From its earliest days, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic has always been uniting people. Every year our musicians come together from the ten countries of the Baltic Sea region, an area that was historically divided. And as an ambassador for Nordic culture, we reach out to other nations and people around the world with our music. Beyond music and culture, what unites us in the Baltic Sea Philharmonic is our connection to nature and to the landscapes of our region, and nothing shapes our natural environment more than the Baltic Sea itself. With ‘Waterworks’ we celebrate not just the life-giving essence of water, but also the Baltic Sea – that great body of water which sustains our region and joins us to all the other water in the world.
The music of ‘Waterworks’ is inspired by water and its power to bind us together, as Kristjan Järvi explains: ‘Our programme starts with Handel’s Water Music, because as Handel was born in Germany he was originally part of our Baltic compositional fabric, and it brings us all the way down to the waters of the Amazon, with Philip Glass’s Aguas da Amazonia. The music represents how we are from this region, but are also connected to the whole world. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the waters of the Baltic or the Amazon: everything is connected.’
As we mark Philip Glass’s 80th birthday year, alongside Aguas da Amazonia we perform another of his nature-themed compositions, the Violin Concerto No. 2 The American Four Seasons, for which we are delighted to welcome back the dynamic Russian-born violinist Mikhail Simonyan. We also welcome musicians of the New York-based Absolute Ensemble, who will be embedded in the Baltic Sea Philharmonic on this tour. A brilliant technical team have joined us to create a truly immersive concert experience, fusing music, fashion, sound, light and images to magical effect. This show marks a new stage in our journey as an orchestra, and we are thrilled to be sharing it for the first time with you.
Creating a unqiue and new concert experience
Transforming the concert experience is an exciting departure for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic with ‘Waterworks’, but this tour also takes us back, to people and places we have connected with so strongly in the past. Returning to Denmark, we continue our commitment to education by presenting school concerts for more than 7,000 teenage pupils, some of whom may never have heard symphonic music being performed live. And Aarhus, on the east coast of Denmark, welcomes us for the first time, as it celebrates its year as European Capital of Culture.
We return to the Konzerthaus in Berlin, where we play in the Young Euro Classic festival, and to Peenemünde on the Baltic Sea island of Usedom, where our story began back in 2008. Our ‘Waterworks’ journey also takes us back 500 years when we visit Martin Luther’s city of Wittenberg in Germany, where we perform an open-air concert as part of celebrations to mark half a millennium since the Reformation. And we end our tour with another first – a performance in Hamburg’s new Elbphilharmonie, a fitting final destination with its gleaming wave-topped facade mirroring the movement of water in the harbour it overlooks.
From the Baltic to the Amazon, from the Danish coast to the Elbe, our journey through the waters of the world shows we are all connected. We hope you enjoy riding the waves with us! See all concerts in our concert schedule.