Sunday, August 25th at 7 p.m., Dzintari Concert Hall
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Zubin Mehta
Pianist Yuja Wang
The meeting of the richly traditional Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducting legend Zubin Mehta, and the most unusual piano star of our era in Jūrmala will make the audience believe in miracles. Yuja Wang’s playing is characterised by “technical ease, colouristic range and sheer power has always been remarkable … but these days there is an ever-greater depth to her musicianship, drawing you into the world of each composer with compelling immediacy,” wrote the Financial Times a year ago.
The concert will feature one of the most frequently performed Sergei Rachmaninoff opuses - his Piano Concerto No. 3, known as one of the most difficult piano concertos, requiring perfect technique and musicality. They will also perform Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, which split music history into before and after.
Sergei RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor op. 30
Hektor BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique op. 14
Conductor Zubin Mehta (1936) was born in Mumbai, India. His father, Mehli Mehta, was the founder of both the Bombay Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles-based American Youth Symphony.
Mehta has conducted thousands of concerts on five continents with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra beginning in 1969, when the young conductor replaced the legendary conductor Eugene Ormandy. In 1981, the orchestra appointed him as Music Director for Life. Their 50-year collaboration will end in October 2019.
Mehta has been Artistic Director of the Bavarian State Opera and the New York Philharmonic, as well as Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino festival in Florence.
Mehta has said of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra: “The Israel Philharmonic is like no other orchestra today in the sense that they live through crises, political crises, every few years. And it makes no difference to their work schedule. Public comes, as usual. The last crisis we had was when Hamas would throw regular bombs on Tel Aviv… Not one concert was canceled. Public came every evening. And when sirens went off, we stopped, then we went on again.”
“Zubin is one of the greatest musicians of our time. He has conducted the world’s most esteemed orchestras and introduced generations to classical music with more than 50 years of recordings and breathtaking performances. Through his humanitarian work, he has given us a model of music’s ability to bridge cultures and bring people together in healing and in harmony,” said conductor Gustavo Dudamel when the Los Angeles Philharmonic named Mehta as Conductor Emeritus in January 2019.
“Her combination of technical ease, colouristic range and sheer power has always been remarkable … but these days there is an ever-greater depth to her musicianship, drawing you into the world of each composer with compelling immediacy,” wrote the Financial Times a year ago.
Yuja Wang (1987) was born into a musical family in Beijing. At the age of seven, she began studying the piano at the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, before moving to Canada at the age of thirteen to take part in the Morningside Music Bridge International Music Festival, Calgary. Strict Chinese teaching methods had given Wang a strong technical base, allowing her to feel free – Wang has always said that there must be a balance between these aspects. Two years later, she was accepted into one of the universities with the richest musical traditions in the US, the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
Her teacher, the legendary American pianist Gary Graffman, remembers that Wang’s technical abilities were impressive, however “it was the intelligence and good taste” of her interpretations that distinguished her.
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.