Friday, 19th July at 7 p.m., Latvian National Opera
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, conductor Mariss Jansons
Julian Rachlin, violin
The opening concert of the RĪGA JŪRMALA Music Festival will feature one of the world’s best orchestras, the Grammy award-winning Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, its Principal Conductor, the top Latvian musician
Mariss Jansons, and violinist Julian Rachlin, one of the most exciting and inspiring personalities in music today. This engagement in Riga is a highly anticipated event for both professionals and music lovers.
Richard STRAUSS Suite from Der Rosenkavalier op. 59
Jean SIBELIUS Symphony No. 1 in E minor op. 39
Sergei PROKOFIEV Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor op. 63
The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (BRSO) is considered one of the world’s finest orchestras; it is often lauded alongside the Berlin Philharmonic as Germany’s best orchestra.
Various conductors have shaped the identity of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. However, the prevailing opinion is that it was Mariss Jansons, Artistic Director of the orchestra since 2003, who raised the sound of the orchestra to a new level. He himself has said: “For me as a conductor it’s like driving a Rolls-Royce. This orchestra can, quite simply, do everything.”
The orchestra was founded by conductor Eugen Jochum in 1949. Its subsequent frequent touring soon solidified the Orchestra’s international renown.
From its conception, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra has championed contemporary music. As part of the Musica Viva concert series, composers such as Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, Paul Hindemith, Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mauricio Kagel, Luciano Berio and many others have conducted the orchestra.
More recently, the orchestra has also turned its attention to early music, collaborating with experts in historical performance practice with guidance from the likes of John Eliot Gardiner, Giovanni Antonini and Thomas Hengelbrock.
“Another person may learn a new piece, maybe, in two weeks. I would rather do it in a year. Not because I’m a bad musician. It’s not a case of speed, but of what I want to say with the music. It’s about enriching your life with music, your whole life long. Because life is too short to uncover all the secrets of the great composers.”
So says Julian Rachlin (1974), who is often named as one of the most exciting, inspiring contemporary musicians. Rachlin is a virtuoso violinist who has been making music with leading classical musicians since he was in his teens (after his first international success in the Eurovision Young Musician of the Year competition in 1988, Julian became the youngest ever soloist to play with the Vienna Philharmonic). Since this pivotal moment in his career, Rachlin has been purposefully and imaginatively developing his performative skills, with ventures into viola performance and conducting. Because of this incredible dexterity, in Krzysztof Penderecki’s Double Concerto for Violin and Viola, which was dedicated to Rachlin, he was able to play three roles, playing both the violin and viola solos as well as conducting.
Conductor Daniele Gatti characterised Rachlin as a simple, modest person with a constant thirst for making music. Another giant of conducting, Zubin Mehta, adds that the performer is giving, helpful, and compassionate. Rachlin has founded and managed his own festivals in Dubrovnik and Palma de Mallorca. He has lead the Orchestra and has taken the role of Head Guest Conductor in England, Finland and Norway In this season alone he has conducted the orchestras of Vienna, Pittsburgh, Berlin, Zagreb, Moscow, Saint Petersburg among others, and has performed as a soloist with Mariss Jansons, Manfred Honeck, Christoph Eschenbach and Myung-whun Chung.
With concerts taking place in the historic cities of Riga and Jurmala, the Riga Jurmala Music Festival features four weekends throughout the summer. A leading international orchestra and conductor anchor each weekend, offering a range of symphonic concerts and recitals that feature leading stars and young up-and-coming talent.
More information: www.riga-jurmala.com