Category : Allgemein

BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC AND KRISTJAN JÄRVI COMPLETE ACCLAIMED ‘NORDIC PULSE’ TOUR OF BALTIC STATES, FINLAND AND RUSSIA

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi completed their first major tour of 2019 on 21 March with a special concert at the historic Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg. The ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour, which began in Palanga, Lithuania, on 11 March, featured six performances in eleven days. Joined by Swiss violinist David Nebel and Estonian singer-songwriter Mick Pedaja, the orchestra travelled more than 1,000 km from Palanga to St. Petersburg, via Riga, Tallinn and Helsinki. Around 4,500 concert goers experienced the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s unique spirit and energy, and witnessed the orchestra perform, completely from memory, a new 70-minute concert suite drawn from Tchaikovsky’s ballet masterpiece The Sleeping Beauty.

‘Nordic Pulse’ – an exhilarating Baltic adventure
The tour opened on Lithuania’s Restoration of Independence Day with the orchestra’s debut at the Palanga Concert Hall. From Palanga, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic travelled to Riga to perform in the Great Guild Hall. The tour continued in Tallinn, the city of Kristjan Järvi’s birth, with a sold-out concert at the Estonia Concert Hall, before moving on to Helsinki and a debut performance at Finlandia Hall. ‘Nordic Pulse’ concluded with two concerts in St. Petersburg – the first at the ultra-modern Mariinsky II, and the second at the grand, Rococo-style Catherine Palace. Alongside the ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic held a parallel Talent Tour, auditioning top music students in Palanga, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki and St. Petersburg, with the aim of recruiting the best talent from across the region to join the orchestra on future tours.

Playing by heart – a Tchaikovsky world premiere
A major highlight of the ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour was the unveiling of a new concert suite, arranged by Kristjan Järvi, of music from Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty. The 70-minute work was performed entirely from memory. ‘The suite is a condensed version of the whole ballet,’ explains Järvi, ‘and comprises 3,056 bars of music. It takes what we’ve been doing over the last two years in the realm of memorisation to a new level.’ As on previous tours, the memorised performances proved a revelation for audiences, with one concert goer, Massimo Nunzi, enthusing: ‘This is a completely new way to approach classical music. This is the future.’

Inspired by nature – and focused on the environment
‘Nordic Pulse’ took inspiration from nature and at the same time underlined the orchestra’s commitment to the environment. The musical programme was infused with themes of renewal and fresh life, evident in Kristjan Järvi’s Aurora for violin and string orchestra – a work inspired by both the warmth of spring and the lights of the aurora borealis – and in the awakening of Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. Sensitivity to the Nordic landscape shone through in both Pēteris Vasks’s second violin concerto Vientuļais Eņģelis (Lonely Angel) and the 2018 Violin Concerto by Gediminas Gelgotas, both performed together with violinist David Nebel. Special guest Mick Pedaja added a mystical dimension with songs inspired by his natural surroundings, especially the forests of Estonia.

Two of the ‘Nordic Pulse’ concerts were directly focused on the environmental cause. The performance in Helsinki was a benefit concert for the John Nurminen Foundation, which directs projects dedicated to protecting the waters of the Baltic Sea. And the final concert of the tour, at the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg, was a special performance for delegates to the 20th annual Baltic Sea Day, an international forum that focuses on ways to protect the Baltic Sea environment.

Acclaim from critics and audiences
The irrepressible energy of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic impressed the reviewer from the Helsingin Sanomat, who wrote of the Helsinki concert: ‘In an entertaining first half, Järvi’s Aurora captured the joyous dance of the sun, and seemed to call all the nations of the Baltic Sea together in a merry midsummer celebration. Playing by heart undoubtedly welds the ensemble together both physically and mentally, and strengthens communication. The atmosphere was colourful, with Järvi inspiring his players like a circus ringmaster.’

Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks was in the audience at Riga’s Great Guild Hall to hear his violin concerto Lonely Angel. He commented: ‘Who cannot like Kristjan Järvi? He has such a youthful spirit, and carries all the young musicians with him. He’s also looking for new methods of presenting orchestral music, and new ways to attract young people to experience symphony orchestras. It’s a miracle.’

