Category : Allgemein

BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC TO MAKE ROMANIAN DEBUT AT ENESCU FESTIVAL IN BUCHAREST – LIVESTREAM ON 31 AUGUST

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is about to make its long-awaited comeback to live performance with a prestigious debut in Romania. The orchestra, which has been away from the stage since September 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, will perform two concerts with conductor Kristjan Järvi at the Enescu Festival in Bucharest on 30 and 31 August. The second concert will be broadcast live on the Enescu Festival website.

Renowned pianist Maria João Pires and leading violinist Viktoria Mullova will join the Baltic Sea Philharmonic for the first time in two different programmes: ‘Aurora’ (30 August) and ‘Nordic Swans’ (31 August). The first of these features Kristjan Järvi’s Aurora, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9 and Enescu’s Symphony No. 2. The second programme comprises three pieces by Arvo Pärt – Swansong, Fratres and the Passacaglia for violin, vibraphone and strings – together with Kristjan Järvi’s arrangement of Tchaikovsksy’s Swan Lake as a dramatic symphony.

Both concerts will be performed from memory, and in the innovative, boundary-breaking spirit that makes every performance of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic a unique experience. Kristjan Järvi said of the upcoming concerts: ‘This will be a very emotional experience at the Enescu Festival as it will be our first live performance in a year. I performed at the festival a few years ago and came away with fantastic impressions. Romania is a diverse country, and is an example of what Europe stands for. And in bringing the Baltic Sea Philharmonic to the Black Sea region, from one sea to another, we will show that we’re not only connected by water, but also by song and dance.’

Touring with ‘Nordic Swans’ in September
Immediately after the concerts in Bucharest, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will take ‘Nordic Swans’ on tour to Italy, Slovenia, Germany and Poland. A new programme for the tour will enhance the swan theme, with Sibelius’s The Swan of Tuonela featuring alongside Pärt’s Swansong and Järvi’s dramatic-symphony arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. The tour starts in Italy with performances at the Merano Music Festival on 3 September and in Verona on 4 September. The orchestra will then make its debut in Slovenia with a livestreamed outdoor concert in Ljubljana on 6 September. After a special concert at the Usedom Music Festival on 11 September, ‘Nordic Swans’ will conclude in Szczecin, Poland, on 12 September, with the orchestra’s first performance in the Szczecin Philharmonic Hall.

Watch the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s performance of ‘Nordic Swans’ live from the Enescu Festival at 16.30 EEST on Tuesday 31 August here

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC RELEASES NEW ‘MUSICAL CHAIN’ MUSIC VIDEO AND SINGLE ‘MIDNIGHT SUN’

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic today releases a striking new music video, ‘Midnight Sun’, as part of its digital ‘Musical Chain’ series – an innovative online experience. The music for the new production was written and remixed by Kristjan Järvi and recorded by the Baltic Sea Philharmonic during its ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour in September 2020. With a rock-like drive and sustained build-up of texture and emotional intensity, the music features unique improvisations by Estonian bagpipe player Mari Meentalo. Also today, BMG/Modern Recordings is releasing the audio track of ‘Midnight Sun’ as a single, in both a radio edit and a long version.

The story of ‘Midnight Sun’ – concept and creation
The new video shares its title with one of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s signature tour programmes, which is inspired by the phenomenon of the never-setting sun that occurs above the Arctic Circle around midsummer. The ‘Midnight Sun’ video captures the magical light and wonder of the North, with monochrome images of nature and landscapes combining with an eyecatching graphical design comprising constantly moving and changing lines, points and shapes. The video was directed by Berlin-based designer, editor and illustrator Raban Ruddigkeit, who has collaborated with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic since 2016. Jonas Rose, a young designer from Münster, created the animations for the video.

Second release on BMG/Modern Recordings
‘Midnight Sun’ is also being released today as a single by BMG/Modern Recordings. Kristjan Järvi has produced two audio versions – a three-minute radio edit, which is also the basis for the accompanying music video, and a longer version of five minutes. This latest release is the second for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic on the label, with the orchestra also featuring on Kristjan Järvi’s debut album for BMG/Modern Recordings, Nordic Escapes.

