Great Hall

3rd anniversary of the Concert Hall “Latvija”

On Sunday, 24 July, Ventspils will celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the Concert Hall “Latvija” with an event consisting of three parts.

It is an event the official name or slogan of which is “How to Tell About Three Years to an Invisible Audience”, inspired not only by the German artist Joseph Beuys and his iconic performance in Düsseldorf in 1965, but also the past and the present time. A time in which our collective and individual expectations were cancelled, postponed, and adjusted. A time in which we learned to enjoy the art under different circumstances. A time in which, in the early spring of 2020, we were still full of hopes to return to normality, but the hopes of many of us proved to be wishful thinking. The audience became invisible to artists due to both objective obstacles and the change in habits affected by prolonged forced absence. It is no secret that apart of the audience that is slowly returning to the concert hall, clusters of empty seats are still visible from the stage.

The first two parts of the anniversary event, created by the director Laura Groza and the artist tandem “MAREUNROL`S” together with the staff of the concert hall, will include both a performative comment on the recent observations and the highlights of the third year of operation in retrospect.

With a concentrated view and recalling the beginning of the past season, the pianist Reinis Zariņš will remind us of the “Autumn Works” of the last September. In the spring of this year, the Dmitri Shostakovich’s (Дмитрий Шостакович) Chamber Symphony (op. 110a) was performed in two different interpretations. The “Anniversary Quartet” composed of Dina Dorofejeva (violin), Kristīna Zeltkalne (violin), Helēna Navicka (viola) un Pēteris Ozoliņš (cello) will reflect on one of them, including through the Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8, which was arranged as the Chamber Symphony.

In the past autumn, the mixed-voice choir “Ventspils”, together with the choral conductor Aigars Meri, paid tribute to the 100th anniversary of Astor Piazzolla with the concert programme “Return to Ventspils” and will remind us of that also in this anniversary of the concert hall, performing several compositions.

Moreover, several striking fusion projects, implemented by the Concert Hall “Latvija” in collaboration with persons who share the same vision of music, visual art, dance, and literature in the past year, did not go unnoticed. Through an installation, the artist tandem MAREUNROL`S”  will remind the guests of the performances “Into the Thick of It” and “Poor Man’s Tales”, the 100th anniversary of Iannis Xenakis, the premiere of the concert “Fourt Angles” by Krists Auznieks consisting of five parts, and other significant events.

The anniversary event will culminate in the performance by the well-known British organist James McVinnie who will return to Ventspils to perform before a real, present audience together with the American composer Tristan Perich, performing the composition for organ and 100 (!) speakers “Infinity Gradient” created especially for James.

Both the organist James McVinnie and the composer Tristan Perich are already known to the audience in Ventspils and Latvia in general. Furthermore, Ventspils itself and the past five or six years have been decisive for their creative bond. In December 2016, James performed in Latvia, specifically in the Theatre House “Juras vārti” in Ventspils, for the first time, giving a concert on a digital instrument. The same evening, the stage pianist and member of the band “Bang On A Can All-Stars” Vicky Chow performed the Tristan Perich’s composition for solo piano and 40-channel 1-bit electronics “Surface Image” on the same stage. That is how they met, and through the stories of Vicky, James discovered Tristan and his music.

In early December 2020, James was supposed to return to Ventspils with a solo concert to try out the pipe organ of the Concert Hall “Latvija” for the first time. He did return to Ventspils and did give the concert, but due to the lockdown, the audience could see the concert only online. However, already then James McVinnie passionately, but at the same time with some secrecy, said that Tristan was writing something special for him. The “Infinity Gradient” was premiered in September 2021 in the St. Paul’s Church in Strasbourg, offering a monumental piece. In its figurative description, someone has already managed to use the concept “mural”, which is nowadays quite close to Latvians, but it rather mostly reflects the unmistakable sound sculptor’s signature of the composer and the talent of James McVinnie, his sensitivity to the instrument and the space, and humble respect for organ music since the Renaissance.

The tickets to the concert to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the Concert Hall Latvija, which is to take place on 24 July in Ventspils, are available at all sales points of Biļešu Paradīze.

Fragment of the Infinity Gradient” in a concert: https://youtu.be/AbjgMRdcpv0

Concert Hall Latvija” online: 

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