Berlin, 22 June 2021:
‘The Baltic Sea Philharmonic has an explicit social dimension’ – Max Richter on release of his new album EXILES on Deutsche Grammophon featuring the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi

  • Orchestra’s first collaboration with Max Richter, recorded in Kristjan Järvi’s home city of Tallinn, Estonia, in September 2019
  • Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s debut recording for Deutsche Grammophon, EXILES will be released on 6 August 2021
  • Album features new recordings of previously released Max Richter works, including pieces from The Blue Notebooks, Waltz with Bashir and Infra
  • Orchestra’s country-bonding mission resonates with the socio-political dimension of the new album

Berlin 22 June 2021. 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.’

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.