August 28, 2019

Riga Jurmala Music Festival to Culminate This Weekend with Five Concerts: London Symphony Orchestra, Noseda, Cho, Repin, Moreau, Fang, Debargue

This week, from August 30th to September 1st, the Riga Jurmala Music Festival will continue with five excellent concerts at the Great and Small Halls of the Dzintari Concert Hall, as well as Riga’s Great Guild. The end of the Festival will be centered around the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Gianandrea Noseda, soloists Seong-Jin Cho (piano, 30.08), Vadim Repin (violin, 31.08), soprano Ying Fang (31.08), Edgar Moreau (cello, 01.09) and Lucas Debargue (piano, 01.09).

The goal of the RJMF is to become one of the world’s great classical music events, offering Latvian and overseas music lovers the opportunity to hear dazzling performers and unforgettable repertoire.

The culminating weekend of the Festival is centred around the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), which is seen as one of the most daring and witty of the world’s orchestras. The meaning of “limits” seems not to apply to the LSO; since its founding in 1904, the group of musicians has always been avant-garde, introducing or sanctioning the currents of the era. The orchestra was the first to record albums and film music, founded its own record company, played at the opening ceremony of the Olympics, and is constantly promoting new music.

The LSO will perform in Jūrmala under their Principal Guest Conductor Gianandrea Noseda. When Noseda was confirmed in 2017 as Principal Guest Conductor, Head Conductor Simon Rattle said: “I am delighted that Gianandrea will become an even closer member of the LSO family. I have long admired his music-making, with its unusual marriage of lyricism and drama”. Other orchestral musicians value Noseda’s exacting work and ability to perform characterful, inspiring music.Noseda has recorded more than 60 albums, many of which have received both critical acclaim and awards. More than ten years ago, he founded Musica Italiana, a project in which he documented little-known 20th century Italian music, bringing many masterpieces to light.

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6, performed by the LSO and Noseda.

On August 30th at 20:00 (the only concert of the Festival to begin at 20:00—the rest begin at 19:00), Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho will perform with the LSO. Cho won the Warsaw International Chopin Piano Competition in 2015, and since that time his career has developed on an international scale. A year later, he signed a contract with one of the world’s biggest record companies, Deutsche Grammophon, but he also released his first album. In it, he performs Chopin’s music both solo and in collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Gianandrea Noseda. Noseda describes Cho thus: “His way of playing is very natural, and yet there is some sophistication in finding new ideas without being eccentric. Just to find a way of expression while being natural; that is something I really respect in this very young artist.” Cho’s manner of playing is simultaneously deliberate and poetic, certain and soft, virtuoso and nuanced, rich and clear. And this entire spectrum of feeling and expression is woven through with a natural feeling of balance. In Jūrmala, Cho will perform Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

LSO, Noseda and Cho perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

On August 31st, the LSO will perform with violinist Vadim Repin. Repin first visited Latvia as a child, a violin prodigy from Novosibirsk. At that time, in the early 90s, he was already living in the West; he is now at the height of his fame. At the age of seventeen, he became the youngest ever winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition. Since then, he has performed in Europe, America and Asia’s most famous concert halls.He has been invited to collaborate with the world’s best orchestras: the Berlin, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, the Symphony Orchestras of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, the Cleveland Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra of Hamburg, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the La Scala Orchestra.Fiery passion with impeccable technique, poetry and sensitivity are Vadim Repin’s trademarks. Repin plays the 1773 “Rode” violin by Stradivari. In Jūrmala, the violinist will play Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto.

Repin plays Tchaikovsky’s Valse Scherzo

On August 31st, soprano Ying Fang, one of the most promising young sopranos in the world, will visit Latvia for the first time to give a solo concert. She is seen as the most gifted Chinese soprano of her generation. The press praises Chinese soprano Ying Fang’s vocal vitality, attractiveness, and ability to inhabit many different emotional states, also putting to use her charming, flirtatious acting talent. Fang sings with a sophisticated lightness and directness, dignified and convincing. It would be incorrect to call her “promising” – she is already a fully matured artist, according to critics.Fang feels equally free with the music of different eras, paying particular attention to the greats of Baroque and Romanticism. In Jūrmala, Fang will be joined on stage by prominent pianist and vocal coach Ken Noda, whose primary role is at the Metropolitan Opera, but has given concerts with almost all of the world’s leading opera singers. This summer, Fang’s debut thrilled critics and audiences alike at the Salzburg Festival.

Ying Fang in the role of Ilia in Mozart’s opera Idomeneo at the 2019 Salzburg Festival

Cellist Edgar Moreau will perform exclusively the suites of Johann Sebastian Bach in his concert at the Great Guild on September 1st at 14:00. The cleverness with which he learns new repertoire, the passion with which he plays in every concert, the skill which can only be gained with years of experience, and the spontaneity offered by a modern drive – this is what characterises French cellist Edgar Moreau, whose star already shone brightly at the age of 17, when he won silver at the International Tchaikovsky Competition. In his native France, the medal, despite it being a mere silver, was greeted with ovations, and the musician himself has said that it was second place, rather than winning, which opened the doors to so many concert stages.

the cellist performs Popper’sElfentanz

The Festival will culminate in a concert by a favourite of Latvian audiences, pianist Lucas Debargue, in the Small Hall of the Dzintari Concert Hall. The concert will feature the works of Scarlatti, Medtner and Liszt. Lucas Debargue was discovered by the music world after his performance at the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 2015. “Debargue is a befuddling case of musical potential. His talent is real; his training, mysterious; his artistry, at times arrestingly beautiful. Not since Ivo Pogorelich in 1980 has a pianist garnered more attention for, essentially, not winning a competition” summarised critics (KQED); “Power, subtlety, control, imagination, taste – he’s got it all” (Le Point). Debargue has performed in Latvia multiple times and has become a firm favourite of our audiences.

Debargue’s performance at the International Tchaikovsky Competition Winners’ Concert