‘Midnight Sun’ tour to come
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s ‘Midnight Sun’ tour of Germany in June and July 2019 is the next step on the orchestra’s journey to realise hitherto unseen and unheard concert experiences. The tour is inspired by the phenomenon of the sun never setting at night, and will feature Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen and Mick Pedaja in a programme that will be performed completely from memory. The debut of ‘Midnight Sun’ will be on 26 June at the Berlin Philharmonie. A second performance will follow at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie on 2 July.

See our Facebook page and Instagram feed for concert videos, performance shots and behind-the-scenes photos from the ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC ON TALENT TOUR 2019

Just as the Baltic Sea Philharmonic is gearing up for its first tour of 2019 this month – ‘Nordic Pulse’ – it is also on a new recruitment drive. The orchestra’s Talent Tour 2019 seeks out the best and brightest young musicians from across the Nordic region. The Talent Tour runs as open auditions alongside the orchestra’s ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of the Baltic States, Finland and Russia, and also in June during the orchestra’s ‘Midnight Sun’ tour of Germany. The first day of the series of special Talent Days took place in Palanga (8 March). The tour continues in Riga (13 March), before heading to Tallinn (15 March), Helsinki (18 March) and St. Petersburg (19 March) as well as Berlin (27 June). More than 120 applicants have signed up to take part in this month’s auditions; applications for the Talent Day in Berlin are open until 15 May.

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic regularly auditions talented musicians from throughout the Baltic Sea region in order to renew and refresh the pool of outstanding players who perform with the orchestra on tour. The orchestra works with top conservatoires throughout the region to recruit leading young musicians. Many of these players are residents of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden or Russia, but some may also be international students enrolled at music academies in these ten countries. Integrating the orchestra’s Talent Tour with its ‘Nordic Pulse’ and ‘Midnight Sun’ tours will open up direct access to auditions for students at such prestigious institutions as the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the St. Petersburg State Conservatory and the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in Tallinn.

The orchestra is introducing a new two-stage audition process this year, giving applicants the chance not only to perform a solo piece but also join a full orchestra rehearsal. Kristjan Järvi and a panel of Baltic Sea Philharmonic principal musicians will together decide which players have the talent and personality to thrive in the orchestra. Giving current players a say in who will join them in the ensemble reflects Kristjan’s mission to empower the musicians of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and develop their entrepreneurial and leadership skills.

Successful Talent Tour applicants will get to experience the unique Baltic Sea Philharmonic spirit on tour, and perform innovative programmes under Kristjan Järvi’s baton in Germany, Italy and Hungary in June/July, September and November 2019. Follow the Talent Tour on our social media channels Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC’S ‘NORDIC PULSE’ TOUR STARTS TODAY IN PALANGA, LITHUANIA

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi kick off their ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Russia with a concert today in the Lithuanian resort town of Palanga. March 11 is an important date for Lithuania, as the country celebrates its Restoration of Independence Day. ‘Nordic Pulse’ is the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s first tour of 2019 and features five concerts in nine days. Following today’s performance in Palanga, the orchestra will go on to play in Riga (12 March), Tallinn (16 March), Helsinki (18 March) and St. Petersburg (19 March).

Music of light and magic
Nature inspires the music of ‘Nordic Pulse’ and the theme of reawakening, of new life, runs through the whole programme – from the radiant, spring light of Kristjan’s Aurora to the fairytale magic of Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty, with its Princess Aurora awakened by a kiss. Kristjan has arranged a concert suite from Tchaikovsky’s great ballet, which the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will play entirely by heart – performing from memory having become a trademark of the orchestra in the last two years.

Joining the orchestra for Aurora will be Swiss violinist David Nebel, who is also the soloist in Pēteris Vasks’s meditative second violin concerto Vientuļais Eņģelis (Lonely Angel) and Gediminas Gelgotas’s 2018 Violin Concerto. The orchestra will also be joined for the opening of each concert by Estonian singer-songwriter Mick Pedaja, whose ambient, flowing, electronic-enriched music is strongly inspired by landscape and nature. He will perform songs from his 2016 album Hingake/Breathe, and his latest album Avaimus, which was released in December 2018.

