Vestards Šimkus. Prokofiev and Debussy

The concert will be streamed live online
There are also 25 tickets available for in-person concert attendance

The name of the pianist Vestards Šimkus is familiar to more than just the most studied piano music fans. Described as phenomenal and inspiring, charming and expressive, original and surprising, the talented master of the black-and-white keys has captured many hearts with his performance, including those of jury members in prestigious international competitions and knowledgeable critics in both Latvia and abroad. The Latvian Grand Music award laureate has prepared the programme Prokofiev and Debussy specially for the Riga Festival.
The work of the French master Claude Debussy was created during the Belle Èpoque era, showcasing a mix of impressionism, symbolism, and neoclassicism. The Russian musical artist Sergei Prokofiev went through harrowing wars and revolutions; he got to taste both freedom and the chains of the Soviet Union, bringing vivid contrasts into his compositions as well. The signature styles of both of these outstanding composers are striking and unmistakable, and also very different from each other, so it becomes even more of an intrigue when Šimkus calls them kindred spirits. He has sought and found similarities and parallels also in the opuses included in this programme: two of Prokofiev’s large-scale pieces – the Piano Sonata No. 4, written in St. Petersburg in 1917 and 3 Pieces for Piano op. 59 written 16 years later in Paris; and Debussy pieces from different periods of his career, including the famous L'isle joyeuse.

The Riga Festival is sponsored by the Riga City Council


Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)
3 pieces for Piano op. 59 (1933-1934)
I. Promenade
II. Landscape
III. Pastoral Sonatina

Piano Sonata No. 4 op. 29 (1908/1917)

I. Allegro molto sostenuto
II. Andante assai
III. Allegro con brio, ma non leggiere

Claude Debussy, 1862-1918
Ballade (1890)
Étude retrouvée (1915)
Nocturne (1892)
Danse (1890)
...D'un cahier d'esquisses (1903)
L'isle joyeuse (1904)


Vestards Šimkus, piano