25th International Sacred Music Festival | PREMIERES
State Choir LATVIJA
Conductor Māris Sirmais
Rihards Dubra Tēvreize
Raivis Misjuns La Noche Oscura
Jēkabs Jančevskis Sleep
Jēkabs Jančevskis Tā Ir Mana Dvēsele
Lauma Kazaka Unde bella?
Jēkabs Bernāts Creation Of The World: Ovid’s Four Winds
Edgars Ošleja, bass-baritone
Vestards Šimkus, piano
Aigars Reinis, organ
Oskars Petrauskis, soprano saxophone
Ēriks Kiršfelds un Māra Botmane, cello
Edgars Saksons un Valters Līcis, percussion
Viktors Stankevičs, double-bass
Sigurds Lallo, bass clarinet
Pēteris Trasuns, viola
An irreplaceable festival tradition is the new works concert, which this year will take place on August 18th at Riga Dome Cathedral conducted by Māris Sirmais. The new pieces have been written by promising composers who are still at the beginning of their creative journey, as well as recognized Latvian composers Rihards Dubra and Jēkabs Jančevskis.
Multi-faceted musician Jēkabs Bernāts is currently studying choral conducting at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (JVLMA), and is also a talented composer and singer. His piece Creation of the World: Ovid’s Four Winds is based on the Greek creation myth in which four winds were placed in the sky.
Lauma Kazaka has studied composition with Ēriks Ešenvalds, and is currently completing her doctoral studies at JVLMA. She regularly performs in various poetry and music projects and is the co-founder of Solfeg.io, an internationally-recognized music education app for children and adolescents. Lauma’s piece, Unde bella?, uses texts from the Bible to reflect with today’s eyes on the topic of war, asking how we gain inner strength so that belief in good converts into true action.
Raivis Misjuns gained his master’s in composition at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and studied the double bass at London’s Royal Academy of Music and the Conservatoire de Paris. Since 2017, he has spent several seasons playing in the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique under John Eliot Gardiner and is currently a regular in the Concerto Köln baroque ensemble.
Raivis’ piece La Noche Oscure uses the mysterious poetry of Saint John of the Cross to express the path from darkness to self-awareness as the pilgrim comes closer to God and begins to see the stars through the mist.
The concert will also feature the Latvian premiere of Jēkabs Jančevskis’ piece for choir and instrumental ensemble, Sleep, which premiered in 2019 at the Tonhalle, Zürich; as well as Tā ir mana dvēsele, a new piece for men’s choir.
Rihards Dubra’s Tēvreize will also premiere. This piece was composed in honour of the Centenary of Latvia’s international recognition de iure.