The first RĪGA JŪRMALA festival Ekselence Music Club happened on 5 July. The event is organised in collaboration with festival partner Food Union – Latvia’s leading dairy processor – and their gourmet ice cream brand Ekselence.
Club attendees had the opportunity to take a peek at the history of the music featured in the festival’s opening concert and the composers’ most important life events, as well as get a feeling for the atmosphere in which world famous conductor Mariss Jansons spent his youth – the Ekselence music club took place in the apartment where he lived as a child, which is now the A. Upīts Memorial Museum, along with some of the Maestro’s family, and childhood friends. Guests to the event also had a chance to sample Ekselence’s new line of dietary ice creams, which were a refreshing and delicious way to beat the heat on a hot summer afternoon.
The Club’s storyteller is Mikus Čeže – music historian and one of the brightest chroniclers of Rīga’s musical past. “The festival’s opening concert will feature outstanding musical opuses – Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto № 2 is considered to be one of the best of the 20thcentury, and is in the repertoire of all leading violin virtuosos. Meanwhile, Richard Strauss’ suite for his opera Der Rosenkavalierand Jean Sibelius’ Symphony № 1 are late-romanticism masterpieces which, nearing a collision with the 20thcentury, manifest as unique escapism. In Der Rosenkavalierit is by sinking into the past and in Sibelius’ opus it is characterised as a conversation between a hermit and the Northern forces of nature,” says M. Čeže of the concert programme.