Together with their beloved man, the world-renowned virtuoso pianist Andrejs Osokins, they have created a new cycle of concert stories “Journey” this autumn.
At a time when the whole world is experiencing a global pandemic and travel is very limited, and thus many areas are struggling to survive, talented musicians are constantly looking for new creative ways to continue to develop and carry out their work. And this search has culminated in a new collaboration – with the Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga.
“We are excited about the opportunity to support the hospitality industry and hope that other musicians and artists will continue this idea,” says singer Katrīna Gupalo.
“This has been a crazy year for all of us, and no one knows what will happen tomorrow or what tomorrow. This strange time is still a test for many. Tourism, hospitality and culture have been hit very hard by the pandemic, so I think it is especially important for us to stick together, help each other and find new and interesting ways to develop and address our listeners, “says pianist Andrejs Osokins.
Together and individually
The outstanding pianist Andrejs Osokins will perform in the first concert of this cycle of concert stories – on October 23 with the program “Concert – Meditation”, allowing those present to experience the state of flight and flow in the presence of meditative piano music. The program will feature music by Frederic Chopin, Raimonds Tiguls, Peter Vasks, Arvo Pert, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Philip Glass and Claude Debussy.
On November 20, singer and pianist Katrīna Gupalo’s concert “7 Sad Stars and the Alabama Moon” dedicated to the music of composer Imants Kalniņš is expected. All compositions are performed by Katrīna Gupalo in her arrangements for voice and piano, created with great reverence for the composer’s original versions of songs. In addition to the favorite songs of Imants Kalniņš, there will also be music created by Katrīna Gupalo herself, as well as compositions by Kurt Veil, Jim Morrison, Melania Safka and Ēriks Satī, who will interact and talk in a way.
On December 12, chanting Christmas time, the third concert of this cycle will take place – “From New York to Paris”, where creative tandem Katrīna Gupalo and Andrejs Osokins will perform together and combine the brightest numbers from the concert performances “100 Years with Piaf” and “After Midnight / After Midnight ». The program will include songs by Edith Piafa, Marilyn Monroe, Col Porter, Nina Simon, Julie London and Ella Fitzgerald, virtuoso jazz compositions by George Gershwin and exquisite Erika Sati music for piano solo, as well as music by the French Impressionist Claude Debussy.
After each concert, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a three-course meal created especially for this event by Gokhana Kekeca, the owner of the hotel’s terrace bar restaurant “Stage 22” and the head chef.
An unreal adventure in Santa Barbara
In preparation for the concert story “Journey”, singer and pianist Katrīna Gupalo recalls the brightest journeys of her life.
“There are two, both to America,” she says, revealing that she left for America for the first time at the age of 19. “Before, I had only been in Lithuania and Ukraine, so the impressions were wild. I lived in New York for a month, then went to Los Angeles, and it was a new surprise again – there I saw palm trees, oceans and beautiful nature for the first time. This journey changed very strongly not only my view of the world, but also my inner world. When I returned to Latvia, I looked at everything completely differently, including myself and my life, »reveals Katrīna Gupalo.
A few years later, she returned to America. «It was a very interesting event: I sent my application – a video and a questionnaire – to the Summer Academy in Santa Barbara [Music Academy of the West Festival] and forgot about it. It was really unexpected when I received the message that I was admitted that everything was being paid for! At first I think it’s a joke because it’s unrealistic – only eight pianists from all over the world are admitted there. But – it wasn’t a joke! Everything was very serious and I lived all summer in Santa Barbara, California! I think this is the biggest adventure of my life so far, because I couldn’t even imagine something like that. It was really unreal, “the singer still believes. In Santa Barbara, she was amazed by the splendor of nature and its diversity, as well as by the music academy itself, where she had the opportunity to meet and learn about living legends. “Santa Barbara has a unique climate, and everything blooms indecently beautifully. It seems that even the stones. When it rains, the steam from the asphalt rises just like herbal tea. And hummingbirds fly. Well, come on! ” she remembers it with real enthusiasm and advises every young musician to try to get there. “Of course, the competition is wildly high, but if you don’t try, it’s clear that you won’t get 100% there.”
Paris is disappointing
Katrīna hopes that the trip to Israel, where both of them and Andrei had a concert tour planned for this spring, has not broken down. Due to the pandemic, it has been postponed indefinitely. “We had planned to stay longer in Israel, to rest there after the tour. Unfortunately, did not meet. We hope that this will be possible one day. “
Asked where she dreams of leaving when the borders are open again and it is safe to travel, the singer refuses to return to Santa Barbara again, but already with Andrei and possibly her friends. “I would like to enjoy it all again and share these feelings with my loved ones.”
The singer reveals that while studying at the French Lyceum in Riga, her childhood dream was, of course, to go to Paris. “Interestingly, I only got there after America, and I have to admit that it was a bit of a disappointment: Really? This is what I dream of?! … And then I realized that not always dreaming is the most memorable adventure. At least my biggest adventures – both literally and figuratively – took place completely unexpectedly. ”
With songs by Imants Kalniņš
In parallel with the dream of “Journey”, which Katrīna and Andrejs will only experience this autumn, the singer plans to release a new album this year with songs by the legendary composer Imants Kalniņš. They have already been recorded, editing is underway, and an album presentation tour of Latvia is also planned.
“We had a very busy summer for concerts, a rather ‘abnormal’ mode, but we are grateful to our listeners that they want to hear us and are open to different programs. But right now I spend quite a lot of time in the studio, because I am also writing a new album of my music, »says the talented young musician.
She has just recorded her own version of Maestro Raimonds Pauls’ song “About the Last Page” – in both Latvian and Russian. “I got acquainted with the recordings of this song in great detail and concluded that for the most part it sounds very happy. But I think the lyrics are quite dramatic, and I emphasize the lyrics of the song as I write my version. I think I will present it already in the new week. “The video is also planned to be filmed for the new week,” Katrīna states, adding that she will be able to listen to the song on both Youtube and her social media profiles. “It will be a complete contrast to how Imants Kalnins sounds in my performance,” the singer reveals.
But the contrast brought by the autumn humidity and darkness after the warm and sunny summer does not frighten Katrīna. “I really like autumn. У природы нет плохой погоды, »she smiles down, emphasizing that the main thing is to dress warmly and – so that your feet are not wet. “The autumn season is a very good time to indulge in a creative mood,” she said.