A new direction for orchestra’s ‘Musical Chain’
The ‘Midnight Sun’ video is the latest release in the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s series of innovative music videos, ‘Musical Chain’, which launched in July 2020 and brings musicians from the orchestra together with other creative collaborators. The previous videos in the series all reimagine iconic classical pieces: ‘Midnight Mood’ is based on Grieg’s ‘Morning Mood’ from Peer Gynt; ‘Beethoven’s Twilight’ is inspired by Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony; ‘Ascending Swans’ is based on Sibelius’s ‘Song of Praise’ from the Swanwhite Suite; and ‘Nutty Christmas’ is a fun seasonal take on Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. These four videos, which have so far reached more than 100,000 people worldwide through the orchestra’s social media channels, all feature footage of Baltic Sea Philharmonic players, alongside colourful visions of nature, cities and people. With its strong graphic-led design and monochrome landscape images, ‘Midnight Sun’ takes ‘Musical Chain’ in a new creative direction while retaining the orchestra’s essential Nordic identity.

‘Musical Chain’ will continue with more international collaborators in the creative process, and with the musicians of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic becoming producers of their own audio and video productions. Further audio tracks from the ‘Musical Chain’ videos will be released soon on the Estonian label nEscapes.

Watch the ‘Midnight Sun’ video now on our YouTube channel, and download the single here

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NEW MAX RICHTER ALBUM EXILES WITH THE BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC AND KRISTJAN JÄRVI OUT ON DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON

Today marks the release of the new Max Richter album EXILES, the label debut of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic on Deutsche Grammophon. Kristjan Järvi and the orchestra perform new recordings of pieces from earlier albums by the British-German composer, as well as works originally composed as ballet scores. EXILES, which also addresses important contemporary issues of war, displacement and flight and it is the orchestra’s first major collaboration with Max Richter. Besides ‘Exiles’, a reflection on the humanitarian catastrophe of the refugee crisis in two parts, the album also contains ‘The Haunted Ocean’ from Waltz with Bashir; ‘Infra 5’ from Infra; ‘Flowers of Herself’ from Woolf Works; ‘On the Nature of Daylight’ from The Blue Notebooks; and ‘Sunlight’ from Songs from Before.

That the composer chose the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi for his new album is no coincidence, as he told the British Guardian: ‘The refugee crisis is still with us in different forms,’ Max Richter said, ‘These kinds of transnational problems call for collaboration, they call for a fundamental working together, and a rethinking of what boundaries and borders even mean in 2021.’ The themes of exile, flight and borders, he said, led him to the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, which gathers musicians from all the countries of the entire Baltic Sea region, historically divided by wars and politics. The fearlessness and pioneering spirit with which the orchestra develops innovative forms of performance, does not passively dwell on the traditional, and always carries out its mission to overcome borders in the performance and presentation of music, made the Baltic Sea Philharmonic a perfect partner for his compositions, which he calls ‘activist music’.

It was also this joy of creative discovery that brought Max Richter, Kristjan Järvi and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic together in September 2019. EXILES was recorded at the studio of Estonian Public Broadcasting in Järvi’s home city of Tallinn, Estonia, in the presence of the composer. The album represents the orchestra’s first major collaboration with Max Richter, although his compositions have previously featured on the programmes of Baltic Sea Philharmonic concerts. Richter and Järvi have worked together on various other projects, including with the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig, when Järvi was the orchestra’s chief conductor and Richter was artist in residence for its 2016/17 season.

Lights of openness and unity
Max Richter composed the main work on the album, the 33-minute ‘Exiles, for the Nederlands Dans Theater, and the music had its premiere in 2017 as the score for a dance work called Singulière Odyssée. Like some other Richter works, ‘Exiles has a socio-political dimension, in that it is a personal response to the humanitarian disaster of the migrant crisis and the plight of Syrian refugees. Kristjan Järvi and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic take up this theme and in doing so also reflect their own points of view. Tearing down the borders and ideological walls between East and West are still important concerns for conductor and orchestra. ‘Every orchestra is a microcosm of society, and our society is completely non-hierarchical,’ says Kristjan Järvi, who went into exile in America from Soviet Estonia with his family while still a child in the late 1970s. ‘Borders no longer exist here, because today the Baltic Sea is the kit that holds all the countries EU or non-EU, Slavic or non-Slavic together as a cultural unit. Here the states are reborn as one orchestra.’