For more information about the music and musicians of ‘Nordic Pulse’, check out the tour programme here. And for details of the concert schedule, and to book tickets, see here and follow the tour with latest updates on our social media channels Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC AND KRISTJAN JÄRVI TO TOUR BALTIC STATES, FINLAND AND RUSSIA IN MARCH 2019

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Jarvi will begin their first major tour of 2019 in Palanga, Lithuania, on 11 March. The ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour will take the orchestra on to three European capitals – Riga (12 March), Tallinn (16 March) and Helsinki (17 March) – before concluding in St. Petersburg (19 March). The tour includes debuts for the orchestra at the Palanga Concert Hall, the ultra-modern Mariinsky II in St. Petersburg, and the Alvar Aalto-designed Finlandia Hall in Helsinki. The tour will also underline the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s commitment to protecting the Baltic Sea environment, with a benefit concert for the John Nurminen Foundation in Finland and a special concert at the environmental forum Baltic Sea Day in St. Petersburg.

‘Nordic Pulse’ – music of light and magic

‘Nordic Pulse’ is inspired by nature, and by the fairytale magic of Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty. The programme includes Kristjan Järvi’s Northern Lights-inspired Aurora, Pēteris Vasks’s meditative second violin concerto Vientuļais Eņģelis (Lonely Angel) and Gediminas Gelgotas’s 2018 Violin Concerto. The soloist in both concertos is Swiss violinist David Nebel.

The programme closes with a memorised performance of Järvi’s arrangement of the concert suite from Tchaikovsky’s great ballet The Sleeping Beauty. Playing without sheet music has rapidly become part of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s identity after the ensemble made history in 2017 by becoming the first orchestra in the world to perform Stravinsky’s The Firebird from memory. ‘Performing from memory is all about chemistry and communication,’ says Järvi. ‘It intensifies the connection between the players, bringing them closer together.’

The ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour will also feature the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s debut collaboration with Estonian singer-songwriter Mick Pedaja. A performer whose ambient, flowing, electronic-enriched music is strongly inspired by landscape and nature, Pedaja released his latest album Avaimus in December 2018. He will open each ‘Nordic Pulse’ concert with a special performance alongside the orchestra.

Protecting the Baltic Sea

Ever since it was founded in 2008, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic has been committed to the environment, and especially the Baltic Sea itself. ‘This body of water is the engine of the whole Nordic region and must be cherished and protected,’ says Järvi. The ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour will underline the orchestra’s environmental vision in two significant ways. Firstly, in Helsinki the orchestra will support the work of the John Nurminen Foundation, with one Euro of every concert ticket sold going towards the Foundation’s projects to protect the waters of the Baltic Sea. Secondly, the orchestra will give a special extra concert in St. Petersburg on 21 March, at the grand, Rococo-style Catherine Palace, for delegates to the 20th annual Baltic Sea Day, an international forum that focuses on ways to protect the Baltic Sea marine environment.

Recruiting new musical talent

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic regularly auditions the best and brightest young musicians from across the Baltic Sea region in order to renew and refresh the pool of outstanding players who perform with the orchestra on tour. In March the orchestra will run its Talent Tour 2019 alongside the ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour, giving musicians the opportunity to audition in Palanga (8 March), Riga (13 March), Tallinn (15 March), Helsinki (18 March) and St. Petersburg (19 March). A new two-stage audition process will feature both a solo round and the chance to join a full rehearsal with the entire orchestra. Full details are available here.

For details of the ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour and to book tickets, see our concert calendar here

‘Nordic Pulse’ Tour

Monday, 11 March 2019, 7.00 pm, Palanga (Palanga Concert Hall), Lithuania
Tuesday, 12 March 2019, 7.00 pm, Riga (Great Guild Concert Hall), Latvia
Saturday, 16 March 2019, 7.00 pm, Tallinn (Estonia Concert Hall), Estonia
Sunday, 17 March 2019, 3.00 pm, Helsinki (Finlandia Hall), Finland
Tuesday, 19 March 2019, 7.00 pm, St. Petersburg (Mariinsky II), Russia
Thursday, 21 March 2019, 7.00 pm, St. Petersburg (Baltic Sea Day / Catherine Palace), Russia

Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Kristjan Järvi
David Nebel
Mick Pedaja

Pēteris Vasks
Vientuļais Eņģelis (Lonely Angel), Meditation for violin and string orchestra

