The Orchestra of the Latvian Music Academy “Jazeps Vitols” in the Latvian capital of Riga already appeared at Young Euro Classic twice, in 2002 and 2004. It can look back onto almost 100 years of history, having been founded in 1922, shortly after Latvia attained its independence. The 60 to 80 music students constituting the orchestra are aged 18 to 23 and rehearse daily during the semester. The results are presented in six to seven concert programmes per year. The orchestra also performs throughout Latvia and in Estonia and Lithuania, accompanying choirs and instrumentalists at international competitions, and is active in music education work for younger audiences. Its repertoire spans the classical to the modern era, with contemporary Latvian and other Baltic composers forming a fixed part of its concert programmes. Andris Vecumnieks has been the orchestra’s chief conductor since 2002.
Vienna’s Burgtheater, Hamburg’s Schauspielhaus, Munich’s Residenztheater – Dietrich Mattausch is at home on all the major German-language stages. And of course on your television screen: “Der Fahnder”, “Traumschiff”, “Tatort”, many whodunits, but also many serious roles, such as in the movie “Die Wannseekonferenz”. Mattausch is one of Germany’s most well-known actors – on television and on the stage, which means the world to him. Yet he only arrived in his dream career after several detours, suffering through an apprenticeship as a forwarding merchant, taking acting classes on the side, playing provincial theatres for a relatively long time and only having his breakthrough in his mid-thirties. But then it was a real breakthrough! Being tall, he is considered the ideal casting for bankers, doctors, directors or high-ranking civil servants. He often plays these types as ice-cold and calculating, or cynically intellectual. In his private life, he is quite different: amusing, curious, open-minded, a ponderous activist. Apart from the theatre, music is his love. Good for Young Euro Classic: he has accompanied the festival from the very beginning, proving himself an active and true friend for sixteen years.
The Latvian conductor Andris Vecumnieks, born in 1964, has headed the Orchestra of the Latvian Music Academy “Jazeps Vitols” since 2002. In addition, he is artistic director of the chamber orchestra “Sinfonia concertante” and is also responsible for the music education programme of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. Vecumnieks also teaches conducting at the Latvian Music Academy and has won renown as a composer. His numerous works include orchestral and choral works, chamber music and concerti for solo instruments, including the Latvian folk instrument kokle. As a conductor, Vecumnieks has appeared not only throughout the Baltic States, but also in Russia, Azerbaijan, Sweden and Germany. There, he has been invited repeatedly as a guest conductor to the Summer Academy at Pommersfelden Castle in Franconia during recent years.
Laureate of the world’s most prominent piano competitions, including the Leeds, Rubinstein in Tel Aviv, Long-Thibaud in Paris, Queen Elisabeth in Brussels, as well as the Audience Awardee of the 5th International German Piano Award – Andrejs Osokins is one of the most sought-after Latvian pianists. Andrejs Osokins grew up in Riga, where he also had his first lessons with his father at the Latvian Music Academy, and since 2004 has been living in London, where he graduated from the Royal Academy of Music. Since his participation in the IPF Masters Management he has played at major European concert halls such as Auditorium Verdi in Milan, two concerto performances at Berlin’s Philharmonie, a collaboration with Kremerata Baltica at the Alte Oper Frankfurt as a part of the festival International German Piano Award, a performance with the Latvian National Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Fedoseyev. Andrejs Osokins’ repertoire spans Bach to Gershwin and features classics by Mozart and Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt, but also a copious amount of chamber music, from violin sonatas to piano quintets.
The 21-year-old Latvian pianist Georgijs Osokins caused an uproar at the 17th International Chopin Competition in Warsaw in October 2015 – although he didn’t even win! Still he was widely praised for his “extraordinary and unpredictable” interpretation of Chopin’s works, and ever since, he can take his pick among offers from concert presenters at home and abroad – including a tour of Japan in December 2015, concerts on three continents and future CD recordings. Osokins, a graduate of the Latvian Music Academy, hails from a family of pianists. His father Sergeijs, a professor at the Academy, continues to be his teacher; his brother Andrejs is also an internationally sought-after pianist. At the early age of ten, Georgijs Osokins made his debut as the soloist in a Mozart Piano Concerto with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra; in 2009 he won the Scriabin Competition in Paris and in 2014 the Moscow Chopin Competition for Young Pianists.
“Under Pressure 2nd Edition” (World Premiere)
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C-Minor Op. 18 (1901)
“Daina” in F-sharp-Major (1963, orch. 2015)
Piano Concerto No. 3 in D-Minor Op. 30 (1909)
7 pm: Pre-concert Lecture with Dr. Dieter Rexroth in the Werner-Otto-Saal
Free for ticket holders (admission at 6:45 pm)
It is common knowledge that people in Latvia love to sing. However, they are also very musical in general, as the Orchestra of the Latvian Music Academy “Jazeps Vitols” in Riga has proven several times at Young Euro Classic. Now the young musicians finally return to Berlin after a lengthy absence – and their concerts features an intriguing contest. With them are two pianists who are not only brothers, but will both perform Rachmaninov. Only 21 years old this summer, at Young Euro Classic Georgijs Osokins, who caused a stir last year at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw, throws himself into one of the most virtuosic solo concertos in the entire repertoire, the Piano Concerto No. 3 in D-Minor by Sergey Rachmaninov, while his older brother Andrejs dedicates himself to the more poetic Piano Concerto No. 2 in C-Minor. The remainder of the programme features Latvian music: a piece by the Latvian “classic” Janis Medins and a new work by the Rolands Kronlaks, written especially for this concert in Berlin.