The Riga Jurmala Music Festival is a new-concept festival that takes place over four powerful weekends, each anchored by a world-class orchestra and a dazzling line-up of soloists. The first year is already set to feature huge classical stars including Yuja Wang, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Appl and MILOŠ.
With a population of just 1.9 million people, Latvia is a somewhat unexpected contender as one of Europe’s essential classical music destinations. Despite its tiny size, Latvia has already produced internationally-renowned talent on the classical music stage, including two of the world’s top-ten conductors, Andris Nelsons and Mariss Jansons, the latter of whom will be opening the Festival.
This summer Latvia plans to solidify its reputation as a key cultural hub by hosting the first ever Riga Jurmala Music Festival, based around four major weekends, each featuring a world-famous orchestra. The inaugural Festival line-up is already incredible, and with Martin Engstroem leading as Artistic Director, it’s quite possible this Festival could quickly gain the same notoriety as Verbier.
Designed to give both music and travel lovers an unforgettable experience, the Festival is split between two key Latvian cities. The Festival begins in Riga, the country’s historic capital with stunning architecture and award-winning cuisine. The following weekends take place in Jurmala, Latvia’s flagship seaside resort and just a 20-minute drive from the capital.
In order to ensure availability to the widest possible audience, the Festival offers a wide range of ticket prices as well as musical offerings. Alongside the symphonic orchestral performances, each weekend features recitals by star soloists of the classical world, as well as morning recitals by up-and-coming artists.
This year’s program highlights include:
Weekend 1 (July 19 – 21)
Mariss Jansons conducts the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Latvian National Opera.
Soloists include violinist Julian Rachlin, pianists Rudolf Buchbinder, Lukas Geniušas and Martin James.
Weekend 2 (August 16 - 18)
Mikhail Pletnev conducts the Russian National Orchestra.
Soloists include cellist Mischa Maisky with his daughter, pianist Lily Maisky, singers Joseph Calleja and Benjamin Appl with pianist Simon Lepper, pianist Vincenzo Scalera and guitarist MILOŠ.
Weekend 3 (August 23 - 25)
Zubin Mehta conducts the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Soloists include pianists Murray Perahia, Jan Lisiecki, Denis Kozhukhin and Yuja Wang, and violinist Alexandra Conunova.
Weekend 4 (August 30 – September 1)
Gianandrea Noseda conducts the London Symphony Orchestra.
Soloists include violinist Vadim Repin, soprano Ying Fang with pianist Ken Noda, cellist Edgar Moreau and pianist Lucas Debargue.
For more information about the Festival, and to book tickets, visit the Riga Jurmala Music Festival website.