Find out more about how we made the album EXILES in our storyboard here

Max Richter: EXILES
Deutsche Grammophon
Recorded at Eesti Rahvusringhääling (Estonian Public Broadcasting), Tallinn, Estonia, September 2019

Music composed by Max Richter
Orchestra Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Conductor Kristjan Järvi

Tracklist
Flowers of Herself (from Woolf Works)
On the Nature of Daylight (from The Blue Notebooks)
The Haunted Ocean (from Waltz with Bashir)
Infra 5 (from Infra)
Sunlight (from Songs from Before)
Exiles

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‘NORDIC SWANS’ TOUR OF ITALY, SLOVENIA, GERMANY AND POLAND IN SEPTEMBER 2021

After 12 months of unprecedented interruptions to live performance, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi are set to return to European touring in September 2021. The orchestra’s ‘Nordic Swans’ tour of Italy, Slovenia, Germany and Poland from 3–12 September will feature performances in Merano, Verona, Ljubljana, Peenemünde/Usedom and Szczecin. All concerts will depend on the progress of the pandemic.

Following two days of rehearsal in Bucharest, where the orchestra is making its debut at the Enescu Festival on 30 and 31 August, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will begin the ‘Nordic Swans’ tour at the Merano Music Festival (3 September). The orchestra’s next concert is at Verona’s Teatro Filarmonico (4 September), where it last played in 2015. A debut for the ensemble in Ljubljana follows on 6 September, before the musicians travel to Germany for the Usedom Music Festival celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Peenemünde Historical-Technical Museum on the Baltic Sea island of Usedom (11 September). The tour will conclude with a livestreamed debut for the orchestra at Szczecin’s strikingly designed Philharmonic Hall (12 September).

‘Nordic Swans’ – celebrating a Baltic bird of beauty
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s new programme is inspired by one of nature’s noblest creatures – the swan. This majestic bird is often visible on the Baltic coast, especially at sunset. For the Romantics, the swan was a symbol of loyalty, purity and elegance. A swan draws the hero’s boat in Wagner’s opera Lohengrin and appears in the Finnish national poetry epic Kalevala. Kristjan Järvi explains his fascination with the bird: ‘Swans are creatures of great purity and beauty, and all the Nordic countries have them in their culture, which is why we’re focusing the repertoire in this way.’ The programme opens with Arvo Pärt’s hymn-like and contemplative Swansong, and continues with the most well-known of Sibelius’s Four Legends from the Kalevala, The Swan of Tuonela. The programme climaxes with the world’s most popular music on the theme of swans, Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake, in a special reworking by Kristjan Järvi. Explaining his aim was to ‘highlight the brilliance of Tchaikovsky’s epic work’ and also ‘keep the music alive for younger generations’, Järvi arranged the score as a Dramatic Symphony that combines the composer’s famous melodies with more rarely heard sections of the original ballet. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s recording of Järvi’s similarly inspired arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty was released on Sony Classical in November 2020 and nominated for the Opus Klassik 2021 in the categories ‘Ensemble/Orchestra of the Year’ and ‘Symphonic Recording of the Year’.

A unique spectacle of multisensory dimensions
For Kristjan Järvi, the swan also inspires a sense of wonder, and of being transported to a different dimension. ‘It is the symbol of a majestic feeling of infinity,’ he says. ‘And this is what I try to instil in people with everything that I do – to think with a sense of the infinite.’ The Baltic Sea Philharmonic embodies this ambition in its innovative approach to performance presentation, offering audiences a transformative, multisensory experience that throws classical concert conventions out of the window.

For its ‘Nordic Swans’ concerts, the orchestra will perform the entire 90-minute programme from memory and without an intermission, with most of the musicians standing up and able to move freely without the constraints of music stands and scores. Specially devised choreography and bespoke half-black and half-white concert outfits will subtly combine to conjure an impression of swans dancing and moving on dark water. Dynamic lighting design will add to the vivid atmosphere, and the musical performance will feature elegantly crafted digital sound effects. All these elements aim to inspire in audiences a deeper and more immediate understanding of the music, and they also reflect the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s innovative and experimental approach and its desire to add an extra dimension to every performance.

