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Aina Kalnciema



The 9th International Bach Chamber music festival will take place from 1st March till 15th April 2009

When Latvia was part of the USSR, the ancient music of Western Europe was never performed extensively under the censorship of the Soviet Union. Once the country regained its independence, people could freely study and play the music of the past. For the last nine years the International Bach Chamber Music Festival gives the music loving crowds of Riga the opportunity to enjoy some of the best performers and ensembles of old music. This year’s edition is no exception. Eight marvellous concerts in some of the city’s most beautiful buildings make this festival an experience to remember. Be there, from March 1 to April 15.

With time, the International Bach Chamber Music Festival has gained an important place in the cultural calendar of Latvia. Its outstanding artistic level and the overall concept of the festival have won it international recognition. The concept of the Festival strives to embrace a wealth of aesthetic, cultural and historical values. For one thing, audiences seldom hear performed interpretations of Bach's chamber music, including the compositions that were produced by the great artist's sons and contemporaries, as well as the music inspired by his personality.

Festival concerts are performed in some of Riga’s most impressive venues. This year most concerts take place at the Museum of the History and Navigation, in its Hall of Columns, which is blessed with outstanding acoustics. The museum was established in 1773 as a private collection donated to the city by a doctor called Himsel. Today, it is one of the largest and oldest museums in the Baltic area and its collection holds more than 500,000 objects related to natural sciences, history and arts.

Concerts are also held at the House of the Blackheads, one of Riga’s most important public buildings, located on one side of the City Hall Square. The building housed the brotherhood of the "blackheads", a typical organisation for the cities of the great European Hanseatic league -young and unmarried tradesmen and ship captains who chose St Mauritius, a black African, as their patron saint. The luxurious house was destroyed during World War II and the burnt-out shell was blown up by the Soviets in 1948. After Latvian Academy of Musicthe restoration of Latvia's independence, the House of the Blackheads was rebuilt, and since 2000 it has been a pearl of Old Riga. The concert hall has outstanding acoustics, and the concerts of the festival attract huge crowds.

The Latvian Academy of Music holds the pre-opening concert of the festival this year. Students who are learning to play organ and harpsichord there participate in the concerts, and that is another aspect of the festival, which encourages the young to perform works of Bach and his contemporaries in very distinguished concerts thus giving fresh interpretations of well known Baroque music.

Take a look at the programme of the 9th International Bach Chamber music festival and decide fast. Most concerts will be sold-out weeks before their time. Tickets will be available at box offices „Biļešu Paradīze" and at concert places.


AKADEMIE FUR ALTE MUSIK BERLIN (Baroque ensemble, Germany)

MANUELA GOUVEIA (piano, Portugal)

L`ARPEGGIATA (baroque ensemble, France)


JANA SEMERADOVA(flute, Czech Republik)& BERTRAND CUILER (harpsichord, France)

JORDI SAVALL (viola da gamba, Spain)

CALEFAX (reed quintet, The Neatherlands)

RIHARDS ZAĻUPE (marimba), OSKARS PETRAUSKIS(saksophone) and AINA KALNCIEMA (harpsichord)

RICCARDO MINASI (violin, Italy) un ANNA FONTANA(harpsichord, Italy)

Baha muzikas fonds, Hipokrata iela 35-32, LV-1079, Riga, Latvija, talr.: 29208181, e-pasts: