8 splendid early music events

31.07.2023. 19:00 – 20:30 | RKTMC “Mazā ģilde” (Small Guild) | OPENING CONCERT OF THE FESTIVAL Women in music”

This is a program dedicated to four women composers, out of the many, who claimed their space in the musical world, played an influential role in their scene and left us with a great musical legacy.

As part of the EEEMERGING+ (Emerging European Ensembles) international residency project, the PuraCorda ensemble will be in Latvia, Bauska Castle in residence from July 27, developing the concert program “Women in Music”, which will be presented to a wider audience at the July 31 concert in Small Guild.


Ensemble PuraCorda (the Netherlands): Mayumi Sargent (violin), Panagiotis Charalampidis (violin), Eura Fortuny (viola), Antigoni Seferli (cello)
15.08.2023. 19:00 – 20:30 | COLLEGIUM MUSICUM RIGA Concert Hall | CONCERT “J.S. Baha partitas”

It seems that hardly anyone doesn’t know the name of the remarkable Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach, who is often associated with exciting melodies, but also with virtuosic complexity. This time, the Concert Hall COLLEGIUM MUSICUM RIGA offers a special meeting with harpsichordist David Shemer from Israel, in whose performance we will hear J. S. Bach’s partitas for solo harpsichord.

The soloist says: “In this concert, I will play three partitas by J. S. Bach, which is in honor of an important event for me, as a double CD with all six partitas of Bach was recently released under the umbrella of the German publishing house “Querstand”. By the way, it is significant that the time of the concert will be exactly 50 years since I left Riga with my family for Israel (it happened on August 18, 1973). It is definitely very important for me – truly symbolic.”

David Shemer (harpsichord, Israel)

17.08.2023. 20:00 – 21:00 | St. Mary Magdalene’s Church in Riga | Jauno talantu koncerts
The Riga Historical Music and Dance Festival invites you to listen to the traditional event of the festival – “Concert of Young Talents”, getting to know the young professionals of early music and learning about the richness and diversity of the music of the past centuries. The listeners will have the opportunity to hear such historical musical instruments as the baroque violin, harpsichord, traverso flute, and various pieces of 17th-18th century composers will be performed.
Students of Early Music Department of Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music: Marianna Puriņa (baroque violin), Aļina Krjukova (baroque violin), Elza Heinsberga (traverso flute), Aija Dimza (traverso flute, piccolo traverso flute), Sofija Ogarkova (baroque cello), Dārta Nora Pauļuka-Sadlovska (soprano), Mihails Pranovičs (harpsichord), Olga Artamonova (harpsichord)
J.M. Hotteterre, A.L. Couperin, F. Caccini, G. Tartini, J.B. de Boismortier, G.F. Telemann, F. Francoeur, J. Kuhnau, H. Purcell.
Read more about the department and opportunities to study early music in Latvia here
20.08.2023. 16:00 – 17:00 | COLLEGIUM MUSICUM RIGA Concert Hall | CONCERT “Grāfs Saint Germain un mūžīgās dzīvības eliksīrs”
Count Saint Germain (c. 1691 or 1712–1784) was a European adventurer interested in science, alchemy, and art. He gained a prominent position in European high society in the middle of the 18th century. Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel considered him “one of the greatest philosophers who ever lived”. Saint Germain used a variety of nicknames and titles, which was a practice among high-born people and nobles at the time. To prevent inquiries into his origins, he made claims such as being 500 years old, leading Voltaire to sarcastically call him the Wonder Man and “The Man Who Does Not Die and Who Knows Everything.” Like his personality, Saint Germain as the composer’s contribution is surprising. At the concert will be performed opuses from the collections “The Favorite Songs in the Opera called’d L’Inconstanza Delusa”, “Seven Solos for a Violin”, etc.
Monta Martinsone (soprano)
Soloist of baroque orchestra Collegium Musicum Riga
Conductor Māris Kupčs
23.08.2023. 19:00 – 20:30 | RKTMC “Mazā ģilde (Small Guild) | CONCERT “TELEMANN IN THE TAVERN. Baroks satiek folkmūziku II”
The early music ensemble I Zefirelli tackles the blurred border between baroque and folk music. The musicians say: “This time we’ll take you to Hamburg around 1730, and we’ll do it together with the city’s most important 18th-century composer, Georg Philipp Telemann. And of course, Telemann visited taverns in Hamburg from time to time, so in this program you will not only find Teleman’s works, such as sonatas and cantatas, but also folk songs from the Hamburg of that time, songs that he might have been familiar with. Teleman was also particularly fond of Polish folk music, which found inspiration in several of his works.”
Within the international residency project EEEMERGING+ (Emerging European Ensembles), the ensemble I Zefirelli will reside in Latvia from August 18, developing the concert program “TELEMANN IN THE TAVERN. Baroque meets Folk II”, which will be presented to a wider audience at the concert on August 23 in the Small Guild.
Early music ensemble I Zefirelli (Germany): Luise Catenhusen (recorder), María Carrasco Gil (baroque violin), Jakob Kuchenbuch (baroque cello, viola da gamba), Tobias Tietze (lute, baroque guitar), Jeroen Finke (percussion, baritone), Tilmann Albrecht (harpsichord)
27.08.2023. 16:00 – 17:00 | COLLEGIUM MUSICUM RIGA Concert Hall | CONCERT “Baroque Music DayDream”
“Baroque Music Day Dream” offers a concert in which young talented musicians from Vilnius and Riga gather to perform a deeply captivating baroque music program for the listeners in a harmonious way. In addition to baroque musical instruments that are relatively often heard on a daily basis, the ensemble expands its sound with the Lithuanian concert kanklės, a Lithuanian plucked string instrument, known as the Baltic psaltery or the Latvian kokle. The program consists of a selection of compositions the French composers – J. B. Lully, F. Couperin, A. Campra, J. Ph. Rameau, as well as Italian composers, such as G. Caccini, F. Caccini, C. Monteverdi, B. Strozzi, A. Caldara, A. Corelli, presenting a wide and exciting variety of Baroque music as a time travel to the 17th and 18th centuries .
Karolina Parmas (soprano, Lithuania)
Ensemble La farfalletta curiosa
26.08.2023. 18:00 – 20:30 | Latvian National Opera  | J.B. LULLY opera “Acis et Galatee” (1686)

