The continuing COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Baltic Sea Philharmonic to cancel its ‘Midnight Sun’ tour of Poland and Germany, which was planned for March 2021. The orchestra and Kristjan Järvi had hoped to perform in Szczecin on 12 March, at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg on 14 March, and in Berlin on 15 March. Owing to the virus containment measures imposed in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, the three concerts will now not take place. The Szczecin concert has been postponed to September 2021, when it will form part of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s new ‘Nordic Swans’ tour.
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is continuing to plan for live concerts later this year including the annual visit to the Usedom Music Festival in September, performing a new ‘Nordic Swans’ programme featuring music by Arvo Pärt, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius.
Orchestra strengthens unique digital presence
Amid the ongoing disruption of live performances, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi are developing a range of innovative online initiatives, such as ‘Musical Chain’, a series of strikingly original music remix videos bringing musicians from the orchestra together with other artists and creative collaborators. Since its launch in July 2020, ‘Musical Chain’ has so far featured four videos that reimagine iconic classical pieces: ‘Midnight Mood’, based on Grieg’s ‘Morning Mood’ from Peer Gynt; ‘Beethoven’s Twilight’, inspired by Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony; ‘Ascending Swans’, based on Sibelius’s ‘Song of Praise’ from the Swanwhite Suite; and ‘Nutty Christmas’, a fun seasonal take on Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. ‘Musical Chain’ will continue in 2021 with more international collaborations and guest artists.
Digital kick-off in 2021: Digital Talent Tour and ‘Warmth Reorchestrated’ with Bastille
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is starting 2021 with a range of exciting digital activities. The orchestra and Kristjan Järvi feature on ‘Warmth Reorchestrated’, a new version of pop band Bastille’s single ‘Warmth’ released by Amazon Music on 15 January. The track was recorded live at last January’s ‘Bastille Reorchestrated’ charity concert for Channel Aid at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, where the British indie group joined the Baltic Sea Philharmonic to perform special reorchestrations of the band’s songs. An accompanying ‘Warmth Reorchestrated’ video is released on Amazon Music Unlimited and also on Bastille’s YouTube channel.
Between 18 and 22 January the orchestra is holding live video-conference auditions as part of its Digital Talent Tour to recruit new musicians to the pool of Baltic Sea Philharmonic players. Moving its Talent Tour online in response to the pandemic is, like ‘Musical Chain’, another example of how the orchestra is evolving new ways to unite and empower musicians in the face of an extraordinary situation.