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Wide variety of concerts, superb performers at 3rd Riga Festival

Ksenija Sidorova.
Devotees of classical music will surely gather once more this summer (June 3-20) for the "Latvijas koncerti"-organized Riga Festival. The finest Latvian talents will be showcased, along with foreign guests.

Vestards Šimkus and Baiba Skride will be the shining stars of the festival’s opening and closing concerts, that will feature the greatness of Richard Wagner in this, his anniversary year. In other concerts, accordionist Ksenija Sidorova, the recent winner of Latvia’s Grand Music Award, will be a headliner, as will the choirs "Latvija" and "Latvijas Radio”, pop music idol, singer Renārs Kaupers, Canadian mezzo soprano Measha Brueggergosman, the a cappella "Anonymous 4" (USA), Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Latvia’s vibrant percussionists and many more.

Guntars Ķirsis, the festival’s artistic director and chief of "Latvijas koncerti", poses the question: is Riga a Wagner city? The respondents will be the multitude who will arrive in Riga this summer, inspired by the composer’s imposing anniversary. Captivating Riga - with its splendid architecture, music and art, and the Riga Festival!

Of the many highlights, don’t miss the audiovisual performance with four pianos and the music of John Cage, the concert dedicated to the late great Latvian poet Imants Ziedonis starring Kaupers and the Latvian Radio Choir, Medieval sounds from the "Anonymous 4" quartet, and, as part of the audience favorite concert series "Wine and Music", sip Italian variety while listening to opera arias (Italian, of course) sung by Inga Šļubovska and Jānis Apeinis.

With Šimkus and Wagner getting the festival off to a rousing start, the finale may even surpass it, what with Baiba Skride, the world-renowned violinist, leading the way. Add special guests Canadian mezzo soprano Measha Brueggergosman and the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Modestas Pitrenas, and you have what’s sure to be an unforgettable evening. That’s June 20 in Jurmala’s Dzintari concert venue.

Last year, 10,000 people attended the festival, and 4,000 of them were from foreign countries.
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