The Baltic Academies Orchestra (BAO) is a new educational partnership between the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Estonian music organisation GMF La Nota. Comprising students from the national academies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, together with students from, or studying, in the Baltic Sea countries, the BAO aims to bridge the gap between education and professional practice, giving high-level students new skills and experiences to help prepare them for their performing careers. All BAO participants have the opportunity to audition for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, and thus get the chance to take their orchestral experience to the next level.
Complementing the educational work of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s innovative Academy LAB, the BAO experience involves an intensive week of rehearsals, masterclasses, lectures and workshops. This is followed by an international concert tour for the orchestra. Kristjan Järvi is a driving force behind the project, sharing conducting duties in rehearsals and on tour, and leading the BAO conducting masterclass. Kristjan Järvi heads a coaching team that includes several of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s team of international coaches, among them Estonian bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann, Norwegian violinist Jan Bjøranger and American trumpeter Charlie Porter. Learning from such experienced musicians helps equip BAO participants for future professional opportunities, and is the perfect preparation for training and performing with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic.
The BAO programme launches in Tartu, Estonia, from 2 to 9 February 2018, and the orchestra’s inaugural tour takes it to the three Baltic States, Poland and Germany. With Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania celebrating the centenary of their independence in 2018, the BAO represents a major new cultural collaboration, presenting the most talented young Baltic musicians to the world, and exemplifying the energy and outward-looking character of the region.
Together, the BAO and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic form a dynamic hub of Nordic creativity, nurturing talented young performers on their journey from high-level students to professional musicians. The collaboration also aims to build networks between musicians and composers, audiences, educators, music therapists, producers and arts managers, with the BAO offering training opportunities to a wide range of emerging music professionals, in addition to its principal focus on orchestral players.