Kristjan Järvi
Aurora

Gediminas Gelgotas
Violin Concerto

Peter I. Tchaikovsky
The Sleeping Beauty concert suite arranged by Kristjan Järvi – from memory

Jean Sibelius
ʻSong of Praise’ from Svanevit, Op. 54 – Finland only

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TICKETS GO ON SALE FOR BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC’S ‘MIDNIGHT SUN’ CONCERTS IN GERMANY THIS SUMMER

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi will return to the Philharmonie in Berlin and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie this summer with ‘Midnight Sun’, an exciting new programme that the orchestra will perform entirely from memory. Tickets for both concerts (in Berlin on 26 June, and Hamburg on 2 July) go on sale this Thursday, 24 January. The orchestra last performed at the Philharmonie in Berlin in 2014, and made a spectacular debut at the Elbphilharmonie in August 2017 with the immersive concert show ‘Waterworks’.

‘Midnight Sun’ – magical Arctic soundscapes
‘Midnight Sun’ is at once a celebration of nature and Nordic unity. The phenomenon of the sun never setting at night is experienced around the time of the summer solstice in the far north of Norway, Finland, Sweden, Russia and other countries that straddle the Arctic Circle. ‘It’s a phenomenon that only the populations of the north are favoured with,’ says Kristjan Järvi. ‘It unites Nordic communities, and with this musical programme we are reiterating that message of Nordic unity.’

‘Midnight Sun’ opens with Rautavaara’s Cantus Arcticus, his concerto for birds and orchestra that features taped birdsong recorded around the Arctic Circle and in the marshlands of Liminka in northern Finland. Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen will then perform four works with the orchestra: Kristjan Järvi’s Aurora, which is inspired by the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights; Arvo Pärt’s Fratres, a classic example of his ‘tintinnabuli’ style; Pēteris Vasks’s meditative second violin concerto ‘Lonely Angel’; and Dona Nobis Pacem by German-born British composer Max Richter. ‘Midnight Sun’ climaxes with more magical light, this time courtesy of the mythical Firebird of Russian folklore, in Stravinsky’s 1945 orchestral version of his great ballet The Firebird.

Playing by heart
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic musicians will play the entire ‘Midnight Sun’ programme from memory, bringing a thrilling extra dimension to the performance. ‘Performing from memory is all about chemistry and communication,’ says Järvi. Playing by heart intensifies the connection between the players, bringing them closer together, and is a natural reflection of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s mission to unite people across the whole Nordic region.

Book your tickets for the Berlin concert here and the Hamburg concert here. See our concert calendar for more details about ‘Midnight Sun’ and our other tours in 2019. Both ‘Midnight Sun’ concerts are presented by the Baltic Sea Music Education Foundation e.V., the Berlin concert is organized in close cooperation with Young Euro Classic.

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Talent Tour 2019: Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi looking for the best new talents – Application deadline 5 February 2019

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi are calling out for the best talents and the brightest musical personalities from across the Baltic Sea region to apply for the upcoming Talent Tour 2019. Young musicians who are open to new ideas and approaches to performing are invited to apply for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and experience the orchestra’s unique spirit. The new orchestra members will have the chance to perform innovative concert programmes, such as playing an entire concert by memory, and join the orchestra for the ‘Midnight Sun’ tour in June and July, with concerts at the world-famous Berliner Philharmonie and the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.

The Talent Tour 2019 is open to music students who are 18 to 28 years old and are string, wind, brass or percussion players. Furthermore, they need to be residents of, or hold a passport from, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia or Sweden, or be international students enrolled in a music academy in one of the ten aforementioned countries for 2018–2019 (regardless of nationality).

Talent Tour Dates 2019
The Talent Tour 2019 stops in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Russia in March 2019 as part of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour. The tour will continue with a Talent Day in Germany on 27 June 2019 as part of the ‘Midnight Sun’ tour. The application deadline is 5 February 2019 for the March dates and 15 May 2019 for the Berlin date.

Friday, 8 March 2019, Palanga, Lithuania
Wednesday, 13 March 2019, Riga, Latvia
Friday, 15 March 2019, Tallinn, Estonia
Monday, 18 March 2019, Helsinki, Finland
Tuesday, 19 March 2019, St. Petersburg, Russia
Thursday, 27 June 2019 Berlin, Germany

Talent Tour 2019 – A new way of auditioning
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s new and unique approach to making music in the 21st century is also reflected in the structure and procedure of the Talent Tour. In the first round, applicants are asked to perform a piece of their choice in front of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s principal musicians and conductor Kristjan Järvi. Kristjan and the principals will decide, together as a team, which applicants have the talent and the personality to thrive in the orchestra. Musicians who successfully complete the first round will be invited to play a joint orchestra rehearsal. This way, current members of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic are involved in choosing their future fellow musicians and are able to shape the orchestra’s future.

For details of the applicaiton and further information, see here

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC FOLLOWS UP SUCCESSFUL TENTH-ANNIVERSARY YEAR WITH EXCITING PLANS FOR 2019

This past year has been a special one for the Baltic Sea Philharmonia. In a year when the orchestra celebrated its tenth anniversary, there were plenty of memorable highlights, including a first ever tour outside Europe, a public commendation from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and an entire concert performed from memory. Now the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi can reveal their exciting programmes and touring plans for 2019. Three concert tours – ‘Nordic Pulse’, ‘Midnight Sun’ and ‘Divine Geometry’ – will feature collaborations with violinists Mari Samuelsen and David Nebel and pianist Simone Dinnerstein, and will take the Baltic Sea Philharmonic to some of Europe’s most renowned concert halls, including Finlandia Hall in Helsinki, the concert hall of the Mariinsky Theater in St Petersburg, the Berlin Philharmonie, and the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

‘Nordic Pulse’ – music of light and magic
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of the Baltic States, Finland and Russia in March 2019 features concerts in three European capitals – Riga, Tallinn and Helsinki – as well as Russia’s second largest city, St Petersburg. The programme begins with Kristjan Järvi’s Aurora, a piece inspired by the Northern Lights, and ends with music from Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Sleeping Beauty. Kristjan has arranged a concert suite from Tchaikovsky’s magical score, which the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will perform from memory.

Swiss violinist David Nebel will join the orchestra to perform Lithuanian composer Gediminas Gelgotas’s Violin Concerto and Pēteris Vasks’s ‘Lonely Angel’, a ‘meditation’ for violin and string orchestra. The ‘Nordic Pulse’ concert in Helsinki will underline the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s commitment to the environment: one Euro from each ticket purchased will go to the John Nurminen Foundation, a Finnish organisation that promotes projects dedicated to a clean Baltic Sea.

 ‘Midnight Sun’ – a celebration of nature and Nordic unity
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s ‘Midnight Sun’ tour of Germany in June and July 2019 is inspired by the phenomenon of the sun never setting at night. ‘It’s a phenomenon that only the populations of the far north are favoured with,’ says Kristjan. ‘It unites Nordic communities, and with this musical programme we are proclaiming a message of Nordic unity.’

The ‘Midnight Sun’ programme opens with Rautavaara’s Cantus Arcticus, his concerto for birds and orchestra that features taped birdsong recorded around the Arctic Circle and in the marshlands of Liminka in northern Finland. Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen then joins the orchestra to perform four works: Kristjan’s Aurora, in a version for violin and orchestra; Arvo Pärt’s Fratres, a classic example of his ‘tintinnabuli’ style; Pēteris Vasks’s ‘Lonely Angel’; and Dona Nobis Pacem by Max Richter. ‘Midnight Sun’ climaxes with Stravinsky’s 1945 orchestral version of his great ballet The Firebird. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic will perform the entire programme from memory, bringing a thrilling extra dimension to these scores.

‘Divine Geometry’ – connecting past and present, Baroque and minimalism
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi explore the past and present through two distinct musical eras in Divine Geometry’, a new programme that the orchestra will perform in Merano, Italy, and at the Usedom Music Festival in Peenemünde, Germany, in September 2019. Contemporary arrangements of music by Baroque masters Bach and Handel share the programme with American minimalist Philip Glass’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Pianist Simone Dinnerstein, who premiered this concerto in September 2017, will be the soloist again for these performances with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic.

