A week from today, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will begin its major European tour of 2018, ‘Nordic Pulse’. Inspired by the 100th anniversary of independence for the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, ‘Nordic Pulse’ also celebrates 100 years of independence for Finland and Poland and, moreover, ten years since the birth of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic itself. Having made history in 2017 as the first orchestra to perform Stravinsky’s The Firebird from memory, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will play the entire second half of the ‘Nordic Pulse’ programme by heart.
The tour begins in Merano, Italy, on 17 September, with a concert at the Merano Music Festival. The orchestra then travels to Germany, where it will perform in Munich for the first time, on 18 September. After a performance in Halle (Saale) on 20 September, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will give the opening concert of the 25th Usedom Music Festival in Peenemünde on 22 September. The tour concludes with a performance in Gdańsk, Poland, on 24 September.
Under its Estonian-born conductor Kristjan Järvi, the orchestra will bring together music by composers from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Poland in a programme that celebrates the energy, strength and natural wonders of these proud Baltic Sea nations. Polish composer Wojciech Kilar’s Orawa, which opens the programme, is inspired by the highland folklore and landscapes of the Tatra Mountains. Lithuanian composer Gediminas Gelgotas captures the power of nature in Mountains. Waters. (Freedom), a majestic piece that the Baltic Sea Philharmonic premiered in 2015. Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen joins the orchestra to perform two works by Estonian composers: Arvo Pärt’s Fratres and Kristjan’s violin concerto Aurora. The orchestra will then give memorised performances of Sibelius’s concert suite from The Tempest and the first movement of Latvian composer Imants Kalniņš’s ‘Rock’ Symphony.
For Kristjan, nature drives the particularly Nordic vision and creativity that infuse ‘Nordic Pulse’. ‘Nature gives us the impulse to act,’ he says, ‘and Nordic nature gives us a special kind of impulse.’ This is also a programme that, characteristically for the orchestra, links the past and the present, and Kristjan sees strong parallels between the declaration of independence by the Baltic States in 1918 and the birth of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic just ten years ago. ‘These nations saw the opportunity to assert themselves a century ago,’ he says. ‘People came together to create a nation, a new identity. We created the Baltic Sea Philharmonic with the same spirit. By bringing together musicians from all around the Baltic Sea, the orchestra has always stood for unity.’
For more about the music and musicians of ‘Nordic Pulse’, see the complete Nordic Pulse 2018 Tour Programme
Nordic Pulse Tour
Monday, 17 September 2018, Merano Music Festival, Kursaal, Merano (Italy), 8.30 pm
Tuesday, 18 September 2018, Residenz, Herkulessaal, Munich (Germany), 8.00 pm
Thursday, 20 September 2018, Handel Hall, Halle (Saale) (Germany), 7.30 pm
Saturday, 22 September 2018, Usedom Music Festival, Kraftwerk Museum Peenemünde, Island of Usedom (Germany), 8.00 pm
Monday, 24 September 2018, The Polish Baltic Philharmonic, Gdansk (Poland), 7.00 pm (without soloist)
Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Mountains. Waters. (Freedom)
Fratres for violin, percussion and string orchestra
Aurora for violin and orchestra
Jean SibeliusThe Tempest concert suite – from memory
arranged by Kristjan Järvi
Symphony No. 4 ‘Rock’ Symphony, 1st movement – from memory