will open Baltic Music Days 2023 festival
with three works by outstanding
contemporary composers: Erkki-Sven Tüür from Estonia, Žibuoklė
Martinaitytė from Lithuania, and Krists Auznieks from Latvia. Guntis
Kuzma will conduct their works with the Latvian National Symphony
Krists Auznieks is one of the brightest Latvian talents of
our time, whose work and craftsmanship are further distinguished by his
outstanding education and international achievements. His symphony One
will be heard for the first time, commissioned by the LNSO as part of
Auznieks’s role as their Composer-in-Residence this season.
be accompanied on the program by Erkki-Sven Tüür's clarinet concerto
Peregrinus Ecstaticus, featuring one of the most virtuosic Latvian
clarinettist, Mārtiņš Circenis, as the soloist. Written in 2012, Tüür's
concerto Peregrinus Ecstaticus has received rave reviews which highlight
its “passionately direct material” and “explosive climaxes" (BBC Music
Magazine), as well as "Tüür's organic and dynamic use of texture, about
which [one] could list countless examples." (Gramophone)
The music of
the esteemed Estonian composer Tüür needs no further introduction and
has been played all over the world with great success for decades. But
it is the music of the New York-based Lithuanian composer Žibuoklė
Martinaitytė that has most recently gained notoriety and widespread
acclaim. Her album of orchestral music, Saudade, continues to introduce
listeners to Martinaitytė's "intricately alluring sonic domain"
(Gramophone). She has been praised as a “textural magician” (WQXR), her
music bristling “with energy and tension” (Wire) and “an enthralling and
unexpected beauty" (American Record Guide). In Cēsis the title track of
the orchestral album will be performed. The piece refers to the
distinct Portuguese word saudade, which means a multi-layered emotion of
deep longing. A month before the Cēsis performance, Saudade will also
be performed for three nights by the New York Philharmonic.
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.
Tickets in www.bilesuparadize.lv
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