Sunday, July 21st at 2 p.m., Great Guild
Pianist Martin James Bartlett solo concert
Pianist Martin James Bartlett (1996) admits that his life changed completely when he won the title of BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2014 - victory in this competition allowed him to embark on a professional performing career, giving him the chance to travel and meet and work with inspiring musicians. The sensitivity or even sensuality of his playing is breathtaking, and his imagination overflows.
Bartlett played at the National Service of Thanksgiving for Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, and as part of the Chinese State Visit in 2015 he gave a private concert for the First Lady of China, Peng Liyuan. He loves jazz and has recorded with Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Nicola Benedetti, and in his Riga concert he will perform piano highlights from the 17th to 20th centuries.
Johann Sebastian BACH Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ BWV 639 (arr. Busoni)
Johann Sebastian BACH Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring BWV 147 (arr. Hess)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART Piano Sonata No. 12 in F Major K. 332
Franz LISZT Années de pèlerinage, Deuxième année: Italie: No. 5, Sonata 104 del Petrarca in E Major
Robert SCHUMANN Widmung S. 566 (arr. Liszt)
Enrique GRANADOS Goyescas op. 11: El Amor y la muerte (Balada)
Franz LISZT / Richard WAGNER Isolde’s Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde
It is easy to see that Bartlett has the personality and musical charisma that allows him to bewitch any audience. The sensitivity or even sensuality of his playing is breathtaking, and his imaginative performances continue to astound listeners. Depth, poeticism and picturesque beauty inhabit his concerts alongside quite explosive eruptions of emotion. He seems to give his whole heart and soul to every performance, and yet his performances are also very precise, carefully considered and well-grounded.
In 2017 he was in the top 30 finalists of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, USA. A year later, he won 2nd place at the Bad Kissingen Piano Olympics, along with the audience prize. The great pianist András Schiff invited him to the open masterclasses at the Salzburg Mozart Week to learn Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24. He then received an invitation to the Verbier Festival Academy, where Bartlett played with piano maestros András Schiff, Richard Goode and Sergei Babayan in open masterclasses.
Last summer, as a student of Vanessa Latarche at the Royal College of Music, Bartlett made his debut at the BBC Proms and the Cheltenham Music Festival, played at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Cadogan Hall, among many other performances. He has performed with all the leading British orchestras – the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed in Japan, Poland, Germany, the US, Austria and Switzerland.
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