• Over 15,000 people from over 30 countries attended 21 concerts, with 330 artists appearing at the 2021 Riga Jurmala Music Festival
  • 2021 Festival opened with the newly-formed Mariss Jansons Festival Orchestra, commemorating the conductor in his home city of Riga, led by Sir John Eliot Gardiner and featuring Yuja Wang
  • Andris Nelsons led the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and guest soloists in two spellbinding performances of Wagner’s most loved operatic works at the Latvian National Opera
  • Five masterclasses held in Riga featuring musical greats including Renée Fleming, and 104 online masterclasses

Photo credit: Reinis Olins/Pauls Zvirbulis

Last weekend, the third annual Riga Jurmala Music Festival concluded having triumphed against last-minute cancellations and travel restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic to present a stunning array of live music concerts and masterclasses attended by more than 15,000 visitors.

Conducted over four distinct weekends, international concertgoers from more than 30 countries — including France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Japan and neighbouring Lithuania and Estonia — travelled to the historic capital and the nearby coastal resort of Jurmala to experience the very best of classical artistry, proudly showcased by the Riga Jurmala Music Festival team.

“This summer has been moving, and full of emotions. Despite the planned and unplanned changes to the festival programme, this season has not only been extremely successful with excellent results, but has also led to the creation of new and, hopefully, permanent initiatives. One of these is the Mariss Jansons Festival Orchestra, which was formed at the initiative of the orchestra musicians in memory of the legendary Latvian conductor and in high regard of the festival’s work,” explains Zane Čulkstēna, Executive Director of the Rīga Jūrmala Festival.

“On behalf of the entire festival team, I want to express our high admiration and respect for our amazing musicians, and our thanks to the festival’s supporters and attendees who allowed this amazing musical summer to happen!”

More than 330 world-class musicians performed 21 live concerts in packed venues including the Latvian National Opera, the Dzintari Concert Hall and Riga’s Great Guild. The specially created Mariss Jansons Festival Orchestra opened the 2021 Festival, led by John Eliot Gardiner and featuring soloist Yuja Wang, followed by performances from the Concertgebouworkest and Daniel Harding in August.

Five masterclasses took place in Riga, including operatic superstar Renée Fleming who also performed in the Festival, in front of a live audience, and young musicians around the world had access to 104 online masterclasses from leading performers.

The final weekend opened with a solo piano recital from Leif One Andsnes and continued with two magnificent operatic gala performances at the Latvian National Opera, conducted by Riga-born maestro Andris Nelsons. He led the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra alongside guest soloists Christine Goerke, Klaus Florian Vogt and Günter Grossböck. The Festival closed on 5 September with a stellar recital from the young Japanese pianist Mao Fujita, who had earlier that day performed with Belgian-born violinist Marc Bouchkov at Riga’s Great Guild. 

About the Riga Jurmala Music Festival

Running over four weekends from July to September, the Riga Jurmala Music Festival hosted orchestras, conductors, soloists and vocalists including the Mariss Jansons Festival Orchestra, Concertgebouworkest and Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, as well as many other world-class performers performing in Latvia and the Baltics for the first time.

The RJMF is supported by: Amber Beverage Group, airBaltic, Baltic Travel Group, FBO Riga, Ekselence, Food Union, Jūrmala Golf Club & Hotel, Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga, Laima, Live Riga, Radisson Blu Daugava, Rietumu banka, Rīgas Viļņi publishing, Sporta 2 quarter and the State Culture Capital Foundation.