LNSO and Tarmo Peltokoski open the 98th concert season
On 6 and 7 October at 7 PM at the Great Guild, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra (LNSO) will delight audiences with two opening concerts. Under the baton of its Music and Artistic Director Tarmo Peltokoski and accompanied by clarinettist Anna Gāgane, the orchestra will perform Visions of Arctic: Night, a concerto for clarinet, orchestra, and electronics by Ēriks Ešenvalds, LNSO's Composer-in-Residence for the new season. Meanwhile, in the second part of the concert, Finnish opera singers will join in to present the first act of Richard Wagner's opera Die Walküre.
The season's opening features clarinettist Anna Gāgane, collaborating with the orchestra under Tarmo Peltokoski, to perform Ēriks Ešenvalds' clarinet concerto Visions of Arctic: Night. This composition interweaves soloist and orchestral dialogues with electronic sounds, drawing inspiration from the Northern nights and seeking to unveil the mysteries of existence. Avoiding arbitrary and shocking sound effects, Ešenvalds employs an unadulterated musical language, delicately balanced in its contemporary expressive means.
The concert will also include the first act of the opera Die Walküre by the German opera reformer and creator of musical drama Richard Wagner. The opera is the second part of the famous tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen, celebrated as one of the most magnificent stage works in history. The opera's central character, Sieglinde, reunites with her long-lost brother Siegmund, who pulls the sword Nothung from an ash tree, and together they escape the clutches of her wicked husband Hunding. This emotionally charged narrative is populated with courageous heroes and cunning gods. The leading roles will be performed by Finnish opera singers: soprano Hannakaisa Nyrönen, tenor Jyrki Anttila, and bass Erik Rousi.
Tarmo Peltokoski, LNSO's Music and Artistic Director, has a deeply personal connection to the composer's oeuvre that spans back to his childhood. During an interview with journalist Anna Marta Burve in July of this year, Peltokoski unveiled that he often refers to Richard Wagner as the very essence of his professional journey. Interestingly, Wagner's compositions indirectly inspired Peltokoski to pursue a career as a conductor. Initially, he wanted to play the composer's opera scores on the piano, but he soon realized that such music demanded an orchestral setting.
Anna Gāgane is the assistant principal clarinet of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra since October 2019. In addition to her orchestral work, Anna participates in various orchestra and chamber music projects with ensembles such as Trio Carmine and Trio Fabel. She premieres works by contemporary composers and regularly appears as a chamber musician and soloist in Latvia, Germany, Switzerland, and elsewhere. Anna has achieved significant success in several international competitions, including being a two-time laureate and special award winner in the Jurjānu Andrejs International Woodwind Competition and receiving the Latvian Grand Music Award as the Young Artist of the Year 2018, and she has also been honoured with the Swiss Excellence Scholarship.
Ēriks Ešenvalds, the LNSO's Composer-in-Residence for the 2023/2024 season, is one of the most sought-after contemporary composers, with his music commissioned and performed worldwide. Notable premieres among Ešenvalds' works include Lakes Awake at Dawn for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The Pleiades for the Grant Park Music Festival Chicago, A Shadow for the BBC Proms, Dreams Under Your Feet for the Gewandhaus Leipzig, Whispers on the Prairie Wind for the Utah Symphony and Utah Chamber Artists, St Luke Passion for the Latvian Radio Choir and Sinfonietta Rīga, Visions of Arctic: Sea for the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, and the major multimedia symphonies Nordic Light and Volcano Symphony, both premiered in Latvia with further performances around the world. His opera The Immured was premiered at the Latvian National Opera in 2016 to great acclaim.
The opening concerts will also introduce a delightful surprise for the audience – the esteemed Belgian violinist Veerle Houbraken will step into the role of LNSO's concertmaster for the 98th season, having already earned admiration from both fellow musicians and audiences through her performances with the LNSO in the previous season. She is also the first violin of the Flanders Symphony Orchestra and leader of the Odysseia chamber music ensemble.
The concert is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia.
Tickets for LNSO's new season concerts are available at the Great Guild ticket office, Biļešu paradīze outlets, and online at https://www.bilesuparadize.lv/en/event/128713
The concert on 7 October is included in the LNSO Autumn Subscription 2023, available for purchase until 7 October. Subscriptions can be obtained at: https://www.bilesuparadize.lv/en/event/128781