In August, the Latvian National Opera will become a place where you can musically travel more than 300 years into the past. Gorgeous Rococo period costumes, historical musical instruments and singers’ voices, baroque court gestures and movements, and dances will conjure up the theater mood of the second half of the 17th century.

For the first time, the Baroque Opera Company “Collegium Musicum Riga” under the leadership of conductor Māris Kupčs invites you to enjoy an opera belonging to the French court culture – Jean-Baptiste Lully’s opera “Acis et Galatee”, which the composer devoted to the Grand Dauphin – son of the King of France Louis XIV, also called the Sun King. Jean-Baptiste Lully was the most famous and important composer of his time, without whose contribution the world of music and dance would have taken completely different turns. This opera-ballet, popular in its time, was first performed in 1686 and was part of the opera repertoire in Paris until 1762. The opera tells the story of a love triangle between the mortal shepherd Acis, the immortal sea nymph Galatee and the terrifying cyclope Polyphème, but under the direction Dārta Nora Pauļuka-Sadlovska, the exciting love story will be transformed to an 18th century court.

Baroque opera company “Collegium Musicum Riga”
Soloists: Ieva Sumeja, Rūdis Cebulis, Monta Martinsone, Arūnas Maliukas, Artis Muižnieks, Krišs Pozemkovskis, Karolina Parmas
Baroque choir Collegium Choro Musici Riga
Baroque orchestra Collegium Musicum Riga
Conductor and artistic leader Māris Kupčs
Director: Dārta Nora Pauļuka-Sadlovska, consultant: Renna Shcherbakova
Stage director: Artūrs Arnis
Costume designers: Jeļena Forste and Elīna Kuzņecova (“Mazā muiža”)

Opera in 2 acts with intermission

30.08.2023. 19:00 – 20:30 | Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music | RISTORI’S opera “Arianna” (1736)
Giovanni Alberto Ristori is an Italian opera composer who spent most of his life in Dresden, where the German and Italian composers of the time had gathered because Dresden belonged to the Crown of Saxony and Poland and, unlike most of Germany, was Catholic. The very bright life of Dresden, full of artistic and musical developments, was for a long time in the shadow of modern early music research, as a large part of this material was preserved and hidden by the Soviet Union after the Second World War and was not available to a wide range of researchers and musicians. This also explains the relatively late discovery of both Ristori and, to a lesser extent, his other colleagues, especially Zelenka. In Ristori’s case discovery is still expected. Ristori was also one of the first important Italian opera composers who gained recognition in St. Petersburg, the Russian court in the 1830s, and for this he had to thank the invitation of the former widow of the Duke of Courland, Anna Ivanovna, and her favorite, the actual ruler of Russia, Johann Ernst Biron. The opera “Arianna” is one of his many operas, written in Dresden and dedicated to the royal court of Saxony and Poland, and performed for the first time in 1736.

Soloists: Nora Kalniņa (soprano), Rūdis Cebulis (soprano), Simona Jocevičiūtė (soprano, Lithuania), Olga Gomonova (soprano, Lithuania), Vilius Tumalavičius (tenor, Lithuania), Arūnas Maliukas (bass, Lithuania)

Baroque orchestra Futuro (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia)
Costume designers: Jeļena Forste and Elīna Kuzņecova (“Mazā muiža”)
Director: Dārta Nora Pauļuka-Sadlovska
Conductor and artistic director: Māris Kupčs

Tickets for Ristori’s opera “Arianna” are ONLY available in advance at “Biļešu paradīze”.