This past weekend, August 6 to 8, saw the second of four weekends of the Riga Jurmala Music Festival. Visitors enjoyed five chamber music concerts by some of the world’s greatest performers and took part in a Musical Soirée with Ekselence, which featured a relaxed musical picnic in Riga’s Kronvalds Park. Mischa Maisky, in collaboration with the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, also led a cello masterclass for talented young musicians.
The Riga Jurmala Music Festival is one of the first global classical music events in the past year that has been able to host such large numbers of visitors and let audiences enjoy concerts at 100% capacity, all in safe epidemiological conditions and without face masks.
The festival continued in its second weekend with concerts by violinist Daniel Lozakovich, cellist Mischa Maisky and pianist Mikhail Pletnev. This unique line-up of three outstanding performers came about when the Saint Petersburg Symphony Orchestra pulled out of the festival due to issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, Pletnev gave three additional concerts: a solo concert on August 7 in the Small Hall of the Dzintari Concert Hall in Jurmala, a concert with Lozakovich on August 8 at the Great Guild Hall in Riga, and an August 9 concert organised by the Uniting History Foundation at the Great Amber Concert Hall in Liepāja. Pianists Yoav Levanon and Arkadi Volodos also performed solo recitals over the weekend.