Berlin, 28 November 2019
Major international film festival in Tallinn hosts world premiere of Baltic Sea Philharmonic documentary Nordic Pulse

  • Screening and Q&A session took place on 28 November as part of Black Nights Film Festival, one of northern Europe’s largest film festivals

  • Directed by acclaimed filmmaker David Donnelly, Nordic Pulse follows orchestra and Kristjan Järvi across Europe on landmark 2017 tours

  • Film reveals how Baltic Sea Philharmonic made history by performing Stravinsky’s The Firebird from memory

  • Spectacular concert footage features unique immersive performances with lighting, sound design and projection art by Sunbeam Productions

Berlin, 29 November 2019. Nordic Pulse, an inspirational film portrait of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and its Founding Conductor and Music Director Kristjan Järvi, received its world premiere last night at the 23rd Black Nights Film Festival in Järvi’s home city of Tallinn, Estonia. The premiere was attended by the conductor and a number of the orchestra’s musicians, as well as senior directors of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and production company Sunbeam Productions. The screening was followed immediately by a special Q&A session featuring Järvi and two of the musicians who starred in the film – trumpet player Märt Metsla from Estonia, and violinist Ilze Gagaine from Latvia. One of the biggest film festivals in northern Europe, the Black Nights Film Festival screens around 250 features and more than 300 short films and animations, and welcomes 80,000 film goers every year. Nordic Pulse was a guest film at this year’s festival and is set for international release in summer 2020.

Nordic Pulse received an enthusiastic reception from the audience in Tallinn. ‘Inspirational’ was the word used by many cinema goers as they gave their reaction after the premiere screening. ‘The viewer feels the emotions, the excitement, the expectations and the relief and success of the orchestra,’ said one. ‘The film brings across the vibes of this orchestral experience in the best possible way,’ said another, adding, ‘Kristjan Järvi is amazing in his approach to what he does, and the film manages to give a real understanding of what is happening in his mind.’

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker David Donnelly (Maestro, Forte), Nordic Pulse follows the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Järvi on two landmark European tours in 2017 – ‘Waterworks’ and ‘Baltic Folk’. It’s a portrait of an exceptional group of musicians from ten different nations who come together for a journey of self-discovery. The film explores how the Baltic Sea Philharmonic challenges expectations of what an orchestra can be, and it’s also the story of a visionary artist, leader and entrepreneur who wants to transform the concert experience for audiences and change their way of thinking about the world.

A transformational experience

With ‘Waterworks’, Järvi wanted to transport audiences to a new dimension, and Nordic Pulse captures the unique atmosphere transforming the musical performance into a fully immersive concert experience. On the ‘Baltic Folk’ tour the orchestra made history by performing Stravinsky’s The Firebird from memory for the first time. Nordic Pulse shows the musicians’ journeys from wondering whether playing such a complex score by heart is even possible, to feeling like it’s the most natural and inspiring experience they’ve ever had in an orchestra. The film reveals how performing from memory has become a signature of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, with the musicians now regularly performing entire 120-minute programmes by heart, improvising, dancing, and singing.

Nordic Pulse captures the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s experiences performing in nine cities in four countries, with exclusive concert footage from venues including the spectacular Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, and the poignant Historical Technical Museum in Peenemünde, the site of the Nazis’ V2 rocket facility in the Second World War, now transformed into a place of culture, peace and hope. The film also features illuminating insights from Järvi, the musicians from the orchestra, guest soloists and performance coaches; key members of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Sunbeam Productions creative teams; as well as Järvi’s conductor brother Paavo and the influential American author Robert Greene.

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 and technology, and under the electrifying baton of Music Director and Founding Conductor Kristjan Järvi every performance has a special energy that’s 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.