The 15th International Sacred Music Festival

This year it will be already 15th summer when the State Choir Latvija and its artistic director Māris Sirmais invites everyone to the International Sacred Music Festival. Concerts will be held between 28th of August till 8th of September. State Choir Latvija this year celebrates its 70th anniversary.

State Choir Latvija will open the festival with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem and present the premiere of Pawel Lukaszewski’s 3rd Symphony.  The concert will be held in Riga St. Peter’s Church on August 28. In concert together with choir will perform Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, soloists – Inga Šļubovska, Liene Kinča, Rafal Bartminski, conductor – choir artistic director and principal conductor Māris Sirmais.

August 30 in Liepaja’s  St. Jacob’s Cathedral at 7 pm in colloboration with classical music festival „Liepājas vasara”  and August 31 in Riga St. Peter’s Church at 7 pm, Georg Friedrich Handel’s Opus „Alexander’s Feast” will be performed. Participants of concert – State Choir Latvija, Liepāja Symphony Amber Sound Orchestra, soloists – Elīna Šimkus (soprano, Latvia), Boriss Stepanov (tenor, Russia) and Kalvis Kalniņš (bass, Latvia). In concert will be heard not only harpsichord, but also arabesque barok instrument teorba. Concert will be conducted by Risto Joost (Estonia).

Also in this year the organizors of festival will continue one of most important traditions in International Sacred Music Festival – commission new pieces by Latvian composers. World premiere will expierence three pieces – Ēriks Ešenvalds „In Paradisum” for choir, cello and viola, Imants Zemzaris „Evening songs” for choir and piano, and Goran Gora opus „Ararat” for choir and duduk. Concert will take place in special place  - The Riga Old St. Ģertrūde Church on 4th of September at 7 pm. In concert together with choir Latvija will perform soloists – Aldis Liepiņš, Kristīne Adamaite, Liene Kļava, Māris Jēkabsons, Ēriks Kiršfelds, Armands Zaubergs, Edgars Bārzdiņš and Uģis Krūskops; conductor Māris Sirmais. After listeners request, in concert again will perform Rihards Dubra composition „Accedite Gentes”.

September 8 in Riga Cathedral, concluding the Sacred Music Festival, will be ambitious concert with John Rutter. This year, International Sacred Music festival guest of honor will be world – famous british composer and conductor John Rutter. In final concert same Rutter will conduct his works „Te Deum”, „Gloria” and „Requiem”. In concert will participate – State Choir Latvija,  Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and soloist Elīna Šimkus.

In 1945, England born composer John Rutter is familiar with the choral and instrumental compositions. Rutter choral works, notably „Requiem” and „Gloria”, gained popularity around the world, but for historical reasons in Latvia composer name is not widely known.  Rutter is also active as conductor and music educator and he is welcome guest in various congresses, festivals in Europe, Scandinavia and North America. His visit to the Sacred Music Festival is a special event for music lovers in Latvian.

Tickets for all of the concerts are available at “Biļešu paradīze” box offices in Latvia and on the internet, www.bilesuparadize.lv.