Join the ‘Nordic Swans’ tour and book you concert tickets here

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DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON TO RELEASE NEW MAX RICHTER ALBUM EXILES FEATURING BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC AND KRISTJAN JÄRVI

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic will make its label debut for Deutsche Grammophon with the new Max Richter album EXILES. Set for release on 6 August 2021, EXILES features the orchestra and its Music Director and Founding Conductor Kristjan Järvi in new recordings of pieces from previous Max Richter albums, as well as pieces originally composed for ballet scores. The album comprises seven tracks but especially the mainwork ’Exiles’ dealing with the humanitarian disaster of the migrant crisis resonates the country-bonding mission of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic. ’It has this “peacemaking” function, people being able to talk to each other in a creative way. It struck me that it would be nice to have that orchestra play music that matched that theme’, said Max Richter. Besides ‘Exiles’ in two parts the album also contains ‘The Haunted Ocean’ from Waltz with Bashir; ‘Infra 5’ from Infra; ‘Flowers of Herself’ from Woolf Works; ‘On the Nature of Daylight’ from The Blue Notebooks; and ‘Sunlight’ from Songs from Before.

EXILES was recorded in September 2019 at the studio of Estonian Public Broadcasting in Järvi’s home city of Tallinn, Estonia, in the presence of the composer. The album represents the orchestra’s first major collaboration with Max Richter, although his compositions have previously featured on the programmes of Baltic Sea Philharmonic concerts. Richter and Järvi have worked together on various other projects, including with the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig, when Järvi was the orchestra’s chief conductor and Richter was artist in residence for its 2016/17 season.

Lights of openness and unity
Max Richter composed the main work on the album, the 33-minute ‘Exiles, for the Nederlands Dans Theater, and the music had its premiere in 2017 as the score for a dance work called Singulière Odyssée. Like some other Richter works, ‘Exiles has a socio-political dimension, in that it is a personal response to the humanitarian disaster of the migrant crisis and the plight of Syrian refugees. In this light, the choice of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic – with its open, borderless and unifying nature – as collaborators for the album was therefore an important one for the composer. ‘They are engaged with music and society, connecting people who live around the Baltic Sea so that obviously includes former Western European countries, former Eastern European countries,’ he said. ‘The orchestra has an explicit social dimension, which really struck me as important.’

For Kristjan Järvi, the openness and fearlessness he has encouraged in the Baltic Sea Philharmonic musicians are essential qualities for playing Max Richter’s emotionally direct works, with their exposed musical lines. ‘This music is so personal that if the lines are not played with personal commitment and dedication, then they don’t work,’ he said. ‘It means on an emotional level it’s scary for the musicians to go out on stage and commit themselves, because then they’re showing the audience exactly who they are. But that’s why I love doing these pieces with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic.’

Find out more about how we made the album EXILES in our storyboard.

Max Richter: EXILES
Deutsche Grammophon

Recorded at Eesti Rahvusringhääling (Estonian Public Broadcasting), Tallinn, Estonia, September 2019

Music Composed by Max Richter
Orchestra Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Conductor Kristjan Järvi

 Tracklist
Exiles Pt. 1
Exiles Pt. 2
The Haunted Ocean (from Waltz with Bashir)
Infra 5 (from Infra)
Flowers of Herself (from Woolf Works)
On the Nature of Daylight (from The Blue Notebooks)
Sunlight (from Songs from Before)

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Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi receive multiple nominations for OPUS KLASSIK 2021 awards

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi have been nominated in eight categories for the OPUS KLASSIK 2021, the new prize for classical music in Germany. No fewer than three albums by the orchestra and its Founding Conductor – Sleeping Beauty and Glass & Stravinsky Violin Concertos, both released on Sony Classical in 2020, as well as the BMG album Nordic Escapes (2020) – are nominated in various categories. Such broad recognition is a reward for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s passionate and creative work in a year full of challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With Sleeping Beauty, a new arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet music as a 70-minute dramatic symphony by Kristjan Järvi, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic has been selected in the categories ‘Ensemble/Orchestra of the Year’ and ‘Symphonic Recording of the Year’. Kristjan Järvi is nominated as ‘Conductor of the Year’ with all three albums and also as ‘Composer of the Year’ with Nordic Escapes. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic also made it into the ‘Concerto Recording of the Year’ category with Glass & Stravinsky Violin Concertos, for which the young Swiss violinist David Nebel, the soloist on the album, was also nominated in the ‘Young Artist of the Year’ category. Kristjan Järvi’s album Nordic Escapes is further nominated in the categories as ‘Innovative Concert of the Year’ and ‘Classic without Limits’.

An independent jury for the OPUS KLASSIK 2021 will select the winners of the 25 award categories by October. The festive awards ceremony will take place with a TV gala at the Konzerthaus Berlin on 10 October. The OPUS KLASSIK is awarded annually by the Association for the Promotion of Classical Music. Its members include labels, promoters, publishers and individuals from the classical music world.

