The XV Latvian Song Festival will highlight the significant contribution made by emigres 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 Event Centre.
Concert of Sacred Music
The Concert of Sacred Music at Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church on Thursday, July 4 with Choir and Orchestra will feature Canadian composer Imant Raminsh stunning Ave Verum Corpus and the North American premiere of the Missa Brevis Latviensis by Toronto composer George Juris Kenins. This work, commissioned by the outstanding 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. Both of these works will be performed by our principal guest choir.
Other Latvian Canadian composers on the program include Talivaldis Kenins, Arvids Purvs and Erika Yost as well as works by Ella Mačēna (Australia) Brigita Ritmane, Adolfs Abele, Victors Baštiks (USA / Latvia) Andrejs Jurjans, Alfreds Kalnins and Lucija Garuta (Latvia).
Concert of Orchestral and Chamber Music
The Concert of Orchestral and Chamber Music on Friday, July 5 at Koerner Hall will include the works of three major Canadian Composers of Latvian heritage and will serve as a launch party for a new CD being added to the Canadian Music Centre’s catalogue of works by Talivaldis Kenins, Imants Raminsh and Janis Kalnins.
This concert will include a performance of the recently recovered and restored Violin Concerto by Janis Kalnins featured on the new CD. Originally composed in 1945, in a refugee camp in Lubeck, Germany, it was last performed in Canada in 1962 after Janis Kalnins had immigrated to Fredericton where he played an important role in the creation of The New Brunswick Symphony.
The concert will also include Talivaldis Kenins 1953 “Scherzo concertante” for small orchestra, Imants Raminsh “Aria” for violin and piano and an overture by Emmy award winning Latvian-American composer Lolita Ritmane.
Featured artists include pianist Arthur Ozolins, violinist Laura Zarina, flautist Agita Cerusa and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra lead by conductor Maris Sirmais from Latvia.
Always the highlight of the Festival, the Massed Choir Concert, more than 500 voices strong, will take place on Saturday, July 6 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (Maple Leaf Gardens) and will bring together Latvian choirs from all over world in a program of Latvian Choral favorites and newly commissioned works by young Latvian composers from Canada, the USA, Australia and Latvia.
Another significant event presented by the Festival will be a Cabaret evening on Friday, July 5 at our host hotel, the Hilton Toronto on University Ave., showcasing the best of Latvian popular music.
State Choir Latvija
Recognized as one of the world’s great vocal ensembles, the Festivals featured guest choir The State Choir Latvija with artistic director and conductor Maris Sirmais will have their Canadian debut at Koerner Hall on Friday, July 5 at 7:00 pm. The program will include works by both Canadian and Latvian composers many of which were composed specifically for them.
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