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Sound - the focus of the art festival “Cēsis 2020”

The focus of the Cēsis 2020 Art Festival in 2020, will be on sound to train listening and hearing skills during the post-crisis COVID-19, when tactile sensations are limited.

"Surprisingly, we have managed to organize the festival as rich in terms of program as it has been every year, with a visual section no less than other years, with a full musical program, including a big concert in Castle Park, cinema screenings and theater performance series GRAND PRIX. And most importantly, none of it will be remote and digital. Everything will be in person and with real works of art and events, but as much as possible, taking into account the precautions and instructions given by the state and epidemiologists to the organizers of cultural events. Thanks to the stability and faith of our partners and supporters, and with a maximum sense of responsibility for public health, we will gradually try to return to the world of art and music, which has been 'frozen' so far, ” this year's program announced by Juris Žagars.

"The festival has always been nuanced, taking place in a large area, it has never been characterized by irrational crowding. It also allows us, as a long-term supporter of the festival, to provide support and not give up the opportunity to allow the festival to take place again this year, while realizing that the festival and our own activity at the festival will be different, paying much more attention to caution. Above all - according to the time and possibilities, we are looking for ways to give the opportunity to show ourselves to the new students of the Academy of Arts during the festival. With the support of SEB bank, the annual SEB scholarship exhibition of the Latvian Academy of Arts was also viewed remotely and was the first digital exhibition during the spread of the virus. During the festival in Cēsis, we have the opportunity to bring the best of the best to Cēsis as well. On the opening day of the festival exhibition, we will also be happy to announce the winner of the SEB scholarship,” says Ieva Tetere, Chairman of the Board of SEB banka.

We never imagined that the festival might not take place! Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, which affected everyone, we provided funding for the festival in the current amount, because people need art and the form of presence is also very important! People will be able to come, see, go deeper and "disappear" in feelings and art! ” Laura Keršule, Vice President of the Latvian Mobile Phone, the general sponsor, shares her thoughts.

From July 25 to August 28, the Cesis Center for Contemporary Art will host the visual art exhibition “Sound We See. Space We Hear ”, which will feature artists Kaspars Groševs, Pēteris Līdaka, Artūrs Punte & Jēkabs Voļatovskis, Krišs Salmanis, Kristaps Ģelzis & Ģirts Bišs (curators: Daiga Rudzāte, Žanete Skarule). The exhibition will try to reveal the multifaceted nature of sound and its almost infinitely diverse impact on the human imagination, while paying attention to how influential the sound of the surrounding space is, resulting in an associative imprint in memory. The line between reality and imagination is very fragile. The narrative of the exhibition is intended as a set of complementary experiences, where each subsequent exhibit in its own way continues the story started by the previous one. The exposition also includes the sound object "Planet Detox and Healing", which was created in cooperation with the art and culture portal Arterritory.com and is dedicated to the big issues brought up by the crisis. It is important to emphasize that most of the objects of the exhibition have been created especially for the exposition “Sound we see. Space we hear ”. The scenography of the exhibition is created by Martins Vizbulis.

At the opening of the festival, on July 25, on the banks of the Gauja near Cēsis, a musically performative adventure “While ... floating” is expected. The youth choir "Kamēr .." and its artistic director and conductor Aivis Greters resume concert life after a longer break and in the summer of their 30th anniversary will perform at the opening concert of the Cēsis Art Festival with a special a cappella program. The long period of silence has allowed to draw inspiration from the beauty of Latvian nature, which has been creatively expressed in music by outstanding Latvian contemporary composers: Pēteris Vasks, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Rihards Dubra, Andris Dzenītis, Selga Mence, Valts Pūce, etc. The program highlites the Latvian and the spiritual person - the reflections of themselves and the world around.

The musical performative adventure will take place on the left bank of the Gauja - in the section from Cēsis Bridge to Žagarkalns camping beach.

The music program of the festival will be supplemented on July 31 by a choral music concert in Cesis St. St. John's Church “Songs of Paradise. Brukner and latvians” led by Sigvarda Kļava. The program, composed by the Latvian Radio Choir, organist Kristīne Adamaite and harpist Jekaterina Suvorova, combines spiritual music of various eras - the sacred choral  and organ works of the outstanding 19th century classic Anton Bruckner from Vienna to the tops of Latvian music - Maija Einfelde, Tālivaldis Ķeniņš  and Santa Ratniece emotionally saturated opuses. If Bruckner sought his spiritual ideals in the Latin texts of the Scriptures, then Santa Ratniece turned to "Paradise" chants" from Dante's "Divine Comedy" in Italian. We are so different, but these prayers can unite us.