The ‘Divine Geometry’ concert at the Usedom Music Festival will also feature the German premiere of a major new work by another great American minimalist, Steve Reich: his ‘Music for Ensemble and Orchestra’ was co-commissioned by the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

2018 in review
A ‘Waterworks’ tour of the United Arab Emirates in November 2018 crowned the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s tenth-anniversary year. It was the ensemble’s first ever tour outside Europe, and was the first tour on which the orchestra performed all its music from memory. The groundbreaking immersive ‘Waterworks’ experience, presented in collaboration with Sunbeam Productions, thrilled more than 2,800 listeners at the Dubai Opera and the sold-out Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. The programme included Handel’s Water Music and water-inspired works by Charles Coleman, David Rozenblatt and Philip Glass.

In September the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi toured Italy, Germany and Poland with ‘Nordic Pulse’, a programme celebrating the tenth anniversary of the orchestra and 100 years since the declarations of independence by Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Poland. The programme featured music by composers from all five countries, and the orchestra performed Kristjan’s arrangement of Sibelius’s The Tempest concert suite and the first movement of the ‘Rock’ Symphony by Latvian composer Imants Kalniņš entirely from memory.

A sold-out ‘Nordic Pulse’ concert at the Usedom Music Festival in Peenemünde attracted 1,300 people, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who in her opening speech praised the ‘depth and elegance’ of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and said: ‘The members of the orchestra embody international understanding; they use music as a timeless language that can be understood across borders.’

Check out the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s concert schedule for 2019 and book tickets here. See our Facebook page for photos and videos from our 2018 tours

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC COMPLETES TENTH-ANNIVERSARY YEAR WITH HISTORIC TOUR OF UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi have completed a landmark tour of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The orchestra’s ‘Waterworks’ tour, which featured performances in Abu Dhabi on 11 November and Dubai on 14 November for over 2,800 people, was its first concert tour outside Europe and the final tour of its tenth-anniversary year. In another first for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, the entire programme was performed from memory at both concerts.

‘Waterworks’: from the Baltic Sea to the Persian Gulf
The historic tour of the UAE involved 60 musicians, who came together in Germany for three days of intensive rehearsals before making the 6,500 km journey to Abu Dhabi. The orchestra’s revolutionary ‘Waterworks’ programme, presented in collaboration with Sunbeam Productions, brought a new dimension to the concert experience for audiences at the Dubai Opera and a sold-out Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. State-of-the-art lighting by Bertil Mark, sound design by Chris Ekers and cutting-edge projection art by Philipp Geist created an immersive environment in which sound and music were fused with light and images.

The water-inspired musical programme brought together selections from Handel’s Water Music with a new orchestration of Philip Glass’s Aguas da Amazonia. Handel’s music was framed by two contemporary pieces, Drenched by Charles Coleman and Flux by David Rozenblatt. The concert in Dubai also featured Glass’s Violin Concerto No. 2 ‘The American Four Seasons’, performed by Russian-born soloist Mikhail Simonyan. For both concerts, the orchestra was joined by three members of the New York-based Absolute Ensemble: trumpet player Charlie Porter, bassist Mat Fieldes, and percussionist and Flux composer David Rozenblatt.

Championing memorised performances has given the Baltic Sea Philharmonic a unique identity in recent years. Having made history in 2017 by becoming the first orchestra in the world to perform Stravinsky’s The Firebird from memory, the ensemble took playing by heart to a new level on its tour of the UAE by performing the entire concert programme from memory.

Audience members praised the orchestra’s performances, with Julie Adrienne Troup, who attended the concert in Abu Dhabi, commenting afterwards on Facebook: ‘A performance of mesmerising inspirational beauty that resonated with us. Wow!’ Another Abu Dhabi concert goer, Grace S. Thomson, wrote on Facebook: ‘It was spectacular. Young musicians and a beautiful selection of masterpieces. We loved it!’

New partnership with UAE Ministry for Culture and Knowledge Development
The orchestra’s ‘Waterworks’ tour marked the start of a strategic collaboration with the UAE’s Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, one of the tour’s principal supporters. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and the Ministry anticipate that this successful tour will lay the ground for future cultural collaborations between the Baltic Sea countries and the United Arab Emirates. As a celebration of the new partnership, Emirati singer Jasim Mohamed Abdullah joined the orchestra at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace to perform the traditional song ‘Sayyidi ya sayyed saddati’. The concert in Abu Dhabi was attended by the UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, H.E. Noura Al Kaabi.

