Roberts BALANAS, violin
Latvian National Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Ainārs RUBIĶIS
John Adams, The Dharma at Big Sur
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Symphony No. 41
This is a concert where the classical meets the contemporary. The Latvian National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Ainārs Rubiķis will meet on stage with the London-based violinist Roberts Balanas – a musician whose experience of classical music combines harmoniously with the sonic worlds of pop, rock and funk, resulting in a unique sound characteristic of him and him only.
Interpreted by the orchestra and Roberts Balanas, we will hear the American minimalist composer John Adams’ concerto for electric violin, samplers and orchestra, entitled ‘The Dharma at Big Sur’, originally commissioned for the inauguration of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, in 2003. The composer has revealed that his intention was to express the physical and mental experience of anyone moving to and settling down in California: born in Massachusetts, Adams referred to himself as an immigrant to the Pacific Coast. He further explains that it was listening to the violinist Tracy Silverman’s performance at a jazz club (she also played the piece at the premiere a year later) that he had realised: the true meaning of music, particularly in non-Western cultures, is hidden between the notes. This idea stayed with the composer during the writing of the piece. The two movements of the concerto are dedicated to Adams’ friends, the composers Lou Harrison and Terry Riley.
The second part of the programme belongs to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In summer 1788, over the course of approximately nine weeks, the composer wrote his three final symphonies. He may have planned to take them to London, but it was not to be. The three symphonies are the culmination and conclusion of Mozart’s work in the genre, and the last of the three, Symphony No. 41, the ‘Jupiter’ Symphony, achieves the heights of the classical symphony and a truly Mozartian excellence.
In 2021, The Three Balanas – violinist Kristīne Balanas, cellist Margarita Balanas and violinist Roberts Balanas – started their residency at Cēsis Concert Hall, presenting several programmes as part of it. For Roberts, the residency concerts were among his first performances back in Latvia following many years of absence and studies in London.
Tonight’s concert will be Roberts Balanas’ return to the Cēsis Concert Hall stage during the tenth season of the venue.