On August 8, there will be a large open-air event "Silent Black and White and Shostakovich" in Cesis, where the first part of the evening will feature Dmitry Shostakovich's First Piano Concerto composed in 1933, characterized by rich and ingenious use of musical quotes and parodies beginning with Ludwig van Beethovens “Appassionata” and finally the song "Oh, my dear Augustine". In the premiere of the concert, the piano solo was played by the author himself, but on the evening of August 8, we will hear the interpretation of our outstanding virtuoso Reinis Zariņš.

In the second part of the evening, the musical compilations of Arthur Muscat and Andris Poga for the LNSO orchestra will play with Baster Kitton's silent comedy "Sherlock the Younger".

In his youth, Dmitry Shostakovich - in the 1920s – earned by playing on the piano during silent film screenings. The film "Sherlock the Younger" also features theater pianists that accompany the music on the screen. Imagining the young Shostakovich in his place, the musical and cinematic level of the evening will merge, becoming a unified artistic experience. The musical accompaniment of the film was created by Arturs Maskats and Andris Poga especially for this evening, using the works of Dmitry Shostakovich's youth, which are stylistically, in terms of mood and associations, in line with Keaton's film. The composer's music of the 1930s for films, theater performances, as well as ballets and jazz suites is extremely witty, vital, endowed with a bright theatrical nerve, it is also very expressive and in the most complete sense of the word cinematic. Along with Shostakovich, the reggae Original Rags by the American composer Scott Joplin also sounds as a reminder of the film's operating environment.

It should be noted that Basser Kitton's silent comedy "Sherlock the Younger" is a masterpiece of cinematic classics that has made many generations laugh. It tells the story of a film mechanic who, most of all in the world, wants to become a private detective and solve various crimes.

With the support of the festival's patron SEB banka, the exhibition of the Latvian Academy of Arts SEB Scholarship students in Painting “Agenda”, which could be viewed virtually during COVID-19, has been created and will be on display at the Cēsis Beer Brewery. Every year, the SEB scholarship competition has a specific theme. The students' task is to reflect the topicality of the topic in the artwork. The theme of the 2020 competition is the agenda, encouraging students to think critically and analytically about the impact of the media on personal and public opinion, to watch how news and social networks determine what the audience thinks about, not what to think about. Contestants present their agenda - personal, national or global issues - for the audience to think about. At the opening of the exhibition, the winner of the competition will be announced, who will be awarded a scholarship, as well as the opportunity to attend one of the European contemporary art fairs and participate in a creative workshop of the respective city.

From 14 to 23 August, the traditional Cēsis Festival theater performance GRAND PRIX will take place, for which the performances and excellence of the last season have been selected by theater critic Zane Radzobe. The concert hall "Cēsis" will feature a production of the Latvian National Theater - Juha Jokela's "Finlandization" directed by Valters Sīlis, Daile's theater production - Florian Zeller's "Mother” directed by Intars Rešetins and JRT's production "The Last Beatles Album" directed by Alvis Hermanis.

But on August 23 in the concert hall "Cēsis", remembering the works of theater critic Silvija Radzobe and reflecting on her excellent sense of humor, a peculiar gesture of respect will be a theatrical performance of leading Latvian theater actors "basketball game dedicated to Silvija Radzobe with the participation of Latvia's longest actors". It will be directed by Valters Sīlis.

“For many years, Silvija Radzobe was the creator of the festival's Grand Prix theater show, selected the most outstanding performances of the season for the program and educated the festival visitors with great informative and always filled lectures. er passion was not only theater and performances, but also basketball and its current affairs, which she commented on as passionately and happily as what was happening in the theater. This performance is intended as a collaboration between actors, director Valters Sīlis and Zane in the form of improvisation with texts selected by Zane Radzobe, ”says the director of the festival Juris Žagars.

From August 1 to 22, the cinema program “Sound We See. Space we hear ”, this year created by the philosopher Uldis Tīrons, will be seen on the screen in the yard of the Cēsis Contemporary art center. Four films will be shown in August - Arvīds Krievs “The Guilty” (1979), Fric Lang “M” (1931), Jacques Tati's “Holidays of Mr. Ilo” (1953) and Friedrich Wilhelm Murnava “Sunrise: A Song of Two” (1927).

The Cēsis Art Festival takes place with the support of the patron SEB banka, the general sponsor of the festival Latvijas Mobilais Telefons, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, the State Culture Capital Fund, Cēsis County Council, Concert Hall “Cēsis”, as well as JSC Latvenergo and JSC Latvijas Gāze.

Tickets are available at Biļešu Paradīze sales points throughout Latvia and on the Internet www.bilesuparadize.lv.


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