The XV Latvian Song and Dance Festival will highlight the significant contributions made by émigrés from Latvia to the music and culture of Canada with concerts on July 4 at Trinity St. Paul’s United Church, July 5 at Koerner Hall and July 6 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Concert of Sacred Music
The Concert of Sacred Music at Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church on Thursday, July 4 will feature the State Choir LATVIJA, festival choir and chamber orchestra, under the direction of conductors Māris Sirmais and Brigita Alks.
The program will include the stunning Ave Verum Corpus and Ubi Caritas by Canadian composer Imant Raminsh and the North American premiere of Missa Brevis Latviensis by Canadian composer George Juris Ķeniņš. This work, commissioned by the State Choir LATVIJA in 2017, was first performed by them in Riga, Latvia on August 22, 2017 to great critical acclaim. Dedicated to, and inspired by, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, it is a significant addition to the catalogue of Canadian sacred choral music.
Other Latvian-Canadian composers on the program include Tālivaldis Ķeniņš, Arvīds Purvs and Ērika Yost, and will also include works by Brigita Ritmanis, Ādolfs Ābele, Viktors Baštiks (USA) Andrejs Jurjāns, Alfrēds Kalniņš and Ēriks Ešenvalds (Latvia).
Concert of Latvian Orchestral and Chamber Music
The Concert of Latvian Orchestral and Chamber Music on Friday, July 5 at 4:00 pm in Koerner Hall is presented in partnership with the Toronto Latvian Concert Association and will serve as a launch event for “Latvian Amber”, a new Centrediscs recording of music by Latvian-Canadian composers Jānis Kalniņš, Tālivaldis Ķeniņš and Imant Raminsh. Featured artists on the recording and in the concert will be conductor Māris Sirmais, violinist Laura Zariņa, pianist Arthur Ozolins, and members of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra.
The concert will feature the recently recovered and restored Violin Concerto in F# Minor by Kalniņš, Scherzo concertante by Tālivaldis Ķeniņš, Aria for violin and piano by Imant Raminsh, Overture to Light by Lolita Ritmanis and chamber music performed by additional guest artists flautist Agita Arista, cellist Jānis Laurs, pianist Ruta Vaivade and soprano Ilze Paegle.