August 10, 2021

Highlights from the past weekend of the Riga Jurmala Music Festival

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.

Musical Soirées with Ekselence Ice Cream

Continuing a tradition begun last year, in the summer of 2021 the Riga Jurmala Music Festival is also presenting a series of musical evenings, or soirées, alongside its scheduled concerts. These Musical Soirées are a unique event concept offering a different perspective on classical music. Over the course of an evening, the venue is transformed into a splendid picnic with two hours of classical music to enjoy in an informal atmosphere. The set designs are by Latvian artist Krišs Salmanis. The upcoming Musical Soirées with Ekselence Ice Cream in August will take place on the beach in Jurmala, combining classical music, picnics and talks by musicologists about the festival’s concert programmes.

In another event hosted by the festival, an in-person masterclass led by Latvian-born cellist Mischa Maisky took place in collaboration with the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music.

The Riga Jurmala Music Festival continues this season with two more weekends of music – August 27 to 29 and September 2 to 5 – with the participation of the magnificent Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, pianist Yefim Bronfman, American opera singer Renée Fleming, Latvian pianist Daumants Liepiņš, Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires, Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons and other distinguished musicians.

Extra tickets available for all festival concerts

Concert-goers are required to present a Covid-19 digital certificate confirming completed vaccination or recovery from Covid-19. As a result, capacity at all concerts has been increased to 100%. Tickets for all concerts are still available and can be purchased on the festival’s website