Berlin, 13 May 2022:
Baltic Sea Philharmonic musicians to perform with New York Philharmonic at Usedom Music Festival from 20 to 24 May

  • Special ‘Side by Side’ collaboration during New York Philharmonic’s exclusive European residency
  • Twelve Baltic Sea Philharmonic musicians join US orchestra and conductor Jaap van Zweden to perform Shostakovich Symphony No. 9
  • Collaboration extends with two chamber music concerts featuring players from both orchestras

Berlin 13 May 2022. Musicians from the Baltic Sea Philharmonic will be joining the New York Philharmonic during its exclusive European residency at the Usedom Music Festival later this month. The world-renowned US orchestra and its music director Jaap van Zweden will give three concerts in Peenemünde on the Baltic Sea island of Usedom from 20–22 May. The opening concert of the residency will feature twelve players from the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, who will perform ‘Side by Side’ with the New York Philharmonic in Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9. Musicians from both orchestras – five from the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and six from the New York Philharmonic – will also come together for two chamber music concerts, in the Heringsdorf seaside resort on 23 May and in Wolgast on 24 May. The programme for these concerts, devised by both orchestras in collaboration, will include Barber’s Summer Music and Brahms’s String Sextet No. 2. Some tickets are still available.

A unique collaboration in a perfect setting

Playing ‘Side by Side’ with the New York Philharmonic marks the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s first performance collaboration with such an illustrious world-class orchestra. The Usedom Music Festival is the natural host for this coming together, as the Baltic Sea Philharmonic was founded at the festival in 2008 and considers Usedom its birthplace and its home beside the Baltic Sea. Usedom also connects the two orchestras, through the late maestro Kurt Masur. The great German conductor became the first patron of the Usedom Music Festival during his tenure as music director of the New York Philharmonic, and one of his last concerts was with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic in Peenemünde at the 2013 Usedom Music Festival. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic were among a group of six international orchestras that co-commissioned Steve Reich’s 2018 Music for Ensemble and Orchestra; the Baltic Sea Philharmonic gave the German premiere of the piece in September 2019 at the Usedom Music Festival, and the New York Philharmonic gave the New York premiere in December 2019.

For the musicians of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, who will be drawn from across all the sections of the orchestra, the ‘Side by Side’ project is a unique opportunity to rehearse and perform with a world-class ensemble. It is also a chance for them to be ambassadors for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, to share ideas with the New York-based musicians, and to communicate what makes the Baltic Sea Philharmonic special. Baltic Sea Philharmonic violist Marzena Malinowska says: ‘It’s always fun to tell people who we are and what unusual things we do. The New York Philharmonic is extraordinary and we’re certainly not ordinary, so I think we can understand each other well.’ Her colleague, double bassist Miranda Erlich, says: ‘The New York Philharmonic is one of the best orchestras in the world, and I am excited to share a stage with them, to learn from their style of playing and to grow as a musician. But also, the collaboration will have an effect on us: in the Baltic Sea Philharmonic we are many nationalities, we share history, culture and spirit, so it will be very interesting to have a new cultural effect – that “New York style”.’

Baltic Sea Philharmonic – a revolution in music and culture

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic takes the orchestral concert experience to a new dimension. Every performance is a voyage of musical discovery, as the musicians perform the entire programme from memory, creating a one-of-a-kind artistic journey. Each concert is a unique spectacle of sound, light, visual art, technology, choreography and playing by heart, and under the electrifying baton of Music Director and Founding Conductor Kristjan Järvi every performance has a special energy that is absolutely infectious. But even more than this, as a community of musicians from ten Nordic countries, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic transcends boundaries and has become a movement for bringing people together. Embodying all that is innovative and progressive about the Nordic region, this visionary ensemble is taking the traditional orchestral model further than ever before. ‘It is a living breathing creature, with boundless energy and enthusiasm for the new – an adventure in itself,’ says Kristjan Järvi.

To download press release, click here.