First Stop: Riga

By Peter Marck

The Israel Philharmonic set off on the 2015 European Festival Tour, leaving Tel Aviv’s 90 degree heat and landing in Riga, Latvia to 55 degrees of Baltic chill. Surrounded by a pine forest in Riga’s resort village of Jurmala, the orchestra rehearsed and performed at the Dzintari Concert venue; an outdoor stage with excellent acoustics…and plenty of fresh air! Maestro Mehta conducted Richard Strauss’ “Til Eulenspiegel,” Arnold Schoenberg’s “Verklarte Nacht” as well as Peter Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, “Pathetique.” 

After the concert, the orchestra was a guest of the Israeli Ambassador, Liron BarSadeh for a reception. This is not the first time the IPO has visited Riga. In 1990, only four days before the nation declared its independence from the Soviet Union, the orchestra performed at their Opera House. This is also not the first time Ambassador BarSadeh met the Maestro. She was a member of the children’s choir in Mehta’s first IPO production of Bizet’s Carmen in 1970! The Ambassador presented Maestro Mehta with a photo of them together.

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Peter Marck joined the IPO in 1976, and since 1979 has been Principal Double Bass.