Musicians and conductor Kristjan Järvi begin rehearsals in Vlotho, Germany, ahead of concerts in Berlin, Ossiach and Hamburg

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is all set to tour Germany and Austria from 26 June to 2 July with ‘Midnight Sun’, an exciting new programme that the orchestra will perform entirely from memory. The musicians are now gathered in the German town of Vlotho, North-Rhine Westphalia, where today they begin five days of intensive rehearsals under the direction of conductor Kristjan Järvi and a team of specialist coaches. Joined by violin soloist Mari Samuelsen and guest artist Mick Pedaja, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will give a public dress rehearsal in Vlotho on 23 June at 7.30 pm. The musicians will then travel 360 km to Berlin for the opening tour concert at the Berlin Philharmonie on 26 June. Their next destination is Ossiach in southern Austria, where they will perform at the Carinthian Music Academy on 29 June. The tour concludes in Hamburg on 2 July, with a sold-out concert at the Elbphilharmonie.

‘Midnight Sun’ – magical Arctic soundscapes
‘Midnight Sun’ is a celebration of nature and Nordic unity, inspired by the phenomenon of the sun never setting at night. The musical programme begins with a special collaboration between the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Mick Pedaja, an Estonian singer-songwriter whose songs have a mystical quality and a powerful sense of Nordic landscape. After this unique opening, the orchestra performs Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Cantus Arcticus, his concerto for birds and orchestra that features taped birdsong recorded in northern Finland. Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen then performs four works with the orchestra: Kristjan’s Aurora, which is inspired by the magical lights of the aurora borealis; Arvo Pärt’s Fratres; Pēteris Vasks’s meditative second violin concerto Vientuļais Eņģelis (Lonely Angel); and Max Richter’s Dona Nobis Pacem. ‘Midnight Sun’ climaxes with more magical light, this time courtesy of the mythical Firebird of Russian folklore, in the shape of Stravinsky’s 1945 version of his great ballet The Firebird.

Playing by heart
In 2017 the Baltic Sea Philharmonic made history by becoming the first orchestra in the world to perform The Firebird from memory. Performing without sheet music has since become a trademark of the ensemble, and the orchestra will be playing the entire ‘Midnight Sun’ programme by heart. The concerts in Berlin and Hamburg will furthermore be performed with no interval, allowing the memorised music to flow almost seamlessly for around 100 minutes.

Download the full ‘Midnight Sun’ concert programme here

‘Midnight Sun’ Tour
Wednesday, 26 June 2019, 8.00 pm, Berlin (Philharmonie), Germany
Saturday, 29 June 2019, 8.00 pm, Ossiach (Carinthian Music Academy), Austria
Tuesday, 2 July 2019, 8.00 pm, Hamburg (Elbphilharmonie), Germany

Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Kristjan Järvi
Mari Samuelsen
Mick Pedaja

Mick Pedaja
Forest Hymn Pt. 2
Valgeks / To the Light
Life Full of Different Views by Mick & Angeelia aka MIANG

Einojuhani Rautavaara
Cantus Arcticus Op. 61

Kristjan Järvi
Aurora for violin and orchestra

Arvo Pärt
Fratres for violin, percussion and string orchestra

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

Max Richter
Dona Nobis Pacem 2

Igor Stravinsky
The Firebird (1945)