February 14, 2024

Latvian National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of young Finnish conductor TARMO PELTOKOSKI

As of the 2022/2023 concert season, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra is under the artistic leadership of the sensational Finnish conductor Tarmo Peltokoski. This collaboration opens a new and fresh chapter in the orchestra's history.

Author: Baiba Santa Vanaga

The first concert of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra with Tarmo Peltokoski takes place on 14 January 2022 (with a last-minute additional concert on 15 January, an admirable feat during the COVID‑19 pandemic). It proves to be fateful in the best sense of the word.

The concert programme, which includes the brightest gems of academic music – Sibelius' First Symphony, Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto, and the overture to Wagner's opera Tannhäuser – features the "young and promising" Tarmo Peltokoski, then only 21 years old, at the conductor's podium. For the Latvian listener, appreciation for his talent came more from biographical insights than from actual concert experience, but the written word proves to be true: the concert is nuanced and profound, convincing and powerful; both the audience and the orchestra musicians are drawn into the magic of the music, led by a 21-year-old man (who, in addition, conducts the approximately one and a half hour-long programme entirely from memory). We too realise it to be an extraordinary experience and perhaps even wonder whether we will see a talent of this scale on Latvian stages ever again.

Yet, as a result of skilful negotiations and possibly the right alignment of the stars, in May, Tarmo Peltokoski becomes the Music and Artistic Director of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. We seem to have been successful in engaging him early on, as Peltokoski is currently also Music Director of the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Principal Guest Conductor of the Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest and Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. In February 2023, Tarmo is making his American debut with the San Diego Symphony.

Tarmo has performed with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra twice before: on 19 November last year for the inauguration concert at the Cēsis Concert Hall, which was also broadcast across Europe by ArteTV, and on 10 December at Riga Cathedral in an ambitious concert programme with the LNSO, the State Choir LATVIJA, and soloists. So far, the conductor has reintroduced the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams on Latvian stages, while his ties with Finland are demonstrated through the scores of Jean Sibelius.

In the 2022/2023 season, Tarmo will return to Latvia on 31 March at the Great Guild and on 1 April at the Concert Hall Latvija for the concert LNSO, Peltokoski, Strauss, and Schnittke and for the LNSO season closing concert on 19 May at the Great Guild.

Peltokoski is also a virtuoso pianist, which the Latvian audience will be able to experience for the first time at the LNSO Summer Festival, taking place in Rēzekne this year. Tarmo will be performing in two separate concerts as a solo pianist and in his usual role of conductor. For this reason, mark 19 and 20 August in your calendar as a must-visit to the wonderful concert hall of Latgale Embassy GORS.

Further information is available at: https://en.lnso.lv/simfoniskie-eng