 

OPUS KLASSIK 2021 Nominations

 

Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi

Category 8, Ensemble/Orchestra of the Year
Category 11, Concerto Recording of the Year, Glass & Stravinsky Violin Concertos nominated
Category 14, Symphonic Recording of the Year, Sleeping Beauty nominated
Category 4, Conductor of the Year, Kristjan Järvi nominated

Kristjan Järvi
Category 5, Composer of the Year, Nordic Escapes album
Category 13, Classic without Limits, Nordic Escapes album
Category 18, Innovative Concert of the Year, Nordic Escapes album

David Nebel together with Kristjan Järvi and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic
Category 7, Young Artist of the Year

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AMAZON PRIME VIDEO RELEASES ‘BASTILLE – REORCHESTRATED’ DOCUMENTARY STARRING BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC AND KRISTJAN JÄRVI

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi star in a new documentary released today on Amazon Prime Video. ‘ReOrchestrated’ is a feature-length film exploring how British pop pand Bastille redefined its sound and the musical experience for its fans by experimenting with orchestral arrangements. The documentary features extensive performance and behind-the-scenes footage from a spectacular charity concert at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie on 4 January 2020, when the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi joined Bastille on stage to perform special reorchestrations of the band’s songs. The concert, in support of YouTube charity channel Channel Aid, was a wild success, with 2,100 music fans packing the Elbphilharmonie, and more than 10,000 following a livestream of the performance on YouTube. Bastille lead vocalist Dan Smith said on the collaboration with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic: ‘It was a real privilege to play with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi. To collaborate on stage with so many brilliant musicians was such an incredible experience and one that we’ll never forget.’ A trailer of the documentary is available on the Baltic Sea Philharmonic YouTube channel.

The ‘Bastille – ReOrchestrated’ documentary traces the evolution of the band’s ‘ReOrchestrated’ project, from its origins with a string quartet and choir at London’s Union Chapel in 2017, to Bastille’s huge show with choir and orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in 2018, and finally to the Elbphilharmonie in 2020 and the collaboration with Kristjan Järvi and the full Baltic Sea Philharmonic. Alongside amazing footage from the Hamburg concert, the documentary also features an interview with Kristjan Järvi.

In the run-up to the release of the ‘Bastille Reorchestrated’ film, on 15 January Amazon Music released a new single, ‘Warmth ReOrchestrated’, which was recorded live at the Elbphilharmonie concert. The new track is a supercharged version of Bastille’s song ‘Warmth’, which first appeared on the group’s 2016 album Wild World. A video to accompany the ‘Warmth ReOrchestrated’ single has been released on Amazon Music Unlimited and on Bastille’s social media channels.

Watch to ‘ReOrchestrated’ on Amazon Prime Video here

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC’S DIGITAL TALENT TOUR CONCLUDES AFTER LIVE VIDEO AUDITIONS FOR 91 APPLICANTS FROM ALL AROUND THE BALTIC SEA REGION

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic has completed its first-ever Digital Talent Tour, having moved its 2020 recruitment drive online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the week of 18–22 January 2021, the orchestra held live video-conference auditions for 91 candidates from the entire Baltic Sea region. These 91 musicians were selected from more than 200 candidates who had applied between 15 October and 30 November 2020 and had submitted recorded video performances.

The live virtual auditions were held in front of a jury comprising ten Baltic Sea Philharmonic principal musicians and conductor Kristjan Järvi, with the candidates given 15–20 minutes to tell the jury about themselves and perform selected repertoire that they had prepared. Following the live virtual auditions, the jury made a final selection of 70 musicians, who will now join the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s pool of outstanding players for upcoming international tours and exciting opportunities on stage, in the studio and online.

A new kind of audition process for unprecedented times  

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic constantly strives to refresh and expand its roster of musicians, and was set to run its Talent Tour 2020 audition programme alongside its planned ‘Midnight Sun’ tour of Poland, Germany and Russia in June and July 2020. When that tour was postponed because of the pandemic, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic immediately started to develop innovative digital projects and solutions. Recognising that there was a significant hunger among musicians to showcase their talents and artistic personality at a time of drastically reduced performance opportunities, the orchestra launched a two-stage Digital Talent Tour combining video and online technology with an in-person virtual audition.

