On Friday, April 16, composer Peteris Vasks celebrated his 75th anniversary. Confirming this important event for Latvian culture, the Concert Hall “Cesis” performed a concert “Presence”, in which the symphonic, choral and chamber music of the world’s most famous and played Latvian composer was performed by this year’s concert hall residency artists – violinist Kristine Balanas and cellist Margarita Balanas, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the State Academic Choir “Latvija” and two conductors – Andris Poga and Maris Sirmais. Fans of the composer’s talent and creativity could listen to the concert program “Presence” on Latvian Radio 3 and watch it on Latvian Television Channel 1.

The multi-layered program of Peteris Vasks’ 75th-anniversary concert was composed by conductors Andris Poga and Maris Sirmais in close cooperation with the composer himself. All the edges of Vasks work shone in it – an older work “Lauda” created for the orchestra was heard, we heard “Mother Sun” in the performance of the choir “Latvija”. The soloists of the concert – the artists of this year’s residence of the Concert Hall “Cēsis” – violinist Kristīne Balanas and cellist Margarita Balanas together with the State Academic Choir “Latvija” performed Vasks’ poetic and figurative composition “Plainscapes”, but Kristīne together with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra performed fantasy for violin and string orchestra “Vox Amoris”.

The concert program culminated in the work “Laudate Dominum”, which sounded a four-time fort performed by an orchestra and choir, with Peteris Vasks and his wife, director Dzintra Geka, sitting among all the artists.

Of course, there were also heartfelt greetings and good wishes for the anniversary, as well as the song “Lots of White Days” sung by all the artists present.

Photo: Anete Ruke