Joseph Calleja, Ying Fang And Benjamin Appl Headline Riga Jurmala Music Festival 2019

By Nicole Kuchta

The line-up for the first-ever Riga Jurmala Music Festival has been announced.

The festival will take place in the Latvian cities of Riga and Jurmala this summer in a series of four concert and recital-packed weekends. For the purposes of this article, we will focus primarily on the vocal/opera-related performances.

The first weekend of the Festival will kick off at the Latvian National Opera with violinist Julian Rachlin and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, led by Mariss Jansons. The program will include R. Strauss’ Suite from “Der Rosenkavalier,” Sibelius’ Symphony No. 1 in E minor, and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 on Friday.

On Sunday, pianist Martin James Bartlett will play Wagner/Liszt’s “Isolde’s Liebestod” from “Tristan und Isolde” at the Great Guild. The program for Bartlett’s concert will also include Bach’s “Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (arr. Busoni)” and “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (arr. Hess),” as well as  Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 12 in F Major. There will also be pieces by Liszt, Schumann, and Granados.

Performance Dates: July 19 – 21, 2019.

On Saturday of the Festival’s second weekend, tenor Joseph Calleja will perform a recital with pianist Vincenzo Scalera at the Dzintari Concert Hall. The program will include music by Mozart, Donizetti, Massenet, Verdi, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, and Tosti, among others.

On Sunday, baritone Benjamin Appl will be accompanied by pianist Simon Lepper in a recital at Dzintari Concert Hall’s Small Hall featuring various works by Schubert, Brahms, R. Strauss, A. Strauss, Britten, Reger, Schreker, Poulenc, Vaughn Williams, Bishop, Warlock, Ireland, and Grieg.

Performance Dates: Aug. 16 – 18, 2019.

The third weekend of the Festival will consist of performances by pianists Jan Lisiecki and Denis Kozhukhin, violinist Alexandra Conunova, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra led by Zubin Mehta.

Performance Dates: Aug. 23 – 25, 2019.

On Friday of the Festival’s fourth and final weekend, Chinese soprano Ying Fang will perform a recital with pianist Ken Noda at the Dzintari Concert Hall’s Small Hall. Details of the program will be announced at a later date.

Saturday, the London Symphony Orchestra, led by Gianandrea Noseda, will perform Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia  from “Peter Grimes,” along with Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor.

Performance Dates: Aug. 30 – Sept. 1, 2019.