45 musicians of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi engaged in a Beach Clean-Up campaign today at the imperial seaside resort of Heringsdorf on the German Baltic Sea island Usedom. ‘We are happy to actively contribute to keeping our beaches clean with this campaign’, says Thomas Hummel, Executive Director of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and the Usedom Music Festival. The Beach Clean-Up campaign was a joint initiative by the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, the Usedom Music Festival and the Kaiserbäder Usedom right before tomorrow’s special concert of the orchestra at the Usedom Music Festival as part of its current ‘Nordic Swans’ tour.
For more environmental protection in and around the Baltic Sea
On their ‘Nordic Swans’ tour the musicians already travelled several thousand kilometres, from Bucharest to Merano, to Verona and Ljubljana to Usedom. For the orchestra, the Beach Clean Up is a welcome break from the daily routine of touring, says Viktoria Kassel. ‘Everything we do, musically, but also campaign for more environmental awareness are incredibly meaningful. And the fact that we have now arrived at the Baltic Sea to promote more environmental protection is special experience for us;’ explains the oboist, who is part of the orchestra for the first time. The environment, the increasingly drastic effects of marine pollution, has been a topic for the musicians of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic for years. Several of the orchestra’s tours and concerts have already been performed to mark their commitment to the environment, the sea, nature and the landscape. In the past, the orchestra has collaborated with the Finnish John Nurminen Foundation, which supports projects dedicated to a ‘clean’ Baltic Sea. Together with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, Kristjan Järvi gave the world premiere of the Green Concerto by Finnish composer Severi Pyssalo at the Usedom Music Festival – a resounding call for greater environmental awareness. And the Ministers for the Environment of Finland, Estonia and Russia took over the patronage of the orchestra’s ‘Baltic Sea Landscapes’ tour in 2016.
Kristjan Järvi, who is from Estonia and has close ties to the Baltic Sea, summed up the large-scale Beach Clean-Up campaign: ‘The Baltic Sea is our home, the orchestra bears it in its name. Who wants a polluted home?’ In the end, the garbage bags of the musicians did not turn out to be so full after all, because the beaches of the Kaiserbäder are already quite clean. After all, the campaign was also meant to setting an example and other such activities are planned to be incorporated into future tours.