A return to the Baltics in March 2019
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic will begin its eleventh year of international touring in March 2019 with ‘Nordic Pulse’, a tour of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Russia. Kristjan Järvi will conduct the orchestra in a programme including a memorised performance of his arrangement of the concert suite from Tchaikovsky’s great ballet The Sleeping Beauty.

See our Facebook page for concert photos and behind-the-scenes video from the ‘Waterworks’ tour of the UAE

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Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi to make historic ‘Waterworks’ tour of United Arab Emirates in November 2018

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic will give its first ever concerts in the Middle East this November, presenting its revolutionary ‘Waterworks’ programme – a new dimension to experience music – in collaboration Sunbeam Productions on a tour of the United Arab Emirates. Kristjan Järvi will conduct the orchestra in performances at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace on 11 November and the Dubai Opera on 14 November. The tour marks the climax of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s landmark tenth-anniversary year, and will be the orchestra’s first tour outside Europe.

‘Waterworks’ – inspired by the wonder of water
Water, in the form of the Baltic Sea, is at the heart of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s identity, connecting the ten Nordic countries from where the orchestra draws its musicians and inspiration. The ensemble has always been connected to nature and the environment, and ‘Waterworks’ celebrates water in all its forms. Kristjan Järvi, the orchestra’s Founding Conductor and Music Director, says: ‘Water is the essence of life and the binding force for all humanity. The Baltic Sea is the engine of our region, but it also connects us to all the other waters of the world.’ The ‘Waterworks’ programme features music directly inspired by water: a unique version of Handel’s spectacular Water Music and a new orchestration of Philip Glass’s Aguas da Amazonia. The programme also includes another work by Glass that takes its inspiration from nature – his Violin Concerto No. 2 ‘The American Four Seasons’.

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s supercharged version of Water Music sets a selection of Handel’s own music alongside two contemporary pieces: Flux by David Rozenblatt and Drenched by Charles Coleman. Rozenblatt is a percussionist, composer and member of the New York-based Absolute Ensemble, and will join the Baltic Sea Philharmonic as a performer on the ‘Waterworks’ tour. He says of his new piece: ‘Flux explores the paradoxically oppositional significance of water. What is at once majestic and enchanting, the source of life itself, can also devastate and overwhelm, becoming a threat to that very existence. My goal in this piece was to embody the motion of water, contemplating its beauty and grandeur as well as its capacity to create or destroy.’

Reimagining the concert experience
‘Waterworks’ is a radical reinvention of the live orchestral concert. Debuted by the Baltic Sea Philharmonic in 2017 to great acclaim from critics and audiences alike, ‘Waterworks’ fuses music with state-of-the-art lighting, sound design and projection art. Kristjan Järvi and his production company Sunbeam Productions have brought together a world-class creative team in lighting designer Bertil Mark, sound designer Chris Ekers and projection artist Philipp Geist. Together they will collaborate with the orchestra in real time to reimagine the concert experience, immersing audiences in a thrilling world of sound, light and imagery. ‘I want to create an atmosphere from the moment a concert goer enters the space,’ says Järvi. ‘The audience should feel like they are suddenly entering a new dimension, a world where anything is possible.’

Friends old and new
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s tour of the United Arab Emirates will reunite the orchestra with Russian-born violinist Mikhail Simonyan and three members of the Absolute Ensemble – trumpeter Charlie Porter, bass player Mat Fieldes, and percussionist David Rozenblatt. All four musicians collaborated with the orchestra on its 2017 ‘Waterworks’ tour of Germany and Denmark. Simonyan returns as soloist in Philip Glass’s Second Violin Concerto, and the Absolute Ensemble players will be embedded in the orchestra for the whole of each performance. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is also excited to be working for the first time with Emirati singer Jasim Mohamed Abdullah, who will join the orchestra for its concert at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi on 11 November.

The ‘Waterworks’ concert tour to the United Arab Emirates is supported by the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Culture & Knowledge Development and OMV Aktiengesellschaft as tour sponsor.

For more information about the music and musicians of ‘Waterworks’, see the complete Waterworks programme.

