Berlin, 30 January 2019:
Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi to tour Baltic States, Finland and Russia in March 2019

  • ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour features concerts in Palanga, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki and
    Petersburg
  • Programme includes violin concertos by Vasks and Gelgotas, and works by Kristjan Järvi and Tchaikovsky
  • Collaborations with violinist David Nebel and singer-songwriter Mick Pedaja
  • Orchestra to perform concert suite from Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty from memory
  • Partnership with John Nurminen Foundation underlines focus on environment

Berlin, 30 January 2019. TheBaltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi will begin their first major tour of 2019 in Palanga, Lithuania, on 11 March. The ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour will take the orchestra on to three European capitals – Riga (12 March), Tallinn (16 March) and Helsinki (17 March) – before concluding in St. Petersburg (19 March). The tour includes debuts for the orchestra in three distinctive concert venues: the state-of-the-art circular Palanga Concert Hall; the ultra-modern Mariinsky II, the newest part of the Mariinsky Theatre complex in St. Petersburg; and the Alvar Aalto-designed Finlandia Hall in Helsinki. The ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour will also underline the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s longstanding commitment to protecting the Baltic Sea environment, through a partnership with the John Nurminen Foundation in Finland and a special concert at the environmental forum Baltic Sea Day in St. Petersburg. Goethe-Institut supports the ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour through Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Russia.

‘Nordic Pulse’ – music of light and magic

‘Nordic Pulse’ is inspired by nature and the Northern Lights, as well as by the fairytale magic of Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty. The programme includes Kristjan Järvi’s Aurora, a piece that captures the otherworldly beauty of the aurora borealis. Swiss violinist David Nebel will join Järvi and the orchestra to perform Pēteris Vasks’s meditative second violin concerto Vientuļais Eņģelis(Lonely Angel) and Gediminas Gelgotas’s 2018 Violin Concerto. Nebel gave the world premiere of the Gelgotas concerto with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic in July 2018 at the Kissinger Sommer Festival in Germany, and describes the work as ‘powerful and physical, but also very atmospheric, with an impressionistic feel about it’.

The ‘Nordic Pulse’ programme will close with a memorised performance of Järvi’s arrangement of the concert suite from Tchaikovsky’s great ballet The Sleeping Beauty. Playing without sheet music has rapidly become part of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s identity after the ensemble made history in 2017 by becoming the first orchestra in the world to perform Stravinsky’s The Firebird from memory. ‘Performing from memory is all about chemistry and communication,’ says Järvi. ‘It intensifies the connection between the players, bringing them closer together, and is a natural reflection of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s mission to unite people across the whole Nordic region.’

The ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour will also feature the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s debut collaboration with Estonian singer-songwriter Mick Pedaja. A performer whose ambient, flowing, electronic-enriched music is strongly inspired by landscape and nature, Pedaja released his latest album Avaimusin December 2018. He will open each ‘Nordic Pulse’ concert with a special performance alongside the orchestra.

Protecting the Baltic Sea

Ever since it was founded in 2008, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic has been committed to the environment, and especially the Baltic Sea itself. ‘This body of water is the engine of the whole Nordic region and must be cherished and protected,’ says Järvi. ‘It’s what gives us all the necessities of life. It’s why people settled around here, and it also connects us to all the other waters of the world.’ The ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour will underline the orchestra’s environmental vision in two significant ways. Firstly, in Helsinki the orchestra will support the work of the John Nurminen Foundation, with one Euro of every concert ticket sold going towards the Foundation’s projects to protect the waters of the Baltic Sea. Secondly, the orchestra will give a special extra concert in St. Petersburg on 21 March, at the grand, Rococo-style Catherine Palace with its famous Amber Room, for delegates to the 20th annual Baltic Sea Day, an international forum that focuses on ways to protect the Baltic Sea marine environment.

Recruiting new musical talent

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic regularly auditions the best and brightest young musicians from across the Baltic Sea region in order to renew and refresh the pool of outstanding players who perform with the orchestra on tour. In March the orchestra will run its Talent Tour 2019 alongside the ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour, giving musicians the opportunity to audition in Palanga (8 March), Riga(13 March), Tallinn (15 March), Helsinki (18 March) and St. Petersburg (19 March). A new two-stage audition process will feature both a solo round and the chance to join a full rehearsal with the entire orchestra. Full details are available online at https://baltic-sea-philharmonic.eu/talenttour2019/.

Future tours in 2019

The Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s second major tour of the year, ‘Midnight Sun’, will see the orchestra perform at the Berlin Philharmonie on 26 June and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie on 2 July. Kristjan Järvi will conduct the orchestra and Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen in a nature-inspired programme that includes music by Arvo Pärt, Max Richter and Stravinsky. Both concerts will be performed entirely from memory. And in September, Järvi andthe Baltic Sea Philharmonic will tour Italy and Germany with ‘Divine Geometry’, a new programme exploring the connections between Baroque music and American minimalism. Simone Dinnerstein will join the orchestra to perform Philip Glass’s Piano Concerto No. 3, and the tour will also include the German premiere of Steve Reich’s Music for Ensemble and Orchestra– a work that was co-commissioned by the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and theNew York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

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; its passion for playing orchestral works from memory transforms the musical experience for both players and audiences; and its performances, under the electrifying baton of Music Director Kristjan Järvi, have a special passion and energy that’s infectious. But even more than this, as a community of musicians from ten Nordic 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.

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