Baltic Sea Philharmonic reveals innovative plans for 2017

The orchestra will celebrate the environment – in particular, water – as part of its programme next year, using a creative new concert show format

Baltic Sea Music Education Foundation has revealed the theme of next year’s ground-breaking Baltic Sea Philharmonic tour – ‘Waterworks’– and in 2017 it will continue its mission to bring classical music to wider audiences with an inventive concert format combining music, projections, light, sound and choreography.

‘Waterworks’ demonstrates the orchestra’s long-time commitment to the environment, celebrating the life-giving power of water with repertoire including Handel’s Water Music, arranged specially for Baltic Sea Philharmonic. The orchestra will mark the 80th birthday of seminal composer Philip Glass with his water-themed work Aguas da Amazonia, as well as his Second Violin Concerto The American Four Seasons, from 2009, performed by Russian violinist Mikhail Simonyan.

Kristjan Järvi explained the thinking: ‘Water binds us all together. It is the essence of life – not only within our physical bodies, but in the body of water that dominates this region – the Baltic Sea. It’s the engine of the region, 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. Everything is connected, and this is the essence of “Waterworks”.’ And despite the centuries that separate the two composers, they have much in common, he said: ‘Handel and Glass are both Minimal, in the sense that they both utilise ostinato in such a wonderful way. If you look at Handel, Bach, Scarlatti or Boccherini, it’s all incredibly pure geometry and that’s how Minimalism is constructed, too.’

Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi together with Mikhail Simonyan will tour with ‘Waterworks’ in May 2017 through Germany and Denmark.

Looking back at 2016

’Waterworks’ builds on a successful 2016 for the foundation. In April, it launched its new orchestra, Baltic Sea Philharmonic, which went on two major tours of the entire region – ‘Baltic Sea Landscapes’ and ‘Baltic Sea Discovery’. The young musicians performed ambitious programmes with three international soloists and released their first ever CD, highlights of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, on Sony Classical. They also took part in two historic concerts celebrating the 25th anniversary of the German–Polish Treaty of Good Neighbourship.

The group enjoyed sold-out audiences and excellent press from across the world. Rebecca Lentjes wrote of its performance of Weinberg’s Violin Concerto with Gidon Kremer in online classical music magazine VAN Magazin: ‘The synthesis in their approaches led to performances that were captivating, accurate, and communicative in a much more effective way. All the musicians’ abstract intensity found its outlet here, coalescing into a unified wavelike entity.’