From 14‒16 September 2018, Cēsis Concert Hall is hosting the fourth annual Cello Cēsis Festival that is about to surprise the listeners with its guest list of performers ‒ well known on the international stage but yet to make their first appearance in Latvia. In a duet with the German-based Latvian pianist Lauma Skride, we are going to hear the brilliant German cellist Daniel Müller-Schott; the programme of the festival’s large-scale concert will treat us to a passionate performance by the Italian cello player and composer Giovanni Sollima alongside the Lithuanian Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Modestas Pitrėnas. True to tradition, the festival also features a special programme for children, staged in association with the DAGAMBA cello group.
The festival opens on 14 September with a recital by two brilliant internationally renowned musicians, the Latvian pianist Lauma Skride and the German cellist Daniel Müller-Schott. The programme features a number of works by the great Viennese composer Ludwig van Beethoven, back-to-back with the romantically charged music of Robert Schumann and Frédéric Chopin.
Müller-Schott is considered as one of the world’s best cello players of his generation. The New York Times describes him as ‘a fearless player with technique to burn.’ Armed with his trusted instrument, a 1727 cello built by the Venetian master luthier Matteo Goffriller, Müller-Schott has toured every continent and performed with some of the greatest European and American orchestras led by the most prominent conductors of our day.
The pianist Lauma Skride has earned wide public recognition with her appearances at the most famous concert halls in London, Berlin and New York, both as a solo artist and a chamber musician. Lauma Skride is a winner of several prestigious international music awards. The pianist has forged a great reputation with her interpretations of German classical and Romantic music, some of which we will hear in the recital at Cēsis Concert Hall.
Cello Cēsis can be relied on to surprise its listeners with some unique programmes and unusual arrangements. If last year’s edition featured an unexpected and brilliant ensemble of the cello (Margarita Balanas) and a saxophone quartet, this time around, we invite you to have a taste of the charming interplay between a cello and a vibraphone.
Tango is the key musical theme or leitmotif of the programme that will dominate the matinée concert on Saturday, 16 September at 14:00, at the INSIGNIA Art Gallery. Like two partners merge into one during a dance, so the cello and the vibraphone, two instruments so different in their colour and technique, will meet to form a single emotional entity. The programme has been mounted by Andrei Pushkarev, the long-time soloist of the world-famous Kremerata Baltica orchestra in association with the cellist Tatjana Rediko. It features both original music by Pushkarev and new arrangements of pieces by Eugène Ysaÿe and Astor Piazzolla, created by the two performers especially for the needs of this special duet. Cēsis is hosting the premiere of this programme, steeped in the characteristic passion and sensuous energy of tango.
The Cello Cēsis Festival is always looking to erase the lines between different art forms, and so this year’s matinée concert is taking place immediately after the opening of the first art exhibition of the new season at the concert hall. Visitors will be able to enjoy a rare two-in-one experience ‒ the opening and viewing of the ‘Surface Memory’ solo show by the Latvian painter Vineta Kaulača and the concert programme ‘Tango for Cello and Vibraphone’.
Later in the day, at 17:00, cello enthusiasts are invited to attend a one-off showing of a documentary on one of the greatest cello legends in the history of music, Mstislav Rostropovich. The film ‘Rostropovich: The Genius of Cello’ (2011) will be screened in English with Latvian subtitles.
At the concert on Saturday night we will witness the boundless charisma of the Italian cello player and composer Giovanni Sollima. While it is a rare cello programme that does not feature a piece by Sollima, this is the brilliant musician’s first visit to Latvia. Sollima is a classical musician who enjoys the status of a rock star, a Jimi Hendrix of the orchestral world who has breathed new life into the musical instrument familiar to the world for over 300 years ‒ the cello. His music is much loved by a wide audience, from confirmed aficionados of academic music to heavy metal fans. The concert in Cēsis will feature two of his compositions ‒ ‘Folktales’ and ‘Violoncellez, vibrez!’, one of the most popular contemporary pieces for the cello; to perform the latter, Sollima will be joined on stage by one of the best Latvian cello players, Ēriks Kiršfelds. The 2016 edition of Cello Cēsis saw the piece performed by two Latvian cello players, Marta Sudraba and Kristīne Blaumane. This year, we are treated to an interpretation by the composer himself. As part of the large-scale concert, the Lithuanian Symphony Orchestra and its Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Modestas Pitrėnas are also making their first appearance at the Cēsis Concert Hall.
On Sunday, 16 September, Cello Cēsis invites its youngest listeners to a magnificent multimedia concert production ‘Cello Tales. The Desert’ starring the DAGAMBA cello group. The programme features classical and contemporary musical pieces for the cello, interwoven with fairy-tale motifs. Children will be able to enjoy a musical adventure in the company of the DAGAMBA musicians: a concert at a faraway desert settlement awaits. It is there that they will make the acquaintance of the desert-dwelling Berber people, experience a powerful desert storm and heat and see a mirage of a verdant oasis. The young concert-goers will be offered an opportunity to contribute to the concert, creating the atmosphere of a sweltering sun-flooded desert.
Tickets to all Cello Cēsis concerts are available at the Cēsis Concert Hall box office, all Biļešu Paradīze outlets and online at www.bilesuparadize.lv.
Program available HERE