- 500 young musicians apply to join Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic (BYP)
- Auditions to be held in Copenhagen, Riga, St Petersburg and Berlin
- Participants to experience unique mini masterclasses as part of auditions
Berlin, 22 October 2015. Nearly 500 young music students from across the Baltic Sea region have applied to join Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic (BYP) for its 2016 programmes under the baton of Founding Conductor and Music Director Kristjan Järvi. When the deadline passed on 15 October, 500 musicians aged between 18–28, who were either born in or are studying in one of the ten countries around the Baltic Sea (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia or Sweden), had submitted their applications. They will go through to audition in one of four cities: Copenhagen (30 November); Riga (1 December); St Petersburg (2 December) and Berlin (3 and 4 December).
Auditions as mini masterclasses
Auditions follow BYP’s innovative formula of being both mini masterclass and audition, offering everyone who attends the chance to benefit in some way, even if they aren’t selected, and making sure that the most talented and responsive players are chosen for the orchestra. Coaches offer feedback to players on their performance and work constructively with them in the masterclasses, which are open to the public. Tutors this year are Jan Bjøranger (professor and head of the string department at the University of Stavanger, Norway) and Justas Kulikauskas (solo cellist of the New Ideas Chamber Orchestra NICO, Lithuania) for strings; Martin Kuuskmann (Estonian solo bassoonist of worldwide renown) and Andrej Zust (hornist at the Berlin Philharmonic) for woodwind and brass; and Damien Bassman (principal percussionist of Absolute Ensemble and teacher at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City and at New York University) for percussion.
With around 100 places in the orchestra in 2016, competition to join is fierce, although it varies according to instrument. According to statistics, 105 violinists have signed up to audition for 30 places, but 64 flautists, 32 trombone players and 46 clarinettists have applied for the more limited wind and brass sections. 19 per cent of applications come from musicians who have already been in the orchestra, and 81 per cent are from new players, ensuring that more players from across the region will be able to have the special BYP experience, while the orchestra maintains its identity and there is a sense of continuity in the group.