Ocenanic Organ

By Konzerthaus Berlin June 24, 2024


© Markus Werner

Iveta Apkalna bids farewell after three seasons as organist in residence on a grand scale with the Konzerthausorchester, conducted by Juraj Valčuha.

And finally “"Okéanos" by Bernd Richard Deutsch - what kind of work ist that?

This is simply an exciting, colorful, virtuoso organ concerto. It is powerful with its four movements, in each of which we are immersed in one of the elements of water, air, earth and fire. Technically, it is incredibly demanding, as it requires a great many colors to be brought out of the organ. And it also features a huge orchestra. The composer has succeeded very well in ensuring that the organ enters into a creative dialogue with the orchestral colors while always retaining the status of soloist.

Do you love the sea?

Every Latvian - especially those of us who are far away from their homeland or who can rarely be there - will answer something like "the coast", "the beach" or "the waves and the sound of the sea" when asked what they particularly appreciate about Latvia. I'm no exception (laughs). When I am by the sea and look at the horizon, many of my questions are resolved because I become aware of the dimensions of my life and the world.

In fact, the organ is an ocean for me. But not only because it is majestic, deep and impressive and can be very loud, but also because we can come to rest with it. It can sound incredibly fragile and sensitive, transparent and fragile. For example in her flute voices, which go straight to the heart. In this versatility, she corresponds with something in us - just like the sea.

What was it like for you to have an artistic home at Gendarmenmarkt for three years?

That was something very special because Berlin is already my adopted home. I live here with my family. Because I was able to play at the Konzerthaus again and again for three seasons, it became my home in a double sense. I have completely settled in both personally and practically - although I remain Latvian at heart (laughs). At the Konzerthaus, I was able to show what is important to me and what best characterizes me musically and personally. This included, for example, the Walpurgisnacht concert at midnight with Petr Eben's "Faust" and the concerto for organ and orchestra by Aaron Copland. It is well-known among organists, but not everyone likes to play it because it is quite unconventional.

Recently, we had an "Iveta & Friends" concert: The soprano Katrīna Paula Felsberga comes from Latvia like me, Martynas Levickis on accordion is Lithuanian and the Finnish cellist Taneli Turunen is a member of the Konzerthausorchester. Berlin has become home to all four of us and we actually first got to know each other here. In our Nordic countries, where there is very little light for months on end, we celebrate Midsummer, the longest day, in a particularly exuberant way - in Latvia actually from June 23rd to 24th, exactly on the date of that concert. This year, I celebrated midsummer night with my friends and the Konzerthaus audience, with music from the Baltic countries, but Italy and France were also represented.

Being able to go deeper and deeper over three seasons until a complete picture of the organ at the Konzerthaus and myself as an organist emerges has given me great pleasure.

How was your experience with our audience?

A concert is a journey, afterwards you are always a slightly different person than before. When someone says to me, "Actually, I don't like contemporary pieces. But what I heard today in this context with other pieces really fascinated me. I think I'll listen to something contemporary again", then that makes me incredibly happy. I also received a lot of great feedback on the surprise program "Iveta's box of chocolates". People reacted positively to the fact that it was a concert whose program was not fixed beforehand and where they came into direct contact with me via the music requests. I hope that the people who have come to my concerts now feel closer to the organ than before.


For this event, you will not receive tickets through our webshop. You will therefore be redirected to an external page of the organizer. If you have any not completed bookings on konzerthaus.de, they will be dissolved after 20 minutes.