Like the regular Talent Tour, the Digital Talent Tour was open to applicants aged 18 to 28 from, or studying in, one of the ten countries around the Baltic Sea – Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden. The 91 applicants selected for the live virtual auditions represented the full spectrum of orchestral instruments, with 36 string players, 12 brass players, 24 woodwind players, 7 harpists, 6 percussionists and 6 pianists.

Empowering musicians on both sides of the screen

In common with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s other digital initiatives of recent months, including the innovative ‘Musical Chain’ series of classical remix videos, the Digital Talent Tour aims to connect, unite and empower musicians amid an extremely challenging landscape for the performing arts. The orchestra’s principals had important responsibilities throughout the entire Digital Talent Tour audition process, from helping to choose the audition repertoire, to assessing the initial video applications, and then conducting the live virtual auditions. By helping to appraise and interview their peers, these experienced members play a key role in shaping and developing the unique personality of the orchestra as a whole.

As jurors, the principals felt it was important at the live auditions to create a supportive atmosphere for the candidates. Principal flautist Kristine Beitika, from Latvia, said: ‘When I listened to the applicants I wanted them to succeed and feel confident and happy about their playing. Having had this experience I know that it will help me for my own auditions. It was important for applicants to realise that there is not much to worry about when you’re at an audition, that the jury definitely knows how it feels to play an audition and that they will do everything they can to make you feel at ease.’

Applicants who were selected for the second round certainly valued the opportunity to perform in a live virtual audition in front of a jury. Spanish clarinettist Alejandro Lobato, who is studying in Sweden, said: ‘An online audition is the best idea right now, because I consider that an audition has to be live and direct, and not just based on a video recording. During the audition all the jurors were very professional and polite, and it was a good experience to share some music with them and also tell them about my own experience.’ Lobato was one of the second-round candidates chosen by the jury to join the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s pool of talented musicians, and the orchestra looks forward to working with him and all the other successful applicants in the near future.

Read more about the Digital Talent Tour here

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BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC HAS TO CANCEL ITS MARCH 2021 ‘MIDNIGHT SUN’ CONCERTS IN BERLIN, HAMBURG AND SZCZECIN

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.

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AMAZON MUSIC RELEASES NEW VERSION OF BASTILLE’S SINGLE ‘WARMTH’ FEATURING BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC AND KRISTJAN JÄRVI

Almost exactly a year to the day since the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi rocked the Elbphilharmonie with pop band Bastille in an epic charity concert, Amazon Music is today exclusively releasing a new single which was recorded live at that spectacular show in Hamburg. ‘Warmth Reorchestrated’, released as an Amazon Original production, is a supercharged version of Bastille’s song ‘Warmth’, which first appeared on the British indie group’s 2016 album Wild World. The new single captures the energy and joy of the sold-out ‘Bastille Reorchestrated’ show for Channel Aid on 4 January 2020, when Kristjan Järvi conducted reorchestrations of Bastille songs in front of 2,100 enthusiastic fans and more than 10,000 viewers who followed a livestream of the event on YouTube.

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Bastille were teaming up as part of Channel Aid’s ‘Live in Concert’ series. Channel Aid, the world’s first YouTube charity channel, is an initiative of the Hamburg-based FABS Foundation, which provides access to sports and dance activities for children and the disabled. Every view of the YouTube livestream of the concert resulted in a donation to FABS Foundation social projects. Channel Aid released a series of single videos from the concert in the days after the event. A new video to accompany the ‘Warmth Reorchestrated’ single has been released on Amazon Music Unlimited rand on the Bastille’s social media channels.

A thrilling, wildly well-received collaboration
The concert with Bastille represented a new artistic adventure for the boundary-breaking Baltic Sea Philharmonic, as it was the orchestra’s first collaboration with a major pop band. Sharing the stage with the Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling group, the orchestra and Kristjan Järvi performed specially orchestrated Bastille songs in signature Baltic Sea Philharmonic style, with a gospel choir adding an extra dimension to the sound.

The reaction on social media from concert goers and those watching the YouTube livestream was hugely enthusiastic. Comments on Facebook included: ‘This was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Being in this hall with so many incredibly talented musicians was like a wave of joy washing over me.’ Another Facebook user wrote: ‘Absolutely loved this. Such a pleasure to see the orchestra enjoying performing, and the conductor was fabulous.’

Listen to ‘Warmth’ (Live from the Elbphilharmonie with Kristjan Järvi and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic) here and watch the music video here

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