 

11 November 2018, 7.30 pm, Abu Dhabi (Emirates Palace), United Arab Emirates

Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Kristjan Järvi
Mikhail Simonyan
Jasim Mohamed Abdullah

‘Waterworks’
Sayyidi ya sayyed sadati

Charles Coleman (1968)
Drenched

David Rozenblatt (1973)
Flux

Philip Glass (1937)
Aguas da Amazonia
orchestrated by Charles Coleman

14 November 2018, 8.00 pm, Dubai (Dubai Opera), United Arab Emirates

Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Kristjan Järvi
Mikhail Simonyan

‘Waterworks’

Charles Coleman (1968)
Drenched

Georg Friedrich Händel (1685 – 1759)
Water Music HWV 350/16

David Rozenblatt (1973)
Flux 

Philip Glass (1937)
Violin Concerto No. 2 The American Four Seasons

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Celebration of special anniversaries with ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour of Italy, Germany and Poland of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi completed a special anniversary tour of Italy, Germany and Poland with a concert in Gdańsk on 24 September. The 15-day ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour was a double celebration for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, marking ten years since the orchestra’s creation and also the 100th anniversary of independence for the three Baltic States, Finland and Poland. Composers from all five countries were represented on the programme: Wojciech Kilar from Poland; Lithuanian Gediminas Gelgotas; Arvo Pärt and Kristjan Järvi from Estonia; Finland’s greatest composer Jean Sibelius; and Imants Kalniņš from Latvia.

The orchestra reinforced its commitment to memorised performance by playing a special arrangement by Kristjan of the concert suite from Sibelius’s The Tempest – as well as the first movement of Kalniņš’s ‘Rock’ Symphony and two encores – completely by heart. Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen made her debut with the orchestra in Arvo Pärt’s Fratres and Kristjan’s violin concerto Aurora.

‘Nordic Pulse’ – a vibrant journey through Europe
The orchestra’s 65 musicians prepared for ‘Nordic Pulse’ with five days of intensive rehearsals in the Bavarian village of Pielenhofen. They then set off on an ten-day tour during which they would travel more than 1,800 km across Europe and perform to around 4,000 concert goers. The opening concert in Merano, Italy, on 17 September, was the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s third appearance at the Merano Music Festival. The following evening the orchestra made its debut in Munich, performing in the Bavarian capital’s beautiful Hercules Hall. Staying in Germany, the orchestra performed in Halle (Saale) on 20 September, in a concert in memory of the late former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher.

The orchestra next gave the opening concert of the 25th Usedom Music Festival in Peenemünde on 22 September. The sold-out concert was attended by 1,300 people, including the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who in her opening address praised the orchestra’s ‘depth and elegance’ and recognised its contribution to uniting people across the Baltic Sea region: ‘The members of the orchestra embody international understanding; they use music as a timeless language that can be understood across borders.’

The Peenemünde concert was streamed live to 5,000 viewers on the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s Facebook page, and was also recorded by Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) for broadcast shortly. The orchestra’s ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour ended with a concert at the Polish Baltic Philharmonic in Gdańsk to mark the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Polish state.

Critical and public acclaim
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s signature memorised performances made a striking impression on both critics and concert goers alike. In his review of the Munich concert for the online music magazine KlassikInfo, Klaus Kalchschmid wrote: ‘Free to move and express themselves physically, without the restriction of chairs and music stands, every musician performed visually as well as sonically. They gave an inspired performance, and were 100 per cent in the music while still connecting with the audience in the hall. Järvi himself was electrifying as conductor.’

Debora Nischler, a concert goer who was in the audience in Merano, commented on Facebook afterwards: ‘It is great that you have the courage to go beyond the limits and conventions of a classical music performance. Now the last step is to transform the concert into a true standing concert – not just on stage but also for the audience. Believe me, it’s hard to stay in your seat and keep that “I’m at a cultural event so I have to behave seriously” expression when every inch of your body is vibrating.’

Still more to come in 2018
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic has one more special tour which will cap its landmark tenth year: in November 2018 the orchestra will make its first ever tour of the United Arab Emirates, where in collaboration with Sunbeam Productions it will perform its groundbreaking ‘Waterworks’ programme in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

See our Facebook page for concert videos, performance shots and behind-the-scenes photos from the ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour

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