The Baltic Sea Philharmonic sends its warmest congratulations to Founding Conductor and Music Director Kristjan Järvi as he turns 50 on 13 June. It is almost exactly 14 years since Kristjan conducted the orchestra’s first ever concert, at the Great Guild in Riga on 4 June 2008, and from that moment onwards he has shaped the ensemble’s reputation as a powerful engine of innovation, creative freedom and risk-taking on the international orchestral scene. Through the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, a generation of musicians has been inspired to step out of their comfort zone and embrace freedom and fearlessness, both in their playing and as a wider creative mindset. Kristjan has instilled in the orchestra musicians a collective spirit of self-discovery, encouraging their passion and potential in areas such as memorisation, digital production and music creation.
Kristjan has shown the members of the orchestra, and audiences around the world, that on the musical stage anything is possible, from performing entire concert programmes from memory to using cutting-edge lighting design and digital soundscapes to transform the concert experience. And as a recording artist he is as prolific and eclectic at the age of 50 as he ever has been, releasing albums of Tchaikovsky and Max Richter with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, mixing and producing the orchestra’s ‘Musical Chain’ series of singles and music videos, releasing the first album of his original compositions, and establishing his own record label, all in the last two years.
With his individual and eclectic programming, Kristjan has honoured the musical culture of the Baltic Sea region and represented the multinational membership of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic. He has also built bridges between the old and the new, whether that’s reimagining classic Tchaikovsky ballets for the 21st century, or juxtaposing Baroque masterpieces with contemporary Minimalism, or turning an orchestra into a giant rock band, as when the Baltic Sea Philharmonic played with the indie group Bastille at the Elbphilharmonie.
From all musicians and the entire team at the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, happy birthday Kristjan!