Sinfonietta Rīga and Jörg Widmann presents the jewels of German Romanticism

On Friday, March 10,  at the Great Guild Hall, Sinfonietta Rīga will welcome one of the most celebrated European musicians of our times – the charismatic clarinettist, conductor and composer Jörg Widmann, who will perform together with the chamber orchestra in the concert “Mendelssohn, Widmann and Weber”. The concert includes the greatest opuses from the masters of the early German Romanticism – Carl Maria von Weber and Felix Mendelssohn, as well as a 21st century composition, Jörg Widmann's series of musical novelettes Freie Stücke.

            Chronologically, the opuses included in this concert programme cover almost 200 years – from the sophisticated pieces of the early German Romanticism masters Mendelssohn and Weber to Jörg Widmann's 21st century compositions, often described as “music about music”.

            In the Great Guild Hall, Jörg Widmann's proficiency with the clarinet will be demonstrated in the sensual and dreamy Concertino by the father of the German Romanticism Carl Maria von Weber. This poetical piece has delighted listeners over  generations.

            And Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's Symphony No. 1, which at the Great Guild Hall will be performed by Sinfonietta Rīga, does not lack in youthful audacity and joy – it was a dedication to composer's sister, herself an up-and-coming composer and pianist, Fanny Mendelssohn on her 19th birthday.

            Along with these classic German Romanticism pieces, Sinfonietta Rīga will also perform one of the many splendid compositions of Jörg Widmann, the series of 10 musical novelettes Freie Stücke, written in 2002.

Photo: Marco Borggreve © 

           Jörg Widmann was born in Munich and graduated from the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich and the Juilliard School in New York. Widmann is not only  famed clarinet virtuoso, to whom many of contemporary composers, among them Heinz Holliger and Wolfgang Rihm, have dedicated their works, he has also earned the reputation of an extremely well-read composer, driven by adventurous, imaginative spirit. Widmann's symphonic works have been performed by the greatest 21st century conductors – Pierre Boulez, Christian Thielemann, Daniel Barenboim, Paavo Järvi, Simon Rattle, Mariss Jansons and Andris Nelsons together with world renown orchestras such as Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris and many others. His operas have been staged at the Bavarian State Opera and the Opéra Bastille in Paris. As a resident musician Widmann has collaborated with the Vienna Konzerthaus, Alte Oper in Frankfurt and Carnegie Hall in New York; as a passionate chamber musician he has shared the stage with such irrefutable classical music stars as the pianist Daniel Barenboim and Mitsuko Uchida, as well as the Hagen Quartet and the Artemis Quartet. Widmann's remarkable multifaceted talent has been widely recognized, and he is the recipient of many awards, including the Arnold-Schönberg-Prize, Ernst von Siemens Composers' Prize and the Claudio Abbado Prize awarded to him by the Berlin Philharmonic Academy in 2006.

            Currently Jörg Widmann is working on his new score commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (both led by Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons), and is busy performing around the world.

            The 2017 Spring concert season of the new Hamburg Elbphilharmonie features Widmann's name six times – counting both the performances of his compositions and the concerts participating the brilliant clarinettist himself. The opening festival of the Elbphilharmonie included the world première of Widmann's oratorio ARCHE with the Hamburg  Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Kent Nagano, participating the renowned Latvian organist Iveta Apkalna.

            Another major event for the classical music world this year was the opening of the Pierre Boulez Saal, a concert hall in Berlin designed by architect Frank Gehry, on March 4, and Jörg Widmann took part in that as well. Upon personal invitation from Daniel Barenboim, the founder of the Barenboim-Said Akademie (the parent institution of the Boulez Saal), Widmann became the composition professor in the new education institution. During the opening week of the concert hall, on March 6, shortly before departing to Riga, Jörg Widmann gave a public lecture “Beautiful Moments: On Musical Moments of the Past and Present”, inspired by Theodor Adorno's 1965 essay “Musical Moments”.

Ticketes available at "Biļešu paradīze" or via internet.

The concert is organized in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Riga.

W. A. Mozart - Symphony No. 41 "Jupiter"
F. Mendellsohn - Symphony No. 3
Linda Leimane - Guesstimations
R. Strauss - Oboe Concerto
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