Inaugural concert of Tarmo Peltokoski, new Music and Artistic Director of the LNSO
On 19 November at 17:00, the Cēsis Concert Hall will host the inaugural concert of Tarmo Peltokoski, the new Music and Artistic Director of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra: LNSO and Tarmo Peltokoski. Sibelius, Vaughan Williams, and Auznieks. This special event will mark a new chapter in the history of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, as for two seasons the important position was waiting to be filled by the best candidate, who has finally been found. The concert will feature the new LNSO Composer-in-Residence Krists Auznieks' Grace, Finnish symphonist Jean Sibelius' Fifth Symphony, and English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams' Fifth Symphony.
"In the first half of our season, we will be playing two concerts, both of which are dedicated to the great English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, who is celebrating his 150th birthday this year. I have always admired his music and it is very important for me to be championing his work. In November, we will play his Fifth, an incredibly beautiful piece composed amidst the raging Second World War, and in December his First – the majestic Sea Symphony. In both concerts, we will also be performing Latvian music – works by Krists Auznieks and, of course, Pēteris Vasks. Our first concert together naturally concludes with Sibelius’ Fifth symphony, a piece so close to my heart since childhood," says Tarmo Peltokoski about the orchestra's upcoming events.
Finnish conductor Tarmo Peltokoski was awarded the title of Principal Guest Conductor in January 2022 by The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the first conductor to hold this position in the orchestra’s 42-year history. In May 2022, Peltokoski was named Music and Artistic Director of the Latvian National
Symphony Orchestra to start his term in the 2022/2023 season. Shortly after that, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra announced Peltokoski as its Principal Guest Conductor. In August 2022 at the age of 22, Tarmo Peltokoski completed his first Wagner Ring cycle at the Eurajoki Bel Canto Festival in Finland, and he is to return to the festival in 2023 to conduct Tristan und Isolde. Plans for this season include concerts with Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and many others. Peltokoski is also an accomplished pianist – his masterful piano playing has been awarded at many competitions and he has appeared as a soloist with all major Finnish orchestras. In 2022, he received the Lotto Prize at Rheingau Musikfestival, and was named Young Musician of the Year by the Pro Musica Foundation in 2018.
Dutch newspaper NRC Rotterdam has written: “Disconcerting, breathtaking, tearjerkingly beautiful. Even writing about it brings back goosebumps. How he did it is a mystery but the most beautiful concert of the year was played in Rotterdam. Tarmo Peltokoski. Write that name down.”
On this landmark evening, we will hear Grace, a light and warm musical painting by Krists Auznieks who is the LNSO's Composer-in-Residence for the 2022/2023 season. Krists Auznieks has become one of the most acclaimed young Latvian composers in the world. In 2018, he received the Latvian Grand Music Award for the best composition of the year, and in 2021 he was awarded the main prize by the International Rostrum of Composers in the Composers under 30 category. In the same year, Auznieks was named Person of the Year in Culture by the newspaper Latvijas Avīze. He gained his knowledge in music and composition by studying at Yale School of Music and The Royal Conservatory of The Hague. Auznieks’ music has been performed at, among others, the Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Royal Danish Theatre.
The concert will feature the Fifth Symphony by the Finnish genius Jean Sibelius, composed in the second decade of the 20th century, which is one of the most diverse decades in the history of music. Although the composer was influenced by masters such as Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Liszt, Strauss, Debussy, and Bruckner, Sibelius's style is profoundly original and innovative. Like all his work, the Fifth Symphony is permeated with Finnish nature. For the symphony's final motif, the composer was inspired by the call of the northern swan, confirming the close presence of nature in his work. The work was first performed in 1915 to celebrate the composer's 50th birthday, which had been declared a national holiday. The symphony was subsequently revised two more times, and the concert of 19 November will feature its final version.
In Cēsis, the audience will also hear music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, a relatively rare yet refreshing experience on the Latvian stage. Compared to his previous symphony – the turbulent Fourth, the Fifth, which was written during the Second World War, offers a mood of peace and sincerity, interspersed with the severity of war. Ralph Vaughan Williams is one of the most influential English composers of the 20th century. The originality of his musical language stems from an increased focus on English folk music.
Tickets to the LNSO concert are available at the Cēsis Concert Hall ticket office at Raunas iela 12, Biļešu paradīze outlets, and online at https://www.bilesuparadize.lv/en/event/120707