Riga This Week - FREE RIGA CITY GUIDE made by locals since 1992

Jūrmala Festival. Iveta Apkalna and the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra

Iveta Apkalna, organ
Latvian National Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Olli Mustonen (Finland)

Gioachino Rossini “Semiramide” Ouverture
Francis Poulenc “Concerto for organ, string orchestra and timpani in G minor”
Jean Sibelius 7th Symphony and the symphonic poem “Finland”

On 17 July, the symphonic music programme will feature organist Iveta Apkalna, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and Finnish conductor Olli Mustonen, one of the most prominent Nordic musicians of our time. The programme will include Italian and French works, as well as symphonic opuses by Jean Sibelius.

Francis Poulenc’s Concerto for Organ, Timpani and Strings – a composition, in which baroque drama and romantic nostalgia alternate with joyfulness and gracefulness, will be performed by Iveta Apkalna. The chameleonic sound language of the concerto reflects Poulenc’s dual nature, shedding light on religious and life-loving facets of his personality. The composer has characterised the piece himself: “This is no longer the careless Poulenc, who wrote the Concerto for Two Pianos. This is the Poulenc on the way to the monastery – a 15th-century Poulenc, if you like.”

The visitors will also hear the overture to Gioachino Rossini’s last opera Semiramide and the uplifting manifesto of freedom in music by Jean Sibelius – the symphonic poem Finlandia. Sibelius’s Seventh Symphony is the culmination of the creative spirit of the composer, where he addresses the higher forces of eternity. In this unusually shaped symphony, subdued resignation and a tranquil spirit are interwoven with enlightened radiance, vital joy and sublime themes. It has been called the “Parsifal” of Finnish music; Sibelius’s opus is also permeated by metaphysical visions of light, striving to reach the pinnacle of humanity.

Olli Mustonen is a masterful composer, an accomplished pianist and a brilliant conductor. He is currently the Artistic Director and the Principal Conductor of Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. Olli Mustonen has collaborated with multiple world-class orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and all London orchestras. He has been the director of the Korsholm and Turku Music Festivals, one of the founders of the Helsinki Festival Orchestra, as well as the conductor of the “Tapiola Sinfonietta” chamber orchestra.