Concert Information

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam

Eriks EÅ¡envalds
Psalm 67

November 10, 2012
2:15 p.m.
(part of the Zaterdag Matinee series)
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Stephen Layton, conductor

For ticket information,
visit the Concertgebouw website.

A second performance, the UK premiere, of Psalm 67 is scheduled to follow shortly thereafter:
Choral Evensong Service
November 18, 2012
6:15 p.m.
Trinity College Choir

Stephen Layton, conductor
Trinity College Chapel
Cambridge, Great Britain

Psalm Premiere in Amsterdam

Ēriks Ešenvalds, Photo: Aivars Krastins  

Soli Deo Gloria's Psalms Project continues to expand, and the next world premiere, by Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds, is scheduled for Friday, November 10, 2012, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Netherlands, by Polyphony, Stephen Layton, conductor. Richard Morrison of The Times (London) has called attention to the "reams of lush, well-crafted, listener-friendly choral music [that] has come out of the Baltic states in recent decades," and describes Ēriks Ešenvalds' style as "quite close to James MacMillan or John Taverner."





The November concert is part of the Zaterdag Matinee series, and the program, titled“Nieuwe Devotie” (“New Devotion”) includes:

• Pärt - Bogoróditse Dyevo
• Britten - Ad maiorem Dei gloriam
• Ešenvalds - Psalm 67
• Pärt - Magnificat  
• Łukaszewski - Psalm 67
• Britten - Hymn to St Cecilia, Op. 27

One of the most popular Latvian composers of the new generation, Ešenvalds was born in 1977 in Priekule, Latvia. He received a master’s degree in composition with Selga Mence at the Latvian Academy of Music and furthered his study by attending various international master classes throughout Europe.

Ešenvalds has received numerous International awards for his works, the most recent being the British Composer Awards Nomination (2010), the Year's New-Composer Discovery, Philadelphia Inquirer, USA (2010) and the Composition Teaching Achievement Award by Riga Dome Choir School (2010). His music has been performed at many festivals and concerts throughout the world, the most recent being at the Baltic Sea Festival, Sweden (2010), USEDOMER Music Festival, Germany (2010), University of Louisville New Music Festival, USA (2010). He has also been chosen to write the city of Riga’s anthem for the World Choir Games, which will take place in Latvia in 2014.


"With composers like this on the scene today, we need not fear that good music will cease to exist."—Jean-Yves Duperron, Classical Music Sentinel


"Ešemvals is able to deftly balance the popular and the avant garde, the simple and intricate, the sacred and secular, as well as the modern and the classical in his works."—Latvians Online


"Music of rich emotion, haunting gentleness, staggering power, and startling beauty... Choral fans on the prowl for today's very finest composers are strongly urged to make Ešenvalds' acquaintance."—Lindsay Koob, American Record Guide


Polyphony, who will be performing the world premiere of Ešenvald's Psalm 67, was formed by Stephen Layton in 1986 for a concert in King's College Chapel, Cambridge. Since then, the choir has performed and recorded regularly to great critical acclaim throughout the world. Recent reviews declare Polyphony "one of the best small choirs now before the public" (Telegraph, UK) and "possibly the best small professional chorus in the world" (Encore Magazine, USA). In a new poll by Gramophone Magazine, Polyphony was named as one of the world's leading choirs.







   Stephen Layton, Photo: Keith Saunders

Conductor Stephen Layton, who is also Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the City of London Sinfonia, Music Director of Holst Singers, and Fellow and Director of Music of Trinity College, Cambridge, has long been a champion of new music, and has premiered new repertoire by many composers, including Ešenvalds.

In 2011, Layton’s recording of Ešenvalds’ Passion and Resurrection with Polyphony was described by International Record Review as “utterly gorgeous” and “totally absorbing.” (See sidebar to listen to an excerpt.)




"When composing a work, I give myself to the temptation of the creative work—a journey, whose twisting roads persistently, but convincingly, bring me to the final sounds of the score. And only then do I exhale."—Ēriks Ešenvalds