concerts in one concert. Three perspectives on contemporary chamber
music. Three ensembles - one from Latvia, one from Lithuania, one from
First, a duo of virtuosic and sensitive musicians -
harpsichordist Ieva Saliete and accordionist Artūrs Noviks - present a
program featuring Linda Leimane's “Geometric Counterpoint” for
harpsichord and electronics, "Harp is a Chord" for harpsichord and
accordion by Justė Janulytė, "Event Horizon" by Mirjam Tally,
“Marsh-Souls" for accordion solo by Indra Riše, and the premiere of a
new work for harpsichord and accordion by Jānis Petraškevičs.
the Chordos String Quartet from Lithuania will perform. Its permanent
repertoire includes the highest quality string quartets of the 20th and
21st centuries, from Ravel and Szymanowski to Riley, Crumb and Ligeti;
as well as dozens of works by Lithuanian composers. This time the
program includes Selga Mence, Kristupas Bubnelis, Helena Tulve and
The three-part concert will be rounded off by a
unique electroacoustic duo from Estonia: Anna-Liisa Eller (kannel) and
Taavi Kerikmae (electronics). This concert focuses on Estonian music
composed for the ensemble, but will also feature a new work for the duo
written by Jēkabs Nīmanis.
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