Latvian National Symphony Orchestra (LNSO) will be without a chief conductor for at least a year, LNSO director Indra Lukina told reporters at a press conference on Friday, May 14.
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She pointed out that the end of the season is marked by the end of a period in the orchestra’s life, which is almost eight years long and can be called the period of Andrew Poga, who has been the LNSO’s artistic director and chief conductor during these years.
Lukina noted that on May 14, Poga joins the orchestra’s conductor’s desk for the last time. According to the LNSO director, this does not mean that the Button will not be visible with the orchestra yet. Evaluating Poga’s contribution, Lukina pointed out that previous years have been quite rich, many peaks have been conquered, there have been regular concerts in regional concert halls in Latvia, LNSO has been on five tours in Europe, France, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia.
“We have given concerts at the most important events in the country, such as the opening of the European Presidency in Paris, the celebration of Latvia’s centenary cultural events and many others that have been led by the chief conductor Poga,” Lukina emphasized.
She explained that what the orchestra expects next season and beyond is quite challenging, both artistically and economically and practically. Speaking about why the LNSO will be without a chief conductor for at least another year, Lukin emphasized that the time of Covid-19 has stopped a lot and that the LNSO is no exception.
“Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to meet with several conductors – candidates for the position of chief conductor, but we will continue to discuss, invite, analyze possible candidates for the next chief conductor and artistic director together with the concertmasters. “We will continue to work with Poga in another position – he will be a conductor with at least two programs a year and an artistic advisor,” said Lukin.
She also pointed out that the LNSO will continue its cooperation with the current second conductor of the orchestra Guntis Kuzma, and the cooperation with the honorary conductor maestro Vasilijs Sinaiski will also be continued. Lukina announced that Kristina Poska, the Estonian conductor, will be the chief guest conductor of the LNSO for the next two seasons.
“Kristīna is a conductor who has been to our conductor’s desk twice. She has won the sympathy of both listeners and musicians. A very good, musically creative collaboration has developed and we have addressed her. The orchestra has given me a mandate to address her to this and Kristina has agreed to it, “said the LNSO director.
She also said that in economic and practical terms, the LNSO will be in the “Grand Guild” until the end of the year, but from January next year the orchestra will be home to the Daile Theater. Lukina explained that it will be a place where the orchestra will try everything together, in full composition, as well as individual rooms for musicians, rehearsals, but concerts in Latvia as a full LNSO orchestra will be played in regional concert halls, which, according to Lukina. there is no concert hall for such a large orchestra.
“In Riga, we will play smaller chamber music programs, including children’s programs. We will try to balance between Riga and the regions so that both the Riga spectator does not forget us and the region’s listeners will have a much greater opportunity to listen to our concerts,” Lukina emphasized.
She noted that the “Grand Guild” will be in the process of renovation for two years. Currently, active work is already underway on the development of the renovation project, where the LNSO is taking a big part. Lukin hoped that by returning in 2024, the building would have acquired modern technological capacity in the great hall, better acoustics and also much better accessibility and more convenient logistics from the point of view of both listeners and musicians.
It has already been reported that Andris Poga, the current artistic director of the LNSO, will continue his career in Norway, becoming the principal conductor of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra.