‘Love existed, and it exists, and it will never end. I think solo violin and string orchestra are the best ensemble for singing a story of love. The onemovement composition opens with a soft string tremolo. Then the violin solo emerges ‒ questioning, searching until it blossoms into an expansive cantilena supported by a subdued string orchestra sound. I hope that Vox Amoris will strike a chord with the listeners and the world and inspire them to open up ‒ if only a little ‒ for love.’ (Pēteris Vasks) The special guests of this festival concert are the talented Skride sisters, Baiba and Lauma. Having played together since childhood, Lauma and Baiba still find each other the most reliable partners in chamber music. The organic musical style and passion of the Latvian violinist Baiba Skride has been appreciated by international audiences, prominent orchestras and renowned conductors alike. The style of the talented violinist is defined by her freshness of approach, the joy she finds in music and unaffected abandon. She regularly performs with orchestras in Berlin, Boston, Paris, Bavaria, London, Sweden, Sydney, the Netherlands and elsewhere. Baiba Skride has worked with some of the world’s greatest conductors, including Andris Nelsons, Christoph Eschenbach, Paavo and Neeme Järvi, Vasily Petrenko, Sakari Oramo, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, John Storgårds and other maestri. The world first learned Baiba’s name in 2001, when the musician won the Grand Prix at the Queen Elisabeth Contest, the most difficult and traditional competition for violin players. The same year saw her become soloist for the KD Schmid concert agency. The pianist Lauma Skride has earned a brilliant reputation playing the music of German Romantic and Classical composers. The strict German critics have described her performance as highly expressive and sensitive, admiring her tonal quality, powerful energy and always perfect virtuosity. As a chamber musician and soloist, Lauma Skride has played in concerts all over the world; she was awarded for her performance at the Beethovenfest in Bonn with the annual prize of the Bonn Bürger für Beethoven association ‒ the memorial Beethoven Ring presented every year to a young musician. The pianist successfully competed at the prestigious Maria Canals International Music Competition in Spain and Cleveland International Piano Competition in the USA, as well as contests in Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Austria and South Africa, winning various prizes. Lauma Skride also regularly works with the Austrian cellist Daniel MüllerSchott, Argentine cellist Sol Gabetta, the great German clarinet player Jörg Widmann, German violinist Christian Tetzlaff and the Armida Quartett, winner of the 1st prize at the prestigious ARD contest. The pianist has also successfully appeared at significant chamber music events like the Schleswig-Holstein and Rheingau music festivals and at the Gewandhaus Leipzig concert hall, performing the complete piano quartets by Johannes Brahms.