A press release from Riga informs me that the national symphony orchestra has a new chief conductor, Karel Mark Chichon, who is apparently British.
The statement neglects for some reason to mention that he is also the husband of the country’s leading international opera singer, Elina Garanca, who will no doubt wish to spend more of her time in the bracing Baltic winter season.
I had not heard of Mr Chichon before, though his c.v. lists dates with important orchestras. Perhaps they, or I, were out of town.
Also in the mailbox comes a new symphony by the Latvian composer, Edgars Kariks, another blank in my musical knowledge. According to his biography, Mr Kariks grew up in New Guinea and played flute in Australian orchestras before returning to his parents’ homeland, where he teaches at the university and contemplates Daoist philosophy.
Downloads of his symphonies are available here. I’ll get round to listening some time.