Opening night – A Night of Piano Virtuosos

The opening of the festival will see performances by four multiple award-winning Latvian piano virtuosos who are loved by critics – Andrejs Osokins, Reinis Zarins, Daumants Liepins, and Aurelija Simkus. This is an entirely unique event as it is one of those rare occasions when listeners can enjoy them performing on the same stage. 

Andrejs Osokins is immensely popular with audiences worldwide thanks to his hypnotic personal appeal, a vast and expressive palette of sound colours, as well as an unusually compelling sense of different styles of music, according to music critics. Since the age of five when he began playing piano Andrejs has won awards at the world’s most prestigious piano competitions including Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv and Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. From lullabies to well-known classics and American greats, Andrejs displays mastery and virtuosity in all of his recitals. Every time he performs he takes his audience on an emotional journey through piano music.

Reinis Zarins. Ever since his concerto debut at the age of ten, Reinis has performed as a concerto soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe and North America.  He is one of Latvia’s most prominent talents. Truth and beauty; these are the qualities he seeks in the music he chooses, the interpretations he sculpts and the collaborations he enters. Equally at home in classical and contemporary repertoire his passion lies in the crafting of conceptual programmes that encourage interaction between music, philosophy, history, and theology. A favourite of audiences around the world, Reinis Zarins loves collaborations with young and vibrant artists for new musical discoveries.

Daumants Liepins is one of the most exciting new talents of his generation. In 2019, he was awarded the Vendome Prize at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland and first prize at Maria Canals Piano Competition in Barcelona. After his first solo album released in 2022 topping Pianist Magazine’s list of Pianists to Look Out For in 2020. Critics describe him as a sensitive, imaginative pianist in full command of his instrument’s resources effortlessly keeping the listener transfixed. 

Aurelija Simkus gave her first solo concert at the age of eleven at the Kaunas International Chamber Music Festival. She rose to international prominence at the age of 16 when her first solo album Scherzo was released. The prestigious Piano News named it Album of the Month and gave it an enthusiastic review calling Aurelija an astonishing pianist and a real discovery. Newspaper critic Westfalische Rundschau admired the soulfulness of her performance filled with extraordinary musicality and sensuality. She is also a winner of the Echo Klassik award in the Best Young Artist category.

Approximate duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

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