Director of the Riga Jurmala Music Festival. “On behalf of the entire festival team, I want to express our high admiration and respect for our amazing musicians, and our thanks to the festival’s supporters and attendees who allowed this amazing musical summer to happen!”

The festival was supported by: Amber Beverage Group, Ekselence ice cream, Food Union, Balticovo, Uniting History, Rietumu Banka, RTP Global, Ola Foundation, Riga City Council, Jūrmala City Council, State Culture Capital Foundation, BMW, FBO Riga, airBaltic, Baltic Travel Group, Riga International Airport, Rīgas Viļņi publishing, Spice shopping centre and our international partner Credit Suisse.