Latvia: Brand new classical music festival to open in Riga and Jurmala this summer

Mariss Jansons c. Peter Meisel
Mariss Jansons © by Peter Meisel

Founder of the Verbier Festival, Martin Engstroem, introduces a brand-new concept festival to Latvia featuring world-class musicians across four weekends in summer 2019.

Latvia is already renowned for creating high-class musical talent, with a strong history of choral music, and producing artists such as soprano Elīna Garanča and conductor Andris Nelsons (ranked one of the top conductors in the world by Bachtrack).

For a country with a population of under two million, this is already an impressive feat, and this summer, Latvia will welcome thousands of classical music artists and fans from across the globe to partake in an inaugural classical music festival featuring some of the biggest names in the industry.

Taking place at venues across the cities of Riga and Jurmala across four weekends, some of the greatest classical musicians in the world are taking part is this new-concept festival, conceived by Martin Engestoem, founder of the Verbier Festival. Each weekend will be centred around two performances by a world-class symphony orchestra and famous conductor, with complementary recitals and concerts taking place throughout, performed by stars of the classical music world, and morning recitals by up-and-coming artists.

The opening weekend is set to feature the renowned Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Mariss Jansons. Other stars set to perform include pianists Yuja Wang, Murray Perahia, Jan Lisiecki, Lucas Debargue and Rudolf Buchbinder, singers Joseph Calleja and Benjamin Appl, violinists Vadim Repin and Julian Rachlin, and guitarist MILOŠ.

The Festival’s aim is to become one of the world’s greatest classical music events, while simultaneously introducing new audiences to Latvia and its culture. Venues in Riga and Jurmala include the Latvian National Opera, the Great Guild and the Dzintari Concert Hall.  The range in ticket prices ensures that attendance of the festival is available to the widest possible audience and is already attracting attendees from all over the world.

With some of the Festival concerts already sold out, this large-scale cultural event has already generated world-wide interest. Given the quality of programme and performers in the first year alone, it wouldn’t be surprising if this were to become one of the cultural highlights of any music lover’s calendar.


The Riga Jurmala Music Festival takes place from 19th July – 1st September 2019. For further information and to book tickets, visit the Festival’s website:

by Tessa Deterding 

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