The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi kick off the second half of their groundbreaking ‘Waterworks’ tour tomorrow with a performance at Berlin’s Konzerthaus as part of the Young Euro Classic festival. The orchestra debuted ‘Waterworks’ back in May, wowing audiences in Hattingen, Germany, and Aarhus and Copenhagen in Denmark with a pioneering fusion of music, lighting, sound design and projection art. Now ‘Waterworks’ returns to Germany for a series of four performances: after Berlin the orchestra will perform at the Usedom Music Festival in Peenemünde on 26 August, then in Lutherstadt Wittenberg on 27 August, and finally in Hamburg at the Elbphilharmonie on 29 August.
The concerts in Berlin and Hamburg will both be livestreamed. The performance in Berlin is one of seven concerts from this year’s Young Euro Classic festival being livestreamed by European culture channel Arte. Our concert at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie will be livestreamed on the Elbphilharmonie website, and will also be broadcast live on a giant screen to spectators in the Plaza outside the venue. The Elbphilharmonie performance will be shown again three times during the Hamburg Cruise Days event from 8 to 10 September.
The music of ‘Waterworks’ focuses on the life-giving power of water, reflecting the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s concern for the environment, and in particular the Baltic Sea itself. ‘This body of water is the engine of the region,’ says Kristjan Järvi, ‘the thing that gives us all our necessities of life. It’s why people settled around here, and it also connects with all the other water across the world.’ This sense of connection has always been central to the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s identity, he says. ‘Just as water is the binding force of humanity, our orchestra is a binding force for the whole Nordic region, from Norway all the way to Russia.’
The ‘Waterworks’ programme includes one of the most famous of all water-themed pieces – Handel’s Water Music, in a special arrangement featuring variations by contemporary composers Charles Coleman and Gene Pritsker. The orchestra also celebrates the 80th birthday of American composer Philip Glass by performing his Aguas da Amazonia – in a new orchestration by Charles Coleman – and his Violin Concerto No. 2 ‘The American Four Seasons’, with Russian-born violinist Mikhail Simonyan as soloist.
‘Waterworks’ heralds an exciting new era for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, with the introduction of an immersive concert show format in cooperation with Sunbeam Productions that fuses music, lighting, projection art and sound design to stunning effect. The musicians also have a striking new look on stage, thanks to a clothing collaboration with Monton, a leading brand of Estonian fashion house Baltika Group.
The second half of the ‘Waterworks’ tour begins just a few days after the completion of the orchestra’s ‘Baltic Folk’ tour of Sweden, Germany and Italy. On this tour, its second of 2017, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic performed a folk-inspired programme of music by Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff and Arvo Pärt to 2,000 people, and made a daring shift from orchestral convention by playing Stravinsky’s The Firebird entirely from memory.
Friday, 25 August 2017, 8.00 pm, Berlin (Konzerthaus, Young Euro Classic), Germany
Saturday, 26 August 2017, 8.00 pm, Peenemünde (Usedom Music Festival), Germany
Sunday, 27 August 2017, 7.00 pm, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany (open air)
Tuesday, 29 August 2017, 8.00 pm, Hamburg (Elbphilharmonie), Germany
Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Gene Pritsker/ Georg Friedrich Handel/ Charles Coleman: Water Music
Philip Glass: Violin Concerto No. 2 The American Four Seasons
Philip Glass (arranged by Charles Coleman): Aguas da Amazonia (2016)