Berlin, 28 April 2017:
Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi to tour state-of-the-art concert show from 5 May to Germany and Denmark

  • ‘Waterworks’ tour of Denmark and Germany in May and August 2017
  • Repertoire focuses on life-giving power of water and celebrates Philip Glass’s 80th birthday
  • Cutting-edge concert show fuses music, light, visual art and sound design
  • Orchestra to collaborate with violinist Mikhail Simonyan and Absolute Ensemble

Berlin, 28 April 2017. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi will tour Germany and Denmark in May and August 2017 with a special water-themed programme. Reflecting the orchestra’s commitment to the environment, the music for ‘Waterworks’ will focus on the life-giving power of water. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic will pioneer a special concert experience, combining music, projections, light, sound and choreography, to engage even more audiences in the excitement of classical music.

The ensemble begins its ‘Waterworks’ tour on 5 May 2017 in Hattingen, Germany, before travelling to Denmark for performances in Copenhagen (7 and 8 May) and the European Capital of Culture, Aarhus (9 and 10 May). It then returns to Germany, performing in Berlin (25 August), Peenemünde (26 August), Lutherstadt Wittenberg (27 August) and at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie (29 August). The repertoire for the tour includes Handel’s Water Music, arranged specially for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic. The orchestra will also celebrate the 80th birthday of American composer Philip Glass by performing his newly orchestrated water-themed Aguas da Amazonia and his Violin Concerto No. 2 from 2009, with Russian-born violinist Mikhail Simonyan as soloist.

Kristjan Järvi, Music Director of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, explains the theme behind ‘Waterworks’: ‘Water is the essence of life – not only within our physical bodies, but in the body of water that dominates this region – the Baltic Sea. It’s the engine of the region, the thing that gives us all our necessities of life. It’s why people settled around here, and it also connects with all the other water across the world. Our programme starts with Handel’s Water Music, because as Handel was born in Germany he was originally part of our Baltic compositional fabric, and it brings us all the way down to the waters of the Amazon, with Philip Glass’s Aguas da Amazonia. The music represents how we are from this region, but are also connected to the whole world. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the waters of the Baltic or the Amazon: everything is connected, and this is the essence of “Waterworks”.’

A new dimension in music making
The tour marks the start of a radical new approach to presenting orchestral music. The Baltic Sea Philharmonic will collaborate with lighting designer Bertil Mark, sound designer Chris Ekers and projection artist Philipp Geist to reimagine the concert experience, immersing concert goers in a thrilling world of music, light, images and sound. Geist achieved worldwide recognition by immersing the statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro, the Kings Palace in Bangkok and the Azadi-Tower in Teheran in a new, fascinating light. Bertil Mark set the concert scenes of German bands like Rammstein or Jan Delay. Kristjan Järvi says: ‘We want to create an atmosphere from the moment a concert goer enters the space. The audience should feel as if they are suddenly entering a new dimension, a world where anything is possible.’

New collaborations
Also joining the Baltic Sea Philharmonic on its ‘Waterworks’ tour will be three members of the New York-based Absolute Ensemble: electric bassist Mat Fieldes, trumpet player Charles Porter, and percussionist David Rozenblatt. The three musicians played on Kristjan Järvi’s new recording of Philip Glass’s Aguas da Amazonia, out now on the Orange Mountain Music label.

Great friends
The tour reunites Kristjan Järvi with Mikhail Simonyan, the two having worked together with numerous orchestras, and notably with the London Symphony Orchestra for the violinist’s 2011 Deutsche Grammophon recording of the Khachaturian and Barber concertos. ‘Kristjan Järvi is like no other conductor,’ says Simonyan, who previously performed with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic under Järvi in 2011, in Peenemünde on the German island of Usedom. ‘There is a freedom about Kristjan’s way of making music that I love. The whole process of rehearsing and performing is so alive with him.’ The violinist finds creative freedom too in Philip Glass’s Second Violin Concerto, which he considers among the most beautiful pieces of music ever written, and one of the composer’s greatest works. ‘Because the musical elements repeat over and over,’ he says, ‘the soloist has the opportunity to phrase and shape the music in a very individual and personal way.’

Concerts for thousands of Danish schoolchildren and refugees
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s performances in Copenhagen and Aarhus will include a series of school concerts as part of Danish Radio’s ‘Into the Music’ project, which brings children from rural Denmark to major concert halls to experience symphonic music, often for the first time. The orchestra is proud to have been a part of this ground-breaking scheme since 2015, and this year will play the music of Handel and Philip Glass to more than 7,000 pupils and refugees from refugee camps in Denmark.

Baltic Sea Philharmonic – a revolution in music and culture
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic is a new paradigm for music making in the 21st century. Its concerts are a unique spectacle of sound, light, projection art and choreography, and its performances, under the electrifying baton of Music Director Kristjan Järvi, have a special passion and energy that’s infectious. But more than this, as a community of musicians from ten countries, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic transcends geographical and historical 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.