With the support of the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation, the Dzintari Concert Hall was implementing a range of measures to enhance its cultural-historical standing. A new “Steinway & Sons” concert grand piano has been purchased, the murals of the Latvian master of decorative art Ansis Cīrulis have been illuminated and a sculpture of the legendary Latvian conductor Arvīds Jansons has been created.
This collaboration is of cultural-historical, artistic and educational importance - these artistic elements serve as inspiration for art and music lovers, visitors to Jūrmala and each and every visitor to the concert hall.
The new “Steinway & Sons” concert grand piano has been presented on 2 June 2017 at the opening concert of Dzintari Concert Hall’s season, which featured performances by outstanding artists including the maestro Raimonds Pauls and the Latvian Radio Big Band, pianist Vestards Šimkus and Harijs Bašs, up and coming talent Andrejs Feldmanis, singer Dināra Rudāne, conducted by the conductor of the Jūrmala Festival Orchestra Mārtiņš Ozoliņš.
The grand piano is being used for concerts in the Small Hall. The most appropriate model for its acoustics was chosen by the outstanding pianist Vestards Šimkus during a visit to the “Steinway & Sons” factory in Hamburg in April 2017.
According to Vestards Šimkus, “For over a century, this company’s pianos have been considered to be “the standard of excellence”, and on this occasion, in trying out the very latest examples newly made at the “Steinway & Sons” factory, I concluded that, thanks to the accumulated experience of the aforementioned company’s piano-building experts, this excellence has scaled new heights. The grand piano, which I chose together with piano expert Arnis Mūrmanis, is not only blessed with a perfectly developed mechanism, but has a special spirit, and an expressive, vivid sound, rich in overtones, which can truly be described as “singing”. Playing this instrument, one gets the feeling that it inspires that kind of musical ideas within me that I would not otherwise even dream of.”
In November 2016, to mark the concert hall’s 80th anniversary, with the support of the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation, the murals of the great Latvian graphic artist Ansis Cīrulis were illuminated.
The Sea, Latvia and Lielupe, murals by the outstanding master of Latvian applied decorative art Ansis Cīrulis have been integrated into the interior of the concert hall’s central lobby. These wall frescoes with allegorical figures were created by the artist in 1937 during the last decade of his life.
These are historic art objects of national importance and have been included in the Latvian cultural canon alongside the Dzintari Concert Hall. Explaining the essence of his art, art historian Jānis Borgs once noted that, “The big Latvian dream shines through in Cīrulis’s works.”
In order to highlight these wall drawings and their cultural-historical value, Ansis Cīrulis’s murals have now been illuminated, accompanied by plaques bearing the names of the frescoes and information about the artist.
In turn, at the end of 2016, a sculpture of the legendary Latvian conductor Arvīds Jansons was formally unveiled in the Concert Hall’s Southern Gallery.
Arvīds Jansons was the first internationally recognised Latvian conductor, who initiated the march to fame of Latvian conductors globally and whose pioneering work is being continued by his son Mariss Jansons and conductor Andris Nelsons.
The artist responsible for creating the two and a half metre high bronze sculpture is Aigars Bikše. In his work, he has endeavoured to depict the conductor communicating with the orchestra and conveying information about the interpretation of the composition using body language.
“Tensions in the body of the figure and the formal dynamics of the movement of the arms generate that feeling which evolves into the joint sound of the orchestra’s instruments. The power and energy with which the conductor transforms his feeling for the composition into a collective sound is a phenomenon of Western culture. The conductor is a symbol of irrational human communication that exists beyond language. Using formal approaches, I tried to encode the power of this unusual personality into this sculpture of Arvīds Jansons,” explained the artist.
The historic Dzintari Concert Hall is the first enclosed-type of concert hall in Latvia. It was opened in 1936 and built to a design by architects Viktors Mellenbergs and Aleksandrs Birzenieks. It is a unique example of wooden neoclassical architecture in Jūrmala with characteristics of national romanticism. Dzintari Concert Hall is an architectural and historic monument of national importance that has been included in the Latvian cultural canon along with the whole complex.