the first time ever at Baltic Music Days there will be a concert
featuring the organ. This development is spearheaded by the superhuman
collaboration of two fantastic musicians - saxophonist Aigars Raumanis
and organist Aigars Reinis - and their relentless desire to play newly
written music. Raumanis and Reinis are virtuosic and brilliant
interpreters in their own right, but their duo is characterized by an
admirable balance of quantity - they’ve performed countless concert
programs - with unwavering quality.
In recent years, many new works
for these fine musicians have been written by Latvian composers, both
for solo organ and in duet with saxophone. The program includes a rich
and diverse range of music from Baltic composers Tõnu Kõrvits, Andris
Dzenītis, Arturs Maskats, Alise Rancāne, Dalia Raudonikytė, Marius
Baranauskas, Madara Pētersone and Galina Grigorjeva.
About the festival:
2021 “Baltic Music Days” has been organized by the Composer Unions of
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Each year the festival takes place in a
different Baltic country. The first festival, organized by the Estonian
Composers Union, took place online. The second festival was hosted in
Kaunas, the 2022 European Capital of Culture. This year, 2023, the
festival will take place from March 18-31 in Cēsis and Rīga, Latvia.
Nine concerts are planned for the festival, including the Latvian
National Symphony Orchestra performing at Cēsis Concert Hall, the State
Chamber Orchestra “Sinfonietta Rīga” performing at the Great Guild Hall
in Rīga, and the Latvian Radio Choir performing at the Jāzeps Vītols
Latvian Academy of Music.
A particularly special highlight of the
festival will be a performance by the world-famous percussion ensemble
“Les Percussions de Strasbourg” on March 19, at Cēsis Concert Hall.
The festival as a whole will include 11 world premieres by Latvian composers.
This year, the festival’s overall theme is “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”.
have borrowed this theme from the title of Czech/French writer Milan
Kundera’s well-known novel. We came to this idea at the war’s start — a
war, which unfortunately has not yet ended. A war, which has seeped
into our daily lives, into our subconscious; a war, which makes us
shiver in compassion and demands that we help as much as possible.
for there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one's own pain
weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain
intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes”*
the war and the empathy, life and music continue, offering
opportunities for sensitivity and joy. It is unbearably heavy and light
at the same time. We have asked the festival’s composers to reflect in
their new compositions: is heaviness truly terrible, and lightness
wonderful? Is lightness positive and heaviness negative? For the moment,
it is only clear that the opposition of heaviness and lightness is the
most mysterious and meaningful of all opposites.
Come and listen to it with us!
*Milan Kundera, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” 1984.
festival is organized by Latvian Composers Union and supported by the
State Culture Capital Foundation, Baltic Contemporary Music Network,
Geothe-Institut Riga, Latvian Concerts, Riga Latvian Society, Concert
Hall "Cēsis", Latvian Radio 3 "Klasika", Riga Cathedral