ARĒNA 2016

Contemporary music festival ARENA is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year and offers its visitors an exquisite and colourfully festive programme with world class musical celebrities participating in it!

Opening the festival’s 15th season on Tuesday, November 8, at 19:00 in the Great Guild in Riga the visitors will hear one of the leading contemporary music ensembles in the Northern countries – BIT 20 (Norway), conductor Christian Karlsen (Sweden). Together with the special guest, legend of contemporary music, French trombone player Vinko Globokar, who will play and conduct his own piece, whereas BIT 20 will perform a programme called KALEIDOSCOPE IN RIGA, in which we will hear pieces by Latvian composers Santa Bušs, Gundega Šmite and Andris Dzenītis.

On Wednesday, November 9, at 18:30, in Reformation Church in Riga in a concert IN LOVE WITH LIBERTY you will see performing Polish – German descendant British artist, pianist and poet Heloïse Ph. Palmer. The programme was inspired by the Latvian monument of Liberty and in this multi-media, multi-sensitive and provocative solo performance one will hear also new pieces by Latvian composers Santa Ratniece and Maija Einfelde.

On the same night at 20:00 also in the Reformation Church visitors will have the chance to hear the delightful Belgian chamber music ensemble Musiques Nouvelles in a concert CORDES INTIMES. It will be a subtle and intimate conversation performed by a string quartet, which you will hear performing pieces by Belgian composer Jean-Paul Dessy, Russian descendant Belgian composer Victor Kissine and the acclaimed Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks.

On Thursday, November 10, at 19:00, in Kalnciema Kvartāls in Riga, and on Saturday, November 12, at 17:00 in Hotel Promenade, Hicks Hall in Liepaja we will hear performing one of the greatest, highly acclaimed Portuguese instrumental ensembles – Lisbon Guitar Quartet. In the concert we will hear pieces from their musical album PRIMA LUCE written by 21st century Portuguese composers, including some of the musicians in the quartet.A special event within the festival is children’s opera KIRANA which will take place on November 12, at 17:00, in the Latvian Youth Theatre. The Maltese composer’s Ruben Zahra play is based on Myths of Creation from different cultures as well as four basic elements of the world – water, air, earth and fire. Children aged 10-15 from all over Latvia will participate in workshops to master the opera performance as well as create their own musical instruments, learn to play them, and acquire unique experience working with the composer of the opera, professional musicians, and a choreographer on a modern stage set. KIRANA, the opera has been recognised as one of the most innovative musical projects in Europe in 2014 and is currently in demand for educational programmes in many European concert halls and opera houses.The festival will conclude on Saturday, November 12 at 20:00 in the nightclub Nemiers (Unrest) with an untraditional event CLUB NIGHT – a musical cocktail mixed of short concerts of live academic music, and dance music based on classical music and played by club DJs. On the world’s musical arena such performances are seen on a regular basis, therefore the festival ARENA as a promoter of contemporary music beyond the walls of concert halls on its anniversary year wants to introduce this format also to Latvian audiences. See you at the ARENA!