The Toronto Latvian Concert Association created a 50th anniversary book “50 Skaņu gadu gaita” (“50 Years of Sound”) to commemorate this milestone anniversary in 2009. In it are archival images of our guest artists and their concert programs, in addition to several very interesting archival articles written by our present and former Board Chairs – violist Arturs Jansons, composer and conductor Arvids Purvs and the late composer and one of our founders Talivaldis Kenins. This serves as a testament to the dedication of our organization’s founders and all of the volunteer board members who have dedicated so much of their time to showcasing the very best Latvian artists from around the world in one of Toronto’s oldest classical music concert series. This book was edited by former long-time chair Arvids Purvs (pictured here). Click on the photo to access the online version of the book. To order a hard copy, contact us!
The Toronto Latvian Concert Association, now in its 63rd season, continues to support special projects which contribute to the promotion of our artists in Canada and around the world. Our activity has transitioned from a regular concert series to project-based activities and events. Check in here for information about upcoming events which we are producing and / or supporting!
In addition to presenting celebrated Latvian artists to Toronto audiences, the Toronto Latvian Concert Association also produces special projects and collaborates with other cultural organizations. We are pleased to announce the recent launch of our new Canadian Music Centre Centrediscsrecording “Canadian Amber / Ambre canadien”, featuring works by Latvian-Canadian composers Imant Raminsh, Talivaldis Kenins and Janis Kalnins. For more information, click here.
Here is a clip of the performance that inspired the “Canadian Amber” recording project.
The Latvian National Opera [Home / Latvian National Opera] presented a new production of Canadian composer Janis Kalnins’ operaHamlet, which opened in January of 2022 in Riga, Latvia.
Composed in 1934/35, the opera, based on Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, was first performed in 1936, receiving international critical acclaim. The Times (London), as well as music critics from both Italy and Sweden, predicted it would see additional productions throughout Europe. WWII brought an end to that hope.
There was a restaging of the opera in Riga in 1943, but after the composer fled the Soviet occupation of Latvia, taking refuge in Canada, future productions ceased. A one-off Latvian staging and recording of Hamlet in 2004 to mark the composer’s centenary rekindled interest in this magnificent work.
Janis Kalnins composed Hamlet while he was principal conductor at the Latvian National Opera, using a Latvian translation of Shakespeare’s play to create his libretto. Largely faithful to the original, Kalnins’ opera, sung in Latvian, focuses on the core story of palace intrigue, betrayal, murder and revenge.
The 2022 LNO production will be an ambitious undertaking targeting a global audience.
With the support of the Latvian National Opera Fund of Canada, Gunta Dreifelds, former Canadian Opera Company surtitles producer and President of Canada’s SURTITLES TM has been recruited to prepare English, German and French surtitles for the LNO.
This production of Hamlet is a long overdue tribute to a composer who, after giving up a blossoming career in Europe, spent more than half his life quietly teaching, composing and working in Canada.
The Latvian National Opera Fund of Canada will show a video of the LNO production on Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 7:00 pm at the Latvian Canadian Cultural Centre, 4 Credit Union Drive, Toronto.
One of the founders of the Toronto Latvian Concert Association, the late composer Talivaldis Kenins, would have celebrated his 100th birthday in 2019. In tribute to his musical genius and lasting contribution to Canadian and Latvian music, we are dedicating this space to information about his life and work and events commemorating his centenary.
Since the release of the CMC recording “Canadian Amber” which included the 1991 world premiere performance of his Concerto for Piano with String Orchestra and Percussion with Arthur Ozolins as soloist there is now a second recording of this work with Latvian pianist Agnese Egliņa and the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra on the Ondine label.
The Kenins centenary sparked great interest in Latvia with many concerts dedicated to his vast catalogue of compositions – choral, chamber and orchestral – including multiple performances of his Violin Concerto, his 8th Symphony, his Scherzo concertante and many other works.
The Latvian National Symphony Orchesta has commited to recording many of these works including all eight symphonies.
Two discs are already available and receiving global attention with very positive reviews in prestigeous magazines like The Strad (Nov. 26